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How to Find the Humor in Potty-Training


Potty training is one of the trickiest milestones we reach with our children. Here are some ways to find the humor in teaching our children to "go" in the right place.
Photos by Bartosz Budrewicz/


Every milestone in a mother and baby’s life is challenging. Some are pleasant, perhaps even enjoyable as you navigate your way to the actual accomplishment. Walking and talking are some of those “fun” ones. Potty training is the trickiest one I’ve experienced so far, filled with the most grossness, fake smiles, fake congratulations and lots of cleaning products and meditation…

1. Here are five things that are going through my mind while attempting to potty-train my daughter:

  1. Why am I doing this again? Isn’t there a nursery that will handle this smelly milestone? There should be centers that do this as a service. Drop your kids off, pick them up in two weeks perfectly potty-trained. What would it be called, though?
  2. I’m over it. They have teenage-sized diapers, right?
  3. I want to kill Elmo and that “Potty Party Song.” I know I will be humming it long after she’s fallen asleep tonight.
  4. Am I doing this all wrong? Should I be giving her a gift every time she pees in the right place? How costly is that going to get?
  5. Is that water? Or pee? Or water? How many more liquids do I need to smell?

2. And here are five things that go through my daughter’s mind while I’m attempting to potty-train her:

Teddy bear.

Photo by Avtk/

  1. I think I’ll pee in this corner this morning, but I’ll keep my poop front and center for the smell to spread around. You know, to stay fresh.
  2. What’s the big deal if I poop near the potty? Oh, it has to go in there? Why didn’t you say so?
  3. No diapers? This is much better! Freedom and a bit of a draft! Why were you keeping me in those bulky underwear? (Three minutes pass. Oh.)
  4. So, I know I’ve peed AFTER it trickles down my leg. Wait, is that not good enough? Can I not sit on the potty then?
  5. There are so many carpets and corners I have to christen with my bowel movements. How on earth will I get it all done? And why does my mom keep removing my “works of art” and following me around with that weird looking plastic chair?

3. Here are five things to remember while potty training your child:

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s a huge milestone, but I assure you that you will get through it if you jot down these five reminders. Keep re-reading until you’ve memorized them enough to implement them.

  1. Just relax. She can smell your anxiousness. Fact: She’s not going to break a two-year-long habit in an hour.
  2. Keep showing her where mommy pees. Yes, this might be totally embarrassing and humbling for you, but hey, isn’t all of motherhood?
  3. Buy just one potty. That’s right. I’m saying to use one potty in the same place. Much like a toilet, which is essentially the point, right?
  4. Try to reward with the same thing every time she goes in the potty and not smack dab in the middle of your living room, hallway or on your shoes. Blowing bubbles really worked for us.
  5. Take advice from everyone, but then listen to your child. If you do not fully understand her yet, proceed to take advice from everyone, but then listen to your gut.

Best of luck and remember, 7 billion people have learned how to use the potty. This, too, shall pass!