Potty Training Update: It’s Not A Hat Anymore

Amy: Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?
Me:   I can see the coffee at the end of my mug. [shrugs shoulders]

Though the great potty training struggle continues, things are certainly looking brighter these days. Piper has been using “mama’s potty” a lot more this week. On Thursday she actually used it twice, and sat on it a third time trying. In fact, she wanted to use the potty so bad, she cried when she couldn’t go. I tried to tell her it was all right. She yelled back, “It’s not all right!” It means a lot for her to complete the task, and to see me being so proud of her. Afterward, I always tell her I will write to mama to let her know Piper used the potty.

She always asks in her little voice, “… and mama will be proud of me?”

I just say, “Honey, of course she will,” and smile.

Yesterday she used the potty first thing in the morning, before she even got dressed. The “potty chart” Amy made is working now. Piper likes getting her stickers and she always insists on placing them on the chart herself. If she gets enough stars in a row, she gets a prize from her “princess box.” She did so good yesterday, she even advanced to another level. As Austin Powers would say, she learned who #2 works for. She was so happy and proud, when we all went to the store together later that day, she even did a little dance while sitting in the cart.


For a time, I lived in San Francisco with jazz musicians the Braxton Brothers. We once had a talk about what life would be like if we ever became successful touring musicians. They talked about their friends who played in the band Tony! Toni! Tone!, and how they had to play the same song every night. As anyone would, they got tired of playing and hearing their hit, “Feels Good.” Even doing something you love can become tedious if you repeat it too much. I adore my daughter and love spending time with her more than anything, but it simply is time for a change. I don’t have any expectations of life being any easier, just different. I have been doing this for the better part of three and-a-half years. That is longer than any one job I have ever had.


We have a strange dynamic in the house. Piper and I spend just about every waking moment together. My wife spends as much time with her as she can, but working full-time+ keeps her very busy. There’s something about being away, and then having that homecoming moment. I see Piper get so excited when Amy comes home. Every day she cries out, “Mommies home!” I wish I could have that moment—except I’m always here, always with her. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But since we don’t spend any time apart, what does that mean for us?

But there are more than selfish reasons behind my desire for a change. Piper really needs to start school ASAP. The structure would do her well, and she needs to socialize more with other kids her age. She also needs recess, playtime on jungle gyms, and messy art projects. I know it’s detrimental to her development for her to remain at home any longer. A change would be the best thing for us all. And we’re so close, we just have a little more work to do.

How long did potty training take you and your child? Did it happen all in one day, as some attest? Or did it take a span of time?


8 thoughts on “Potty Training Update: It’s Not A Hat Anymore

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  1. Not attempting potty training yet (baby being only 5 months old!) but I come from a large family and can remember my younger brothers being trained. All 3 were very different in how quickly they adapted. The youngest (I won’t name and shame!!) was the most difficult, I guess being the “baby” of the family he was comfortable in that role… anyway, it took him a loooong time to get it sorted, after what seemed like a heck of a lot of accidents and hair-pulling by my mum (her own, not his). Even as he started school aged 5 he was only just out of nappies. I think my mum thought it would be easy because it was with the rest of us. ANYWAY, I think what I’m trying to say is, persevere – it sounds like you’re doing absolutely the right things, and one day it will just click for Piper.

    She is just gorgeous, btw! 🙂


    1. Thank you. And thanks for words of encouragement. It’s a long haul, at least for us, and it’s easy to get down about it. Nice to know we might be on the right track.


  2. We haven’t started yet, but we were planning on waiting until she was 3 until we begin. We are planning for another child, and last thing we want to do is have her think we’re rushing her out of diapers (and our bed) for the new baby. But it sounds like a great idea to have a potty chart, think I will use one with my daughter too.


    1. I’ve read that it’s best to wait until the child is ready. There are various signs of readiness, like if it even matters to the child that their diaper is wet or dirty. Piper wasn’t ready for a long, long time. And the chart works wonders once they understand what it is for. The only problem is the motivation behind the chart is that there is some kind of prize involved, and you need to keep up with the prizes.


  3. I first sat my daughter on the potty when she was 9 months old while I was using the bathroom just for the hell of it and she actually went. I got so excited that she just kept doing it. She still wore diapers until she was about 18 months old and then I got her pull-ups and training underwear and it took her a few months of walking around just in her underwear and having some accidents before she got the hang of it. She’s two and a half now and pretty much fully potty trained. She has the occasional accident if she gets wrapped up in something and can’t make it to the potty on time, but if I put her on the potty before we leave the house, I am confident that she won’t have an accident or she will tell me she needs to use the potty. I’m sure Piper will have it down in no time!


  4. I so empathize with your statement “I wish I could have that moment – except I’m always here, always with her.” I’m a SAHM to three, and all but my 3 month old believe that Daddy painted the sky. I was ok when my daughter transitioned, I almost wanted her to be a Daddys girl. But my son, he surprised me. Always a mommas boy, he transitioned to Daddy-land when his little brother made the apperance into this world. I wish just for one second, they would give me the same excitement he gets daily.

    As far as potty training, we are in a hump right now. My DD was doing wonderful, but has not hit a wall in remembering to go. Also beig strong-willed, she doesn’t want to go when I aak her, but when it is her idea. But one day it will all click. That’s what happened for us. Until this week, she had maybe one accident a week. My mantra as of late “this too shall pass”. Hope it gets better quick! 🙂


    1. “This too shall pass.” Good mantra. I will put that one in heavy rotation around here. But yes, this will pass, and one day we will be complaining that they all grow up too fast.


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