Sunday, March 30, 2008

Potty Training: Quinn Style (A Pictorial)

Potty training seems to be all the rage these days.

All the cool kids are doing it.

Even though I'm not entirely interested in spending my days cleaning pee out of my carpets, reading Everybody Poops on a loop while I sit in the bathroom with my toddler, and clapping every time he sits on his potty, Quinn is exhibiting all the signs of readiness.

The most obvious one being his steadfast determination to wear underpants rather than diapers at all times and his announcements that he wants to pee in the potty. It's hard to misinterpret that.

So in the interest of showing lazy parents everywhere how to potty train their children waaaaaay after they're ready, I present Quinn's Tutorial on Peeing in the Potty:

Get your mom's attention by stridently shrieking about underpants all day long. Extra points if you let her get your Finding Nemo underpants halfway on before you start screaming for "Thomas the Tank Engine! Thomas the Tank Engine!"

Sit on the potty. 'Nuff said.

Absorb propaganda. How big exactly do you have to be to be too big for diapers? After your mom reads you the desired number of books, then—and only then—should you pee.

No one wants to leave their old pee sitting around, so next you should remove the pee-catching receptacle.

Where to put it? Where to put it? Aha! Pour it in the toilet!

In the spirit of, "No! Me! No! Me! I wanna do it!" put water from the bathroom sink in the empty pee receptacle...

...and pour that in the toilet as well.

Everybody says this is the fun part, and although it seems incredibly wasteful to flush an entire toilet for a tablespoon of pee, go ahead and flush.

Astound your mother by actually putting something back where it belongs.

Spend the rest of the afternoon trying to put on your underpants.

Demand M&Ms for the oh-so-strenuous task of peeing in a cup. Insist on only yellow and orange candy.

Display an increasingly hostile and demanding side of yourself if your mom doesn't give you enough M&Ms, or if—God forbid!—she eats one herself. Demand that she regurgitate it and give it back to you.

Steadfastly refuse to poop anywhere other than your diaper, or occasionally your underpants, thereby dashing your mother's hopes of stress-free potty training.


  1. We recommend the video "Potty Power." We even put our portable DVD in the bathroom for a while. You'll be happy to know Andy did the poop-in-underwear thing for only a couple of months before figuring out how to get that to the potty as well.

    In the meantime, I'm buying stock in M&Ms.

    Good luck!

  2. It was ridiculously easy at my house. But I waited until forever with my son. Seriously.

  3. Someday, you are going to look back on this pictoral and be amazed. This is incredible.

    Go, Quinn!

  4. Oh, this is so funny and he's so cute! I'm way impressed w/ his progress. I wish S. would tell me he wants to pee in the potty instead of shouting "NO!" every time I ask him if he needs to. Way to go Quinn.

  5. Lovely pics! Very impressive!

  6. thank God for that last sentence or I would have to kill you with jealousy

  7. So here's the thing about the ease with which this seems to be going (don't kill me, Kelley, please!):

    Both Sam and Jack SCREAMED when I brought underpants near them. I battled with both of them. Neither of them wanted to clean out the little potty.

    I don't know who this little blond kid is and how he became part of our family, but I'm glad the hospital sent him home with us.

  8. We've been half assed potty training over here too. After the hell of potty training my first two, I have no motivation to do it again. I figure it'll happen soon, summer will be a bit easier and he's not 3 till September. It's not worth the headache.

    YAY for Quinn!! Mine never cleaned up after themselves. That was always my job!!

  9. Great job, Quinn! I'm amazed by the whole thing, especially the part about him cleaning out the potty. But after 2 hard-to-train kids, you deserve an easier time. I'm thinking I deserve an easier time with #2. I hope someone up there is listening :)

  10. WTG, Quinn! I am jealous. My 2 year-old year old REFUSES to even discuss the potty. It took me TWO AND A HALF years to potty train my first, so NOTHING could be worse than that! (I think I need to try the video because I am sick of reading Once Upon a Potty. And putting the DVD player in the bathroom - THAT is brilliant!)

  11. Good job. When my daughter decided to give up the diapers and wanted only panties...even at night....we went for it. It was a messy few weeks, but now we're totally done with day AND night training. So if he's up for it, go for it! I love the pix!

  12. That is one industrious boy with serious potty aspirations. We have a one pee-pee candy per waste session rule.

  13. That is one industrious boy with serious potty aspirations. We have a one pee-pee candy per waste session rule.


    Ummm and can I say that is the darn best photo essay I've seen in ages? Yes? Good, 'cos I just did.

  15. EllicottCityMommyMarch 31, 2008 at 9:28 PM

    Long time lurker, this post finally drew my to comment. My 3 year old son FINALLY decided it was time to potty train. We did the DVD player in the bathroom, no luck. We tried candy, stickers, bribes, threats - no luck. We are now good to go with the pee but the poop, not so much. Got a full load in the underwear tonite. Quite gross. While I know that he'll figure this whole thing out sooner or later, man oh my are we hoping he figures it out sooner. Not only can we then decrease the diaper bill but also the day care price goes down to the potty trained rate :) Whoopie! Great post. Love your site.

  16. KC, you have no idea the tantrum of epic proportions just one m&m would cause.

    Motherbumper, are you kidding me? That's my reward for being so intimately acquainted with his bodily functions! (And thank you, btw.)

    EllicottCityMommy, thanks for coming out of lurkdom. You'll get there. Eventually. When they poop in their underpants, I always clean them out. I found out that my husband throws them away. Nice.

    For those of you having trouble with potty training, I completely sympathize. Been there. I truly believe that when they are ready they will do it. Jack was 3 3/4. In a space of 2 weeks he went from being in Pull-ups 24 hours a day to being in underpants 24 hours a day.

    It. Will. Happen.

  17. Oh Gosh this is sooooooooooooo cute!

    My boys are fully independent for both pee and poos. Potty days are long gone. They have upgraded to the adult ones.

    What a BIG mistake I made!

    YOu are such a great mommy. except that you ate one M&Ms. *humph* (should have done that secretly *wink*)

  18. Very funny. As far as "too big", I read they are going to come out with size 7 Pampers. I guess all those prenatal vitamins are having an impact on the back-end (no pun intended). Having said that, I am with bettejo - I waited until my boys were over three, until they were good and ready, so it was easy. Because of the aforementioned "too big" the little potty won't work for my third, so it's all about the Diego potty seat.

    BTW, love your blog.


  19. Doooooode. My kid won't even pee. She won't even consider peeing. She runs from the toilet like it is a nuclear reactor in full meltdown.

    Good on ya. You're doing GREAT.

  20. My hubs and I toilet trained our son in three days. Here's how we did it:
    Day 1: We explained the whole underpants/peeing in the toilet thing. We rewarded success with M&Ms and small toys kept in a basket by the toilet.
    Day 2: We explained the pooping aspect. Same procedure with M&Ms and small toys but we introduced a new angle-- the hideous bloody head of death. The hideous bloody head of death (or H.B.H.D. for short) would come in the night and scratch at the window of any child who peed or shat anywhere other than in the toilet. There were some mistakes (not many) so at bedtime, my hubs went outside and scratched on our son's window. I told the terrified child it was the H.B.H.D. coming to "get" him for failing proper toileting procedure. The child spent the rest of the night in the bathroom, terrified out of his mind.
    Day 3: More rewards for peeing and pooping properly. Ominous accounts from me about children I knew who ran afoul of the H.B.H.D. Perfect toilet behavior from that day to this!


Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.