Sunday, 22 November 2009

How to un-potty-train a toddler and make an entire family miserable in under three hours.

Today (so far) has not been my proudest day of parenting.

I've written before about how L was (and is) half potty trained.  She wees on the loo, but she poos (deliberately and in a totally in control of her bowels manner) in her nappy.  No nappy, no poo.

I've had lots of good advice about this, both through the blog and otherwise, and the general gist was: don't stress about it; she'll do it when she's good and ready.  Did I take this good and wise advice? Did I hell...  It's a bit like waiting for nail polish to dry, or a scab to heal - you know you should leave it alone and let it do its own thing but somehow you always end up with smeared nail polish, oozing scabs and an un-potty-trained toddler.

So anyway, this morning we took some of the more practical advice:

Us:  Ok L, where do big girls do their poos?
L: On the loo.
Us: and where do babies do their poos?
L: In a nappy
Us: and where do you do your poos?
L: In a nappy
Us:  So you're a baby then are you?
L: No
Us: Well if you do your poos in a nappy you must be a baby.  Do you want to wear a nappy the whole time? (Tee hee, of course she won't, we've won! Hooray!)
L: Yes.


So anyway we put her in a nappy (good parents are always consistent), and spent the next three hours telling her that she still could do wees on the loo ("I don't want a wee") and not letting her do what she wanted because:

Babies don't get to choose their own socks ("Do you want to put your knickers on?" "No")
Babies don't get to walk to the swings ("Do you want to put your knickers on?" "No No")
Babies don't knock on the knocker when we get home ("Do you want to put your knickers on? "NONONO")
Babies aren't allowed to play with playdough ("Do you want to put your knickers on?" "NO!!!!!")
Babies don't get stories read to them ("Nononononononononononononononononononononononononn")

Of course we (like the good parents we are) remained calm and good natured throughout.  So calm and good natured in fact that the morning culminated in her being marched upstairs, forced into her pyjamas (still in the (weed in by this time, naturally) nappy, and shut into her bedroom (babies have their door shut) without any lunch.  S and A decided to join in with the wailing. I considered doing likewise.

The story ends (or perhaps middles) happily though.  She is now in bed (with no nappy on* - like I said, consistency, that's the secret of good parenting), chatting happily to her "friends", with the promise of a trip to Mothercare world to choose a new potty specially for poos and some new knickers when she wakes up.

Wish us luck.

*Actually, after all the above, the no nappy is her choice because "Molly doesn't wear a nappy in bed".  Molly is four.  I think we may be seeing a lot more of Molly in the weeks to come.


  1. good luck! it's so so hard to just leave it, isn't it?

  2. oh I know how you feel - it is so frustrating when you know that they are capable of doing it but they just refuse.

    Ben doesn't like pooing on the potty and for a few days managed not to poo at all which culminated in a poo on the floor. Its nice to know that we aren't the only ones trapped in the nappy/potty limbo. Good luck. x

  3. I was despairing of my younger son who was about to turn 3 - he'd been capable for several months, but just refused to use the potty. Then suddenly, out of the blue, everything just clicked into place almost overnight. Now he's dry through the night too (which is more than I can say for his 5 year old brother!)

  4. Why can't we leave things alone? I am just the same and the bribery and "big girl" conversations always come out when I should keep quiet. Good luck.

  5. We did leve things alone with MiniMad, after going though all the of the above with MaxiMad and his response being "it is easier to poo in my pants". MiniMad just did it over the sumer on his own, wee and poos and no pottys at all - yipee. Good luck.

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