It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Potty Update

How did the Great Potty Adventure go, someone asked? A reasonable question. It’s All Potty, All The Time for a solid week, and then I drift off and leave you all hanging. Hardly nice, Mary. Tsk, tsk. I’m sure the suspense is keeping you up at nights.

So, the results:

One total potty success!!! Jazz is trained. Totally out of wake-time diapers!!! She knows when she needs to go, she takes herself to the potty, she sits herself down, she does her business, she pulls herself back together. She needs help only with the hygiene aspects.

THAT is trained.

One total potty not-yet!!! Rory is not trained. In fact, Rory finds the whole thing so anxiety-raising that we are dropping the whole subject for a few weeks again. He never really did understand what we were after, so his days were one accident after another… which, despite my calm and upbeat reassurances, he found distressing. It was the day he approached me, awash in weariness, his big brown eyes wide and his voice quivering, “Can I has my diaper back, please?” I decided that was it for Rory. Poor little guy. And really, a baby sister at home is probably enough stress and change for one small boy.

And Grace? Grace is a half-baked pottier. If you recall, I wondered if her extreme passivity would be a problem. And yes, yes it was. (I also thought she was the most likely to be trained. Ha! Called that wrong.) If she’s reminded every 20 minutes, she can stay dry all day. If she’s not reminded, or if reminders are spaced 30 minutes or more… she wets. Every time. She’s had at least two accidents a day since I dispensed with the timer last week.

So Grace is back in diapers, at least at my home. Her parents are keeping up with the pottying at home. Me, I don’t have that kind of patience. Besides, my day can be fragmented enough, what with the five toddlers charging around, I don’t need another every-20-minute disruption.

Okay, I admit: If I really wanted to, I could put up with every 20 minutes for… well, that’s just it. For how long? She’ll get trained, in the end. But there is no law that says I have to be ON HER, every twenty minutes, for weeks on end until she does get it. That’s nuts. Why not just relax through those weeks, and try again later?

In the end, see, you do a cost-benefit analysis — well, I sure do — and you determine — well, I sure did — that the effort and CONSTANT DILIGENCE required to keep her dry is far, far greater than the effort of changing two diapers a day. I mean, seriously? Every twenty minutes vs two diapers?

There is no contest, people. None.

In another month or six weeks, we’ll try again with both Rory and Grace. In the meantime?


Thanks to you, I only have FOUR children in diapers. (Yes, “only”. It’s all in your perspective.)


October 20, 2011 - Posted by | Grace, Jazz, potty tales, Rory


  1. The glass is half full with you- and the contents are champagne!

    I take that as an enormous compliment. It pleases me no end. Thank you!

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | October 20, 2011 | Reply

  2. My younger son was a half baked pottier for a long while. He could actually hold it 45 minutes usually, but if I got busy and forgot to take him, he wet. And didn’t care in the least. So, after probably 2 months of half baked pottying, we gave up. I waited several more months before trying again. More success the second time, but he still tended to get engrossed in play and not remember until almost too late.

    Do you know? I have a memory, though at this point it feels more like a memory of a memory, of doing just that. I was four years old, and had been playing some wonderful game in the bush next to our home, when I realized I’d put it off a bit tooooo late. However, the thing that sears it in my memory is the humiliation. I remember being utterly and totally humiliated to have to walk home wet and messy. My mother recalls me wetting myself when I became engrossed in drawing on a large chalkboard we had. (I remember that chalkboard!) So now I’m wondering if I was a half-baked pottier, too! 🙂 (And look at me now! A fully-functioning, completely potty-trained member of the human race!!!)

    Comment by Katherine | October 20, 2011 | Reply

  3. I still have to remind my 7 year old. I’ll see her playing in the toyroom while potty-wiggling and tell her to go to the bathroom. She won’t wet, but she’ll wait until the absolute last second, because she’s just too busy. She wasn’t trained until she was 3, and that’s when we said “enough” and took her diapers away and made her start cleaning herself up. Turns out the annoyance ot taking care of herself overcame her laziness.

    Comment by ktjrdn | October 20, 2011 | Reply

  4. As a mom of a reluctant potty trainer who therefore has three in diapers, I imagine your “only” four in diapers is much like the “only” two in diapers I’m looking forward to — it’s all a matter of perspective (or proportion?). There are days I swear my one-year-olds will be trained before my three-year-old, but it is what it is.

    Comment by Tairgire | October 20, 2011 | Reply

  5. […] As you recall, at the end of our Great Potty Adventure Week, we had one trained, one not trained, and one half-baked trained. […]

    Pingback by A new one for Mary « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | October 24, 2011 | Reply

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