Category Archives: The Potty Train

Something to be thankful for

It’s Thanksgiving this week in the old USA – we had our Thanksgiving a long time ago now…six weeks ago or so.

But anyway, I just figured I’d mention that I now only have one child in diapers.  In my book, that’s pretty sweet, and something I can be thankful for.

Okay, so Erik has been wearing a diaper to bed and for naps, but he wore the same one for like three days without wetting it, so I think we can phase that out as well.  And he’s only had two accidents in the last week and a half.  Possibly my easiest child to potty train yet.  Yay, Erik!!

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Kiddos, The Potty Train

God and my house

I’m an irresponsible mother.  A bad housekeeper.  Not very good at being thrifty, even when I try hard at it.  These are things I can change, with time and lots of effort.  I’m not all bad, I know I have good qualities, but all too often it is these things and others that fill my head.  Is it better to think highly of yourself at all times and become vain, or to think poorly of yourself and become depressed?  I know that it is important to have balance in this, but it is a hard road to travel.  Understanding that it is by grace that I am saved and not by works should certainly help in this process of finding balance.  It is very important to acknowledge it is not the state of my house or that fact that Elias is potty trained or not that pleases or displeases God, but rather the state of my heart that matters.  And I will admit readily that my heart is often just as cluttered and out of shape as my house. 

I suspect that if my heart was right and clean more often, I would either have an easier time keeping things neat, or I would be less bothered by its clutter and mess.  I don’t know whether that suspicion is right on or way off, but in the past, when I’ve been on better terms with God, I have been less stressed in general.

So what does this mean?  Basically, things are feeling out of control too much of the time.  I still hate doing housework just as much as I always have, but I also have a two and a half year old that refuses to be potty trained.  I blame myself and my laziness for that one, as I should have started Elias sooner and stayed on it steadily like I did with Jenny.  My house may seem somewhat presentable half of the time, but it’s just the surface that looks good – kind of like when people clean everything up by putting it all in the closet.  It may look good, but once you open the closet door, everything falls out and it’s worse than before.  I need organization and it’s just not something I’m good at.  I need help.  While I have friends that would help me, that help would be temporary and would only change my house, rather than change the way I am.  I know deep down that I can only turn to God to help me with this.  Some may say that He is too lofty to care about these things, but I know better.  I know that He wants the best for our home, including things being in good working order.  I know He wants me to use my time for better purposes, rather than using it to either avoid housework or stew about having to do it. 

Anyway, this is a bit deeper than I usually go on this blog, but this is what came out when I started writing, so it must have been needed.  I don’t know what the plan of action should be now, but I’m going to give it thought and prayer and hopefully it won’t take long to understand what God wants me to do.


Filed under Life, in general, The H Word, The Potty Train


This is completely unrelated to my last post and to housekeeping in general – but related very much to my “everyday life”. 

Drumroll please…

Elias pooped on the toilet today!  I feel like such a lazy bum that he’s as old as he is and not potty trained yet, but we have been working on it..some.  He’s not that old, I know, and I get a lot of people saying, “Why not let it wait until he’s three and then try again?”  The answer: “I am not going to wait another seven months to potty train him!!  No way, no how!”  So I am trying to get into a habit of putting him on the toilet frequently throughout the day – today we got back from lunch and Jenny wasn’t with us as she decided she wanted to go to Grandma’s for her nap (and more importantly, Grandma said it was okay).  Anyway, I put Elias on the toilet, figuring maybe he would pee and it would save me a diaper (truth be told, he needed it changed when we were out to lunch and all I had was one of Erik’s which is two sizes too small…so one less pee in it during a nap would be good).  I left him on for awhile and ignored him saying he was done three times before I finally had made up my mind to go in and take him off.  The first thing I saw was that he was playing with a dirty diaper he fished out of the garbage.  Yeah, I know..little boys…but then I realized that there was more to this story!  I made such a big fuss about it but held out and didn’t give him any candy or anything…I don’t think he would make the connection at this point.  I did let him leave a message for Mike on his cell phone.  Something like, “Poop.  Poopy.  Yeah,” as I couldn’t get him to say that he had done it on the toilet.  I just couldn’t help myself – I remember feeling like this when we had this breakthrough with Jenny…I called my dad, in fact.

Anyway, sorry if you can’t stand the thought of all this poop and toilet training, but this is very much a part of any mother’s job and it is lacking in glamour to be certain.  However, it is a necessary evil leading to freedom from diaper changing.  For me, it will at least mean I only have to change one child’s diaper.  Hooray!

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Filed under Kiddos, The Potty Train

Another Day & Another Argument with Today’s Parent

Well, morning came again, and my eyes were incredibly heavy.  Elias decided that the waking between seven and eight routine wasn’t working for him anymore, so he moved it up to five.  Ugh.  Not only that, but it wasn’t exactly early when we went to bed last night, but the kids were in bed by eight-thirty.  My tactic for getting Elias to sleep through the night in the first place was ignoring him.  Eventually, he stayed asleep long enough for me to call it “sleeping through the night”.  So this morning I tried the old way and kept drifting off to sleep in the interim times when he decided to suck his thumb.  And then just as I would have the lovely feeling of sleep, he would cry.  Eventually I knew I would have to get up and feed him, or I wouldn’t get any more sleep.  So the last three hours I slept this morning were done with a baby at my breast.  It doesn’t actually make for the best type of sleep.

On another subject entirely, I got my issue of Today’s Parent magazine yesterday and there were two articles I paid more attention to than others; one on living environmentally friendly and the other on potty training.  The first obviously encouraged readers to use as little water and energy as possible, to buy products that won’t produce garbage, to use non-chemical cleaners and lawn fertilizers.  The second encouraged readers (in a nut shell) to not bother trying to potty train your child until two.  One part of the article actually mentioned a “parenting expert” who doesn’t recommend starting until the child is three.  There was a small blurb on diaper free babies (see, but the rest of the article focused on how important it is to wait until a child is “ready”. 

So my argument is, why not start early?  So far it hasn’t harmed my daughter, and she’s closer to being fully trained than most kids at two.  I think of my mehod as gentle potty training, starting early and spreading the training out over a long period of time, also not giving rewards (other than verbal praise) or punishment.  I started putting Jenny on the toilet when she was around a year; using a toilet insert rather than a potty chair.  We had a few months where we didn’t do much, but I tried to get into a routine of putting her on the toilet when she got up in the morning and before she went to bed at night.  In the beginning, not much happened; occasionally she peed, but nothing more.  She was still in diapers all this time, until around April when I started putting her in underwear on occasion.  At some point when Mike was still playing hockey every Sunday night (before the end of March), she pooped for the first time on the toilet.  I would have loved to finish before she turned two, as I was potty trained by eighteen months and it certainly didn’t scar me, but I decided I didn’t want to push it – Jenny is a very independent little girl.  The only real defiance I’ve gotten from her has started in the last few months; the closer she got to two, the worse it was.  My theory is that at home, she doesn’t like her play interrupted to go to the bathroom.  We have certainly had some accidents, but with a little diligence on the part of whichever parent (or grandparent or aunt) is with her, she doesn’t really have very many accidents.  She knows what to do when put on the toilet and when we are away from home, often tells us when she needs to go.  She also has started to go a little in her pants and then say potty and go more when taken to the bathroom.  Obviously she’s learning what it feels like when she starts to have an accident.  And the big argument usually given by the “experts” on why to not train early is that it will be bad for their self-esteem.  So far, so good; I don’t notice anything emotionally wrong with my daughter just because we started training early. 

So back to the reason I mentioned the environmental article.  If they’re so keen on reducing garbage, and one can assume that most people who leave their kids in diapers until they’re three (or older) are using disposables, don’t they realize that their theories on training aren’t lining up with their ideals for the environment?  Even if people were using cloth diapers until the age of three (which I can’t imagine they’d want to do), there are still environmental tolls because of what the diapers are usually washed in.

It’s not like I’m an environmental nut, or even an activist of any sort, but really, if you’re going to have articles like that in the same issue, think about it first.  It’s an obvious double standard.  Environmentalists and self-esteem mongers usually both fit the bill of liberals, but here they are, directly contradicting each other.  It’s ridiculous if you ask me. 

 I know.  No one asked.  That’s okay, I like to give my opinion freely.  In fact, I might just write a letter.  I say that every month, and I still haven’t done it.  But maybe this time I will.

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Filed under Environmentalism, Home Sweet Home, Kiddos, Life, in general, Mi familia, Rants, The Potty Train