Mile High Mamas – Postcards from the edge (of the potty seat)

You know the long-standing tradition of adding “in bed” after your fortune-cookie saying? Some examples:

A pleasant surprise is in store for you…in bed.
Something you lost will soon turn up…in bed.

Only instead of “in bed,” say “in the rain.” And that pretty much sums up our anniversary getaway to beautiful Carmel.

Oh, and throw in a few “in beds” for good measure as well. Details will be forthcoming. Well, some of them at least….[wink, wink]


After 3 years and 9 months, I can almost say that Hurricane Hadley is potty trained. If you are thinking, “Oh, great. Another potty training post. My kids have been trained for years and what does this have to do with me?”

It has everything to do with you…and the rest of mankind. Studies have shown the air pollutants exhumed from Hadley were high enough to break down the ozone layers. The kid was a serious environmental hazard.

Join me as I reflect upon my two-year journey into Potty Training Hell…and Beyond.

March 2006: We brought home our first potty amidst great fanfare. Hadley was enthusiastic about being a big girl and using the potty. It was a bald-faced lie.

Summer 2006: A few of her friends are trained. Our encouragement is met with resistance.

Fall 2006: Shows interest and even pees most of the time in the potty but Brown has yet to make its appearance. “What Can Brown Do For Me?” Find its way to the bleepin’ toilet.

Fall 2006: Announces she is retiring from the potty training business, like it is some annoying boy she is just flinging aside. There is great mourning in the land but we are advised not to pressure her.

Spring 2007: Hadley turns 3 and is obstinate about the mere suggestion of going anywhere near the potty.

Summer 2007: The Descent into Hell. In a last-ditch attempt to potty train her before preschool, The Parents cut her off diapers completely. There were non-stop accidents, wailing, gnashing of teeth and near suicide attempts by the parents. After three horrible weeks, the white flag is waved. A flag that strongly resembles a poopy diaper.

Fall 2007: Enters preschool in pull-ups. The Parents attend the potty training seminar “Oh Poo” at the Children’s Hospital. Hunky Hubby observes the sardine-packed room and comments, “Every single person in this room is a loser.” They and their fellow losers glean some good tips about providing incentives. Strongly advised by the expert not to nag but just provide incentives to children over 3.

Winter Break 2007: The entire family is in town and exhibitionist Hadley starts peeing regularly. The Parents capitalize on the momentum and remove diapers completely from the formula. Continues to pee in the potty but resistant to Brown. Parents provide enough incentives to require mortgaging the house when she finally goes.

January 2008: Hadley is obsessed with The Little Mermaid. The Parents buy Ariel panties under the condition that she would not poop on Ariel. The mermaid was drowning in it within hours. The Parents enforced a clean-up-after-yourself policy. The Hurricane remains unphased and is positively gleeful about clean-up duty.

February 2008: The Parents up the ante and instead of focusing on incentives, they concentrate on punishment. For every day Brown does not make an appearance in the potty, they remove a beloved toy from The Hurricane’s extensive collection. Within a week, Brown makes its first appearance. A Chuck E. Cheese party is thrown; incentives are rewarded but are relinquished with each accident. Two weeks later, she is trained. Mostly.

So, what were the final keys to success? 1) The Hurricane would not do it until she was good and ready. 2) She had to establish her firm dictatorial control over The Parents. 3) She wanted to provide a disturbing glimpse into how her stubbornness will translate in the teen-age years.

The sad thing is our journey is not over because 19-month-old Bode is on the cusp of potty training. And for those people who profess boys are more difficult to potty train than girls?

Please just shoot me now….

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