No, We Don’t Lie About Pooping

The pediatrician told us it is time to start thinking about potty training.

I think it is a little early, but then I saw this article about the potty trained 6 month old. Over-achievers.

After the last doctor visit, we bought a seat booster for the big potty and a little training potty (pink of course) for K.

She puts toys in the baby potty, and doesn’t understand what it is for yet. I haven’t put her on the big one yet because of drowning. A ring of Sesame Street characters and fun with flushing is going to draw her to the potty danger, not deter her.

I looked for books about using the bathroom to help introduce the concept, although I would think by now both my daughter and dog should be able to use one efficiently since they refuse to let me go into one by myself. The selection at B & N was pretty light, and the books are kind of gross, so I didn’t buy any.

Since Elmo can get kids to do anything, I bought the video Elmo’s Potty Time on my phone.

Baby Elmo is annoying in an even cuter way. Dad's going to a stash bash. credit: muppet.wikia.com

If you’ve never seen this one, you are in for a 45 minute musical that will never leave your internal, life-soundtrack. It’s all about taking a dump and going wee wee and woo woo in the potty. You get to meet Elmo’s Dad and he has a curly porn stash and wears a bowling shirt in the flashback which is kind of funny as long as you haven’t dropped any acid.

Here is the order of events:

  • Song: “It’s Potty Time” A blues number that I can’t stop singing. It’s potty time, gotta get down low, potty time…You can do it, ELMO!
  • Song: “Trying Song” A kitten climbs some stairs like Rocky Balboa training for the big fight. It’s kind of cute.
  • Cartoon: “You’re a Big Kid Now” Noooo! Not my baby!
  • Film: Kids use different names when going to the bathroom. (One kid exclaims loudly, “I call it DOOKIE.”) You and me both, kid.
  • Animation: In a King Kong parody, a large gorilla listens to his body’s needs. Read the signs when a Gorilla dump is coming, dear.
  • Song: “Accidents Happen” Yes, yes they do.
  • Song: “Dirty Diaper Blues” More blues tunes.
  • Song: “Toilet Paper Factory Rap” Tupac would be proud. It’s a very white rap about toilet paper.
  • Film: The sounds of a bathroom make a rhythm. Like Stomp? No, not like Stomp at all.
  • Film: Great Moments at the Sink: Washing Hands. A compelling highlight reel.
  • Song: “You’ll Use the Potty” Some day.
  • Song: “It’s Harder the First Time” Big Finish…and jazz hands.

Just a little glimpse into my own personal hell, but she loves this video, and asks for “Emmo, Potty?” all the time. Sometimes I forget it is playing in public, and I don’t understand the weird looks I get when the puppets are going on and on about pee and poop.

But she is starting to understand the concept, and she will tell me when she goes well before the smell hits me from across the room.

The concept also led to her very first lie (more of a manipulation really).

She woke up early one morning. No big deal, but we try to get her to stay in bed until 7 am. If she can’t go back to sleep, I will give her some books or toys to look at while I put on the coffee and get her breakfast ready.

Her Dad was still home getting ready for work, and he loves it when she wakes up because he gets to see her before he leaves. This is pretty sweet, but he is a sucker for her and she knows it.

He walks in, and she says, “Hi!!! Up???”

He responds, “Hi sweetie. Not time to get up yet, but I love you. Muwah,” and leaves the room.

I hear her start to cry again from the other room, “Day-eee, up? Up? Hi???!!!”

He goes back into to comfort her but still doesn’t pick her up. He starts to walk out again, and she cries (very sadly and convincingly), “Daaaayeee, I pooooooopppped.”

And, I’m up.

Dad left for work, and I didn’t smell any evidence that she was telling the truth, but I got her up and changed her diaper anyway. She was pulling my leg about the poop.

I laughed, and said, “No, no sweetie, we don’t lie about going poop.”

Was it a lie, a manipulation, confusion about the concept, or just an attempt to get some time with her Daddy in the morning?

Probably all of the above, and her cleverness and knowledge of exactly what will get her out of the crib early is a little frightening, but we laughed for days.

If she’s ever going to be president, I probably need to find a copy of the story about George Washington and the cherry tree and start reading it to her.

Anyone want to share some adventures in potty training?

What age did your kids start to really understand the concept?

Any tips or suggestions from experienced parents?

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31 thoughts on “No, We Don’t Lie About Pooping

  1. Both my boys were closer to 3 before they got the hang of it (boys!), but it went pretty smoothly. Luckily, since they were boys, they could stand up for the pee part. I’d put cheerios in the toilet, and they’d aim for them. Or little paper sail boats. Worked like a charm. But I guess that doesn’t help you, does it?…

    Very funny post!

  2. Oh have I got wisdom I can lay on you! (Not really. Not at all.) I have two sons, 5 and 3. Zeke, my 5 year old, trained like a dream– one day he just decided to do it (right around his 3rd bday) and everything just clicked. He only had one poop accident and just a handful of pee accidents. We went through a few weeks of him wetting his bed if I didn’t wake him up and take him to the potty promptly at 6 (The urge to pee did not wake him and he just couldn’t make it the whole night.) I thought that all of the other parents were just making a big deal out of potty training and that all you really needed to do was follow your child’s lead.
    Enter Jack. My 3 year old, who will not be trained, under any circumstances. When I read the title of your post I was instantly attracted to it, because several times a day, pretty much every day my son lies to me about pooping. I hear him exhaling sort of forcefully or making strange grunts and I say, “Jack, are you pooping? Should we go to the potty?” And he will sweetly reply, “No Mama.” I will walk tentatively in his direction, sniff the air and smell the putrid evidence to the contrary. “Jack,” I will say sternly, “did you poop?” He will continue to deny it even when I can clearly see the mess oozing over the top of his diaper onto his jeans. It is disgusting. And it is unnecessary.
    This kid wakes up with a dry diaper every morning and throws a fit EVERY MORNING when i take him to the potty. This kid has gone whole days where he happily relieves himself in the potty without assistance and then goes right back to sh_++ing himself when the “game” loses his interest. I am at my wits end. I have tried sticker charts. (I thought it was working. He picked out the stickers and happily stuck them on the chart, until one day he ripped it off of the wall and tore it up.) I have tried giving him gummy bears (his favorite treat) as a reward. (He could care less).
    I know that he won’t still be in diapers when he goes to college. It’s just this battle of wills between us at this point, and I know that you are not supposed to let that happen, but I can’t give in now, he’s too old and big and producing man poops that no diaper can contain. There is no waiting for him to be ready. I’m done ranting now. Promise.
    Good luck to you and your daughter.

    • Oh boy that sounds crazy, but I love how you tell the story! Good luck to you too, I am sure he will get it soon, but I would be so frustrated too. Thank you so much for commenting!

  3. My daughter started going to poop on the potty about a month ago, and she’s 3.5 years old. Before that she still insisted on going in a diaper even though she was daytime trained for pee. Eventually, it just clicked. She went to the potty for a pee and out fell a poop. There’s been no looking back since.

    • See, I really thought 18 months sounded early to start really trying the training, so the age things helps a lot. I expect it to take awhile, but it helps to know how it has gone for other parents. Thanks so much for commenting.

  4. Ah, the joys of potty time. In fact, I’ve seen Elmo’s Potty Time approximately four hundred gajillion times. I do wish you luck. I have heard of people who triumph over potty training, kids who just “got it”, or amazing reward systems that offered just the right incentives for the kid to put away the diapers. I’ve got no silver bullet for you, and sadly I mainly have horror stories rather than tips, unfortunately. But, rest assured, she will get it. I only hope it’s before you have to leave crying from the McDonald’s playplace and later make a phone call apologizing for the poop streak down the pink slide. (True story, and the crying was me not her.)

    • Oh mylanta, a poop streak down the slide? Now that is a visual! Thanks for your comment, and for understanding the Elmo Potty torture. I will be ready to get rid of the diapers, but I don’t want to push her so we’ll see how this goes.

  5. LOL….The joys of potty training. I’ve done it all: rewards, bribery, consequences, time out, etc. No child works the same (I have 6). Some don’t care, some can’t be bothered, some get hysterical if they don’t make it. Here are my most successful strategies:
    – Have a potty party. You are never in there alone anyway. Whenever you use the big toilet they use their little one. High5 when you go. High5 when they go.
    – Let the child tell about their success. Call Daddy on the phone. Call or Skype Grandma. Have them tell their older siblings (they can get a high5 for being “big”). Even strangers will often give them a high5 if the child shares the success. (Some just give you a “look”. I usually just smile and say they are excited and proud of success.)
    – Let them wash out their poopy panties. It is gross and children will often avoid grossness, especially girls. Supervision and assisted handwashing is required.
    – Follow their lead. Some are ready early and some you hope will have it mastered before they leave for college.
    – Try not to get stressed out or upset by it. Let them know that you are disappointed and that you know they can do better.

  6. Way back before the dawn of time, we used this incredibly disturbing video cleverly titled “It’s Potty Time!” At one point a rent-a-clown leads the children at a birthday party off to the bathroom to pee. Thank God the scene ends at the bathroom door. I can’t find the video anywhere, but check out this sliver, “Super Dooper Pooper.” I guarantee Elmo will seem a lot less annoying.

  7. First, you had me at the title. We don’t lie about poop around these parts either! Lol! My boys took longer to potty train than I would have liked. They were both about three when they realized I was going to have a nervous breakdown if they didn’t finally “get it.” It amazes me how boys are not at all bothered by wetness or smelly pants. Bribery actually works – M&Ms, etc.! I wish you rapid success!

  8. Potty training was a low point in my parenting and something I’m glad we aren’t dealing with anymore. As for lying to get you to pick her up out of bed? Well, the lie changes. She’ll be coming into your room asking for breakfast because she’s so starving she can’t stand it. Only to leave said breakfast sitting around uneaten for 2 hours. Your blog is funny and cute!

    • Hahaha, I figured this lying thing would evolve from here. Thanks for stopping by and for saying nice things about my blog! I will check yours out as well.

  9. Believe it or not, for all four of my kids we threw underwear on them and with guidance got them through it. There was a lot of messes, but they learned just by not waiting to have messy drawers. Can’t say this will work for everyone, nor is it the cleanest way, but it worked for us.

    • That’s pretty much what the doctor said to do. Put them in underwear and let them figure it out. I’m trying to get psyched about all the cleaning.

  10. Treats when she is successful!! Lots of “Do you need to poopy?” Stories in the bathroom. She is so bright, she will get it. You all completed the process EARLY–so she has good genes which help LOL

  11. First of all “porn stash” totally just trumped “swamp ass” on my laughter meter!!!
    second I am slightly embarrassed to say that this topic is one of the many reasons why I don’t want children – I like children – just not my own. I just can’t handle these things. But that is okay because there are many other little kids in this life that I can spoil and return to their parents once we are done having fun! Bless you for enduring!

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