My notes from days 2 and 3 read more like scenes from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead than the musings of a dad trying to potty train his kid. If you’re not familiar with the play, it’s an absurdist, existential tragicomedy in which the two main characters are unable to make any choices that will actually have an impact on their lives. Wikipedia does a much better job explaining it than my 10th grade AP English teacher, but the point is at some point on Saturday or Sunday, Lindsay and I found ourselves in an inescapable purgatory filled with Pixar character underpants, M&Ms, the toddler version of the Wolf of Wall Street, and the clock from 24 noticeably ticking away somewhere in the upper right hand corner of our brains.
I heard a noise that was either Jake or a toy or both fall out of bed. Normally, the hard and fast rule is, “if there’s no whine, he’s fine,” but in this case, there was potty training to be done, so I got up to check on him. His sheets, astonishingly were wet, even though the book didn’t warn me of this. So while Lindsay changed the sheets, Jake and I munched M&M’s while he drowsily sat on the potty. To both of our surprise, what I thought was a leaky toilet turned out to be ol’ Jakey Boy taking a late night leak. We had a good laugh about some of my college roommates, put our underpants back on (I find it’s easier for him to relax if I’m also naked), said bye bye to our pee, and headed back to bed. And then, after 3 more consecutive trips to the bathroom just for M&Ms (he thinks he’s so smart) and a second helping of prayers (the stalling knows no limits) we were truly back to bed.
It has become apparent that our child is addicted to M&Ms and we’re only enabling this addiction. An intervention is clearly in order but unaligned with the spirit of “3 days of positivity,” so we’re forced to carry on as his tolerance increases on each trip to the potty.
To date, the only trend we’ve identified is that when the boy is engaged in an activity or locked in our steely gaze, he doesn’t ruin underpants. There is hope that our minds are still stronger than his although the gap is lessening. We whip up a batch of home-made Play Dough (I threw that in there to show how wholesome we are) which kills about 2 hours and then completely mail in the rest of the morning with the iPad which helps soften his brain and make it more pliable for potty training. And after the obligatory naptime poop in his underpants, we all pass out for 2 hours even though the house is falling apart and there’s crap to do (pun intended).
Essentially the afternoon consisted of Jake staring at the iPad and us, literally yelling, “Tell us if you have to go potty,” because he is already selectively hearing at a 60-year-old level. There was a nice little potty pee (that’s what we call it now because our creativity is dead like our souls) after the nap…but by now we know that when he’s sleepy he can pee…but only on the backend…not on the front end…because on the front end he’s too preoccupied fighting sleep by throwing his body into walls and off beds to think about moving his bowels. So we lean on technology and it saves the lives of some innocent underpants and gives us a few moments to do important things like shower and feed the dogs and call loved ones to tell them we’re okay.
I just assume he peed in the bathtub because it doesn’t even look like he’s trying at bedtime and with only one half-hearted false alarm, he’s off to sleep.
Find out what happens next – Click to read Dad Sucks at Potty Training – Day 3
Or go back to where it how it all started – Click to read Dad Sucks at Potty Training – Day 1