11/02/2012 06:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Potty Training Is a Bunch of Poop


We have two weeks (maybe less) to hopefully finish potty training The Duchess before baby number two gets here. After that I'm on my own. My wife will be a bit preoccupied with healing from surgery and feeding The Captain. Therefore, all potty training duties will fall to me. This is not a skill I possess.

This is my impression of me potty training my daughter:

"Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Do you need to go potty?" (Look away for five seconds) OH NOOOOO!!!

I don't actually yell at her. To a 2-year-old, I'm sure I'm kind of scary when I yell, and the last thing I want to do is make her poop more. I just don't know what I am doing wrong.

She is almost there. We send her to day care without diapers, just an extra pair of pants in case of accidents. Most days, she comes home wearing the same pants we dropped her off in. Her teacher tells me how smart she is and how she had 0 accidents. I tell her teacher that she must be some sort of crazy magic baby whisperer to achieve such success, because before we even get home, The Duchess will have somehow bent space and time and already peed all over the living room floor.

My wife is a potty training genie too. Here is my impression of her potty training the Duchess:

"Duchess, do you need to go potty?"

"Yes, mommy I do. Please excuse me while I pull my own pants down and do it all by myself without getting any poop all over myself, the toilet or you... OK I'm done now AND I've washed my hands. Would you also like a back rub?"


Like I said, soon enough, my wife will be (temporarily) out of the equation. Then it is is just me, The Duchess and the poor poison control operator who has to listen to my questions on what I should do after somehow getting poop in my eye. IN MY EYE!

So I turn to you dear readers. What am I doing wrong? Is it me? Why will she go for Mom and Ms. Lupe, but "Daddy-Daughter time" has become "Let's-Ruin-The-Carpet time"?

Here's my process (which is the same as the daycare and my wife's process)
  • Take her to the toilet every ten minutes.
  • Talk about potty ALL OF THE TIME (seriously, it's all we talk about)
  • Celebrate success. (I basically act as if she's been accepted to Harvard every time there's even a drop in the trainer.)
  • Give encouragement when mistakes happen. (I don't get mad. I explain that poop goes in the potty, not on the couch and gently carry her to the bathroom.)
  • We've also tried rewards (Sticker Board, M&M's) -- but honestly, she gets a bigger kick out of flushing the toilet.

Anyway, chime in with critiques, advice, personal success and/or horror stories in the comments.