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Potty Training

Another One Bites the Dust

Kyra, my two-year-old, recently attended a day care where you were considered an over-the-hill parent at 25, where everyone (disabled or not) parked in the disabled parking spaces, left their Hummers humming, and allowed rappers named after pocket change to cascade freely through their open windows. Sure, it wasn’t ideal, but we probably could have been more tolerant had it not been for the fact my two-year-old’s older sister was enrolled in another day care, one more conveniently located, one whose staff would use the word “profession” to describe their line of work, as opposed to the dreaded JOB.

The reason that Kyra wasn’t at the same day care with Emma was because of their policy to only take children who are fully potty-trained. Something that Kyra was not. So, in an effort to reunite her with Emma and keep my nerves from imploding, we diligently worked on the potty training.

In all regards, Kyra seemed ready. She could differentiate between underwear and a diaper. And, whether it was true or not, she would hop out of bed and announce, “I have to go potty!” Just as emphatically, she would yell “All done!” at the appropriate time as well. She wiped. She flushed. She pulled up underpants and wave goodbye to the water. All systems were go…. so long as “the system” was about peeing. Any deviation from that and all systems immediately shut down and searched the premises for a clean diaper to put on.

We discussed this with the director at the new day care who decided to go ahead and take Kyra in, even though she wasn’t what you’d call “fully” potty-trained. The director was SURE that they could get her over the pooping-in-the-potty hump. In all her long and copious experience, she had never NOT gotten a child over this particular hump. That was two and a half months ago. Which really isn’t long for someone to, say, learn a new language. But two and a half months can feel like two and a half decades when it comes to coaxing a bright, discerning child to go #2 in a toilet. Especially when they do #1 like a potty virtuoso.

The director is growing understandably weary. Kyra might very well be able to tell her grandchildren someday that she got kicked out of school by the age of two. So we saw Thanksgiving Break as an opportunity to really work closely with her. Follow her every move. Try to figure out why she’s so averse to pooping in the potty. But the only thing we’ve been able to figure out is that Kyra doesn’t mind camping out in the bathroom so long as you give her some reading material and don’t expect the ordeal to be fruitful.

Needless to say, we’re back in the market for a new day care. Patience. And some, odor-absorbing diapers.

Question: What’s your weirdest potty-training dilemma?


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  1. My weirdest potty training dilemma is my 3-year-old REFUSES to go. Back when she did, she refused to poop on the toilet. So intense was her resolve that she would sneak upstairs, put on a pull-up and poop in that.


  2. I empathize with the urgency but one thing I have learned with training my three kids: they won’t do anything until they are good and ready!

  3. For the longest time, my son would go everywhere else EXCEPT for the potty. Watering the trees was his favorite pastime.

  4. Of course, this just started his “The World is my Toilet” mantra as a man. 🙂

  5. Aww man, that’s tough. But Declan is still in pullups at night, so I got nuthin’ for ya.

  6. P.S. “Rappers named after pocket change.” Snort.

  7. I have 2 recommendations in the #2 potty training dept: 1- Catch your daughter in the act (my darling liked to poop in privacy), and immediately place her on the potty. I literally ran with my daughter from behind a tree in my backyard to the potty, once she did it there, she was over pooping in her requested fresh diaper.
    2-Bribes. we started small with m&m’s and kept one coveted item on display, for the ultimate gift when the #2 graced the big girl potty. =) Denise

  8. I’m loving the idea of M&M’s, Denise. And wondering how I didn’t think of trying something so simple!

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