So thrilled to have Susan of This Happy Mom join us today. We kind of fell in love with her joy-filled take on motherhood from the first moment we stumbled onto her blog. Today she’ll encourage your heart and your mothering, while making you giggle. That’s why we love her so much!
by Susan of This Happy Mom, Guest MOMtor
I had two kids in diapers at the same time, so I was desperate to potty train. In spite of my best efforts, NEITHER of my boys finished potty training until they were four.
I started when my oldest was thirty-six months and seemed ready.
Eighteen months later, we were still trying.
You name it, we tried it. In fact, I tried it with BOTH boys. I did the thing where you feed them lots of salty snacks and unlimited juice. I tried the potty party. I tried rewards. I tried bribes. I tried prayer. I even tried begging.
Shortly before his fourth birthday, he was finally going peep in the potty on a reliable basis. He was still insisting on wearing a pull-up so he could go sit ON the potty and poop IN the pull up.
I was desperate.
I finally got my son to poop IN the potty. We were so excited! I took photos and sent them to family. We ordered pizza. We did the potty dance.
Then, I flushed. He cried.
He wanted to keep it! He thought we were keeping all those soiled diapers because they were presents for us. He was QUITE upset to learn that we threw soiled diapers and pull-ups away.
So I invented a story.
I told him that there are special fish are known bottom feeding fish. I told him that God had created these fish to eat poop, and that if they didn’t eat the fish would starve.
Then I told him about how his grandmother had lived in Bermuda as a child and that there was a big water tank under the house that had their drinking water. There were fish that lived in the water to keep it clean.
My son concluded that we had a giant tank of water under our house that held all the stuff from the toilet and that there were “poop fish” in it. (I may not lie, but I came really close that time.)
I asked him if he wanted his fish to starve.
He ran to the potty and pooped. He NEVER looked back and there were NO ACCIDENTS.
The post-script to the story is the funniest part! We visited the Magic Kingdom about six months later. My son stood there looking at all the potties and whispered to me, “Mommy, they sure must have a lot of fish here!”
The moral? In the middle of potty training (between boys, it was three years straight) I felt like a failure. I despaired of EVER being rid of diapers or pull-ups. Both boys went from pull-ups to potties in about 24 hours when they were ready. In the end, it was THEIR success, not mine.
All I needed was patience and a dash of creativity.
My potty training days are long gone, but I still find that patience and creativity go a LONG way towards solving my motherhood challenges. They are a great formula for motherhood.
Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker writes at ThisHappyMom.com and has a passion for encouraging weary, worn out moms to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder.