It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Potty Training, Day 3

Okay, so maybe Grace isn’t so much with the program as I thought…

Two accident-free days for Grace encouraged me to raise the bar a bit. We’d go a full half-hour between mandatory pee breaks. Since that might be just a smidge longer than she can actually go, it will give her an opportunity to take herself to the potty. (Because, as you recall, one of my concerns is that Grace’s extreme passivity will have her relying too much on reminders. AUTONOMY is what we’re after here!)

AND, as a reward for being such a BIG GIRL, she would wear the panties her mother had sent.

Because we all know how HIGHLY MOTIVATING Big Girls Panties are!!!

Well, maybe. They love to wear them. Does that prevent them from letting fly while wearing them? Do they hesitate in the slightest to gross them up? Um, no. Not so’s I’ve noticed. Still! Big girl panties are an important part of the process. And Grace’s mother sent a whole whack of big girl panties.

Day three was the day.

We make much of them. She shows them off to all her friends. (Side note: Is there anything cuter than a toddler hauling up on dress or shirt, rounded belly bulging, so that their friends can gather round and admire the underwear? Not much, I say. Hee.) She skips around the house, pausing at intervals to pull the hem of her skirt to her chin so she can take in the wonders of the panties.

And then she pees in them. Standing in the middle of the living room, not two feet from the potty. The potty which she does not even glance at as the pee splashes around her feet.

First accident in two days.

Well, boo.

But that’s okay! She has LOTS more big girl panties! And the next pair? It has BUTTERFLIES on it. That is even MORE EXCITING than the FLOWERS on the last pair. Whee!!!

And twenty minutes later, she poos on the butterflies.

Well, damn.

A third pair (teddybears) get soaked, not that I found that out right away. Jazz had just done a pee. We were all celebrating her accomplishment, and Jazz had been given her Smartie. Grace trots up, hand out for her Smartie.

“Well, no, lovie. Jazz gets a Smartie because she did a pee. You didn’t do a pee.”

“Yes, I did!”

“No, love, you didn’t. Jazz did.” I indicate the potty with its centimetre of pale yellow liquid. “Jazz had a pee, so Jazz gets a Smartie. When you do a pee, you will get one, too.”

“I did a pee!” She smiles and turns, pointing. “I did a pee onna couch!!!”

The couch? Yes, indeed. There on the couch is a dismayingly large dark splotch. She has indeed peed on the couch. Moreover, she is very proud. She peed on the couch, and she is proud. Seems Grace has decided that as long as the pee was conscious and volitional, THAT COUNTS FOR A SMARTIE! And her teddybear panties? Soaked. SOAKED.

Well, damn again. (In fact, “damn” isn’t nearly strong enough for this creative new twist in the proceedings, but that’s as strong as I get on this blog.) The hell with the Big Girl Panties. They are not helping us in our endeavor, that’s clear. Back to bare. And…

for the next two hours, Grace performs flawlessly. In the potty, every time.

Huh. So I put the panties back on, and…

she soaks ’em.

Yup. In Grace’s mind, panties = diapers. Nuts. That’s an annoying hiccup.

On the bright side, so long as she’s bare, she’s very reliable. Though I normally have them back in pants by the end of the first week, we’ll try another few days to consolidate things for Grace, see if that does the trick.

But… Smarties for peeing on the couch? Yeesh…

October 6, 2011 - Posted by | Grace, potty tales | , , , ,


  1. I’m laughing, but with sympathy. Panties = diapers? That *is* a new wrinkle. And with winter coming, just letting her be naked isn’t really going to work.

    Certainly not in my drafty old house! Brr.

    Good for Jazz, though. How’s Rory making out?

    Rory is finding the whole thing quite stressful, poor mite. That’ll probably be the topic of tomorrow’s post.

    Comment by hodgepodge | October 6, 2011 | Reply

  2. “I did a pee onna couch!” HAHAHA! I’m only laughing because of the cuteness of it. Cleaning a peed-on couch though? No thanks! I’m considering putting giant plastic tarps all over the furniture while we potty train our little guy!

    That’s why the rule is they don’t go on the furniture when they’re bare, but of course, they’re used to being able to, and they forget. Plastic tarps are an idea, or those zip-on clear vinyl seat covers some peoples’ grandmothers used to use. Remember those??

    Comment by Abby | October 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Remember those? My in-laws still use them!

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh, sorry. Actually, I guess I really need some of those! Could you find out where they get theirs??

      Comment by Darcy's Mom | October 7, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hahaha. Well the deal was pee and get a smartie. LOL.

    You are right with going back to bare. It may be a while before she can disassociate from having fabric against her bits and not peeing. Pavlov and the bell. 🙂 Heck, I went to the local library so much as a kid to go to the bathroom that to this day I can’t leave a library without going because the urge is so strong.

    Comment by eliminationcommunication | October 6, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s a good point – I simply cannot come in from being out of the house without going straight to the bathroom, no matter how long it’s been since I went last, because as a child I point-blank refused to use the disgusting school toilets so I had to sprint into the house with my legs clamped.

      Comment by May | October 6, 2011 | Reply

  4. I have to laugh. One of the stories my family used to tell me was about how, the Christmas before my 3rd birthday, I’d received new underpants. Combine this with the fact that I was wearing a dress and 80 of my closest relatives got to see the flowers.

    And they probably all thought it was the CUTEST DAMNED THING!!! Well, except for your 9-year-old boy cousins, who’d just think you were stooopid. 😛

    Comment by Kimi | October 6, 2011 | Reply

  5. Oh, the “pee on the couch” is just killing me! And I had a group of kids once where part of the morning routine was showing each other what was on their underwear.

    Well, they make little kid underwear so INTERESTING!!! Who can blame them? I hope you got pictures!

    Comment by Sophie | October 6, 2011 | Reply

  6. argh! My son did that. (“forgot” he was “trained” as soon as something was touching his bottom) He went bare at home for weeeeeeks. He’s only three and a bit and already I can’t remember how we got our way out of that one.

    Comment by lisa | October 7, 2011 | Reply

  7. Maybe she likes to pee on the panties because she knows she’ll get a change, with another pretty pattern?

    Comment by IfByYes | October 9, 2011 | Reply

  8. Hahaha… I love this. I am in the middle of typing up a post about a friend’s charge… who is almost four and just pees his pants for absolutely no reason, and it seems to happen only when I am around… which is a little worrying. The other day he peed FOUR times… even though he was asked repeatedly if he needed to go… we have put it down to laziness. No smarties for him! Lazy little so and so.

    Elle xo

    Comment by Elle | October 11, 2011 | Reply

  9. I’m occasionally babysitting a just-turned-three-year-old who’s in the throes of potty training and isn’t all that interested. I don’t have my own children yet, but along the lines of things I never thought I’d hear myself say:

    “No, dear, just because *I* went peepee does not mean that *you* get a toy.”

    Comment by SpearmintKitten | October 12, 2011 | Reply

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