Posted by: Jamie Stamm | September 4, 2008

Potty Training Chronicles: Episode 3

It’s been well over a month since I last wrote about Anthony’s foray into potty training and for good reason – there has been absolutely no progress. We’re encouraging him to try to pee when he wakes up each morning and before bath time each night, and the other day, I even tossed a few Cheerios in the bowl and told him to try to sink them, but he has zero interest. In fact, he seems to have regressed a bit; now he won’t even tell me when he needs his pull-up changed. He’d rather walk around in training pants so full that they practically sag to his knees.

I am getting desperate – and not because I feel like Anthony needs to be use the potty yet (although an iota of curiosity would be nice). Yes, I am desperate because I am selfish; after more than five years of changing diapers, I’m ready to be finished. So on Tuesday morning, while Anthony was at his first day of preschool, I rummaged through the dollar bins at Target, choosing books, games and other assorted junk for a potty prize box.

I started talking up the prize concept on the way home from school, and when we reached the house and I discovered Anthony’s pull-up was dry, I quickly directed him to the bathroom, with a pit stop in his room to entice him with the box. He immediately reached for an Elmo baseball book, but I pulled it away.

“Not unless you use the potty,” I said.

Anthony ran to the bathroom, pulled his stepstool in front of the toilet and climbed on top. I lifted the lid and helped him with his shorts and pull-up, and he assumed the position.

Not five seconds later, he stepped down.

“I need cereal,” he said.

So I raced to the kitchen and grabbed some Cheerios. Anthony first put them in his mouth, then – remembering why he had asked for the cereal – tossed the little O’s into the potty. He leaned forward, concentrated hard for a second or two and then, for what seemed like the hundredth time, said, “Pee-pee won’t come out, Mommy. Pee-pee won’t come out.”

“Well, good boy for trying,” I said, also for the hundredth time.

But then …

“Where’s my prize?”

What? Oh no …

“Anthony, you have to actually pee in the potty to get a prize,” I said.

“But I want my Elmo book,” he wailed.

“But you didn’t pee.”

“I want my booook!”

Needless to say, there have been no potty attempts since.

Good grief.



  1. Try potty rewards. It worked great for our son .He love pushing the audio push button hearing he is a Big Boy and opening a door to find a chocolate surprise. He really became involved. He was peeing and pooping in his potty within a week. I know every child is different, but have a look and see if this would work for you.

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