Waiting it Out … the Potty Edition


Potty training reminds us as parents how little control we actually have.


Waiting is hard for everyone. Teaching our kids to wait is pretty much impossible as we have a hard time waiting as adults. We all know the phases of waiting when it comes to parenting. We wait for the positive pregnancy test. We wait nine months to meet our beautiful babies. We wait for every milestone while we watch other kids hit those milestones first. Waiting is hard when it comes to kids. One of the WORST waiting periods as a parent has been waiting for my son to go poop on the potty. I LOATHE potty training. Potty training has so far been the worst part of my seven years of being a parent, and I had two of my kids have open surgery.


a toddler boy standing in a bathroom doorway, surrounded by unspooled toilet paper, and holding a potty seat


My son is FOUR and will not poop on the potty. We have tried EVERYTHING. I have bought a potty seat, a potty chair that looks like a racecar, cool underwear, books— you name it, I’ve tried it. Do you want to know what every medical professional I talk to replies with when I come to them in dire peril? “Just wait.” WAIT? The kid has adult-sized poops in a pull-up. The stench coming from his drawers is offensive. Sometimes the underwear is so bad I just throw it away. I can’t wait anymore. I think that if there were some military school for potty training, it would make a killing. If you know of one of these schools, let me know, I will pay good money. 


Here’s the thing though, I am going to wait it out. There will still be bribery and congratulations as we inch closer to the finish line, but I just have to wait. I have to be patient. I have to show my son that I am patient with him because he will then learn patience as well. He was a terrible three-year-old and every day, my husband and I comment on how he is so much better than he used to be. We just had to wait it out with him. It is the same with his potty habits. We have to wait it out. The best piece of advice ever given to me as a parent was, “Don’t worry about it unless it will be something to worry about when they’re 16.” He will be pooping on the potty at 16. So hang in there, they will walk, they will say mama, and they will poop on the potty … eventually.


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