We finally started potty training for reals last Monday. I had been putting it off because I didn’t have my act together between the almost 3-year-old and 8-month-old twins. Well, mom finally got her act together and gathered up all the pertinent potty training supplies. It was ON!
I printed out a potty training chart and ordered a giant book of alphabet stickers. I bought a smiley, froggy potty and filled a little “treasure chest” with prizes. I picked up some salty snacks, lots of juice, and special gummy treats. I pulled out his favorite reading material and his favorite “Potty Time” video. I rolled up the rug, cleared our schedule, and gave my little dude (and myself) a pep talk. We can do this. Let’s show that potty who’s boss!
Day One: Five Words. Wizz.All.Over.The.Place.
Day Two: Less wizz. But… at one point, I was locked in the bathroom with a naked, peeing, tantrum-throwing toddler. It was like the sprinklers going off suddenly when you are standing in the middle of a lawn. The grossest sprinklers ever.
By day three, I was on the verge. I did everything I could to roll out the red carpet for this kid to put some peepee in the freakin’ potty. Candy, snacks, juice, gummies, stickers, prizes. All manner of glorious, delectable delights. But on day three, I stood haggard & war-weary. And in the most mature, maternal, self-sacrificing way possible shouted…
WHAT ABOUT ME?!
WTH, guys?! I deserve some freakin’ treats for surviving the great Piss-Sprinkler Tantrum of 2020. No grown woman should walk out of a locked bathroom covered in her toddler’s urine and not get handed a towel and a latte by her fairy godmother. Am I right?
It seems all these potty training prep lists just plain forgot about mama! I’d like to remedy this situation. Here are some ideas for a Potty Training Survival Kit for Moms…
I know. A bit obvious. But if it ain’t broke!
I ended up leaving the wine bottle and chocolate on our kitchen counter in plain view. They would whisper to me, “Just a few more hours! You can do it!” I also made sure I had a delicious caffeinated beverage at all times, so I could sip my weewee worries away.
2) Addictive iPhone Apps
Let me tell you, potty training will suck the “Attentive Mom” right out of a woman. When you need a mental break, sit Junior on the potty, hand him his favorite book, and veg out on Candy Crush for a while. Reserve your emotional energy, so you can calmly repeat, “Uh oh! You had another accident!” in a loving voice instead of shouting to the heavens, “For the love of God USE THE TOILET!!!”
When my son actually started to “get it,” I surprised him by calling Daddy on FaceTime to celebrate his success. This was a HUGE hit! But what about mom? So I started texting my girlfriends! When I cleaned up my 5000th puddle or avoided another meltdown, I would shoot a quick text, and my friends would send me some text-couragement. We gotta celebrate the small victories together, ladies.
4) Your very own “treasure” chest
Once my son earned a certain amount of stickers, he could choose a prize from his treasure chest. Since we’ll be saving on diapers, let’s get mama some treasure, too! Froyo gift cards, accessories, lotion, lip gloss, snacks, beverages. When kid gets a treasure, mama gets a treasure. In the immortal words of Tom and Donna from Parks & Rec, “TREAT YO’ SELF!”
Friends, let me preach. When you’re wiping up tinkle trails and Swiffer sanitizing tile floors for the billionth time, nothing lifts your spirits like a little, “I Want You Back!”
Oh. Justin, JC, Joey, Lance, and Chris. If only you knew, way back when that “It’s Gonna Be Me” would be the sound track to a suburban mom and naked toddler’s potty dance party.
Ok, maybe N’Sync isn’t your jam. Pick another happy-dancy artist or band from your past. Back when you were young and carefree and didn’t have to manage another person’s bladder or excrement. (Extra points for lyrics that can be changed to something humorous and potty related. For example, “I like big butts to poop and I cannot lie.”)
There you go, ladies. Pump the jams. Sip your latte. Text your sisters. Crush some candy. Treat yo’ self!
Just remember, this poo shall pass.