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Last night I spent a good 20 minutes of my life using an old toothbrush to dislodge the gigantic turd my son had shoved down the bath plughole. This was not long after I realised he’d been scooping up little nuggets of crap floating about in the bath with the water bottle I take to the gym.

That story has has no direct link to potty training. However, it does set the tone very well for the rest of this blog post. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Precious poo catcher

This Christmas just gone, we decided to go balls out. Literally. Nappies were just for night-time – potty training was officially underway. A few people have asked me for some advice on this subject recently, so thought I’d share my findings. Heads up, it ain’t pretty.

The decision to start potty training was totally lead by Rex. The big man had been asking more and more to have his nappy taken off and wanting to use the potty. Eamo and I both had some time off over Christmas, so it seemed like as good time as any to see how we got on.

The first few times we went out, I was super-nervous. A kid crapping their pants, in comparison to filling a nappy, is a whole new level of awful. But I knew we couldn’t stay in the comfort of our own home forever, so to make things a bit less stressful (for me as much as Rex) I invested in a little carry potty. Hands down, the best £25 I’ve ever spent (we got this one for anyone interested).

Rex is at a stage where he insists on doing everything himself, so when this little bag-like potty that he could carry around arrived, he was made up. Especially when he saw it was a cow. The kid is obsessed with them. For me, just knowing I have that little cow poo-catcher makes me so less anxious about going out. It’s saved us on numerous occasions when Rex has been caught short. Now we don’t go anywhere without it.

Number twos

Without wanting to sound smug or jinx it, we’re doing really well where wees are concerned. At the start we had a lot of accidents, with Rex telling us only after he’d started going that he needed a wee. But it wasn’t long before he figured it out. Poos, on the other hand, are a whole new ball game. “They’re always the thing to come last” so people keep telling me. Yeah, no (literal) shit.

One of the first times Rex needed a poo when we were sans nappies ended in him just doing it on the floor. A huge steaming turd right in the middle of the living room carpet. He looked utterly horrified afterwards, and I can’t say I blame him. To this day, I will never know how a human his size had stored so much waste. He was clearly upset by what had happened, so both Eamo and I acted like it was no big deal. Despite being both disgusted and, I won’t lie, a little in awe of its size, we carried on like there was nothing to just curling one out on the floor.

However cool we played it, I think it really bothered Rex. Either that or he’s just not ready as it seems we’re quite a way from him saying if he needs a poo. Instead he goes off somewhere quiet and just does it in his pants or on the floor. A lot of the time I notice and ask if he wants to sit on the potty/toilet. His answer is always no, and that he wants a nappy on.

I even stooped to new parenting lows recently in an attempt to get him to try, pretending how much fun it would be to have a poo on the cow potty and then carry it to the nearest toilet to flush it away. Unsurprisingly, he’s not having any of it. At the end of the day, I don’t want to make the act of crapping a big deal, so, for now, nappy on for poo time is what we’re going with.

Rogue poos

There are, however, times when I don’t notice or am too late. The one standout moment was recently when we went to a coffee shop with a play area. As I enjoyed my hot coffee, watching Rex from a distance, I noticed the tell-tale poo signs. You know the ones I mean, red eyes, puffed out cheeks, slightly weird smirk on their face. And so went over immediately. After a quiet chat about needing to change him, he waddled to the toilet with me.

It was here I made my first rookie mistake. I assumed the consistency of the turd lurking in his pants. Don’t ever assume my friends, it will always end badly. Thinking this would be the usual sticky poo, which would remain contained, instead I got goat-like pellets. As I pulled down his pants, said goat poos scattered across the toilet floor, heading in the direction of other cubicles.

As you can imagine, this was not an ideal situation. I now had a kid to clean up and keep away from the poo pellets, but also the issue of trying to catch the rest of them before anyone else found, or worse, stepped on them. There was no question that the rogue poos would have to wait while I cleaned Rex up. But then to get him to stay put while I hunted for them, I had to get him involved with a find (but absolutely do not touch) the poo. Not my finest mum hour, I know. But needs must, you know?

I’m not sure I’ve offered any valuable potty training advice here, sorry. You can be safe (or not) in the knowledge, however, that I have provided a very real insight to the world of trying to teach another human not to soil themselves. To sum up, potty training is shit. Literally. 🙂