Potty training: Take 2

Published Friday, 27 June 2014
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My friend was just 22 when she first told me she wanted to get sterilized. At the time I said, "no way, are ye mad!".

There was no mention of it again until she was 25, when she reiterated it once again. I still said she was mad. The doctors eventually agreed to the procedure when she was 28 and my opinion remained unchanged. Two kids later, I now know who the sane one was!

We've been potty training our two-year old and rather headstrong daughter over the past few weeks. We'd already had one disastrous attempt six months ago and the advice in the books was to wait until they're closer to two and half and it will be a breeze (yeah right). Day one of the optimal time for training begins, yet still by the end of it I was losing the will to live.
Pre children I would have thought 'what's the big deal with teaching a child to use the toilet?' Of course it seems so simple and it should be, in theory. You, the adult, help them along, show them what to do, go over it a few times, let them have a go and hey, Bob's your uncle!

Let me summarize; (I do hope you're not eating lunch) everything including me gets covered in pee and poo and there's still 23 hours left in the day! Take heart though by day two she managed to use the potty once, yelling at the top of her voice "mummy mummy I've done a big beautiful poo". It was big, but beautiful? I now know this incident was pure coincidence, a total fluke, but at the time I'd convinced myself we'd cracked it and I SWEAR YOU'D HAVE THOUGHT I'D JUST WON THE EUROMILLIONS.

Simple things make us happy.

My son got the hang of number two's quicker than the eternally wet pant phrase but with Kate it is totally the opposite. I have now thrown out more pairs of pants in the last two weeks than they have made in a very productive pant making factory in some far corner of the world. At the beginning of week three I had a thought; to remove all underwear and put on a skirt in the hope that it would prompt some deep and primal instinct that when the urge came she would go straight to the potty/toilet. And that is exactly what happened for the first two times but not since. We'll get there.

The thing is I always thought parents were exaggerating when they said their life was just filled with poo. Why do mums and dads always go on about nappy changes, toilet training and wetting the bed? How naïve of me, my life is so inherently filled with the stuff that I don't bat an eyelid if, I myself am on the loo doing a number two and my darling hubby walks in.

This used to be anathema but it really has taken all the shame and embarrassment out of the subject.

You see every cloud really does have a shi... silver lining.

© UTV News
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6 Comments
Nuala in Belfast wrote (53 days ago):
Oh the joys of the loo!! Very honest Sonia! Try the stickers and smiley face rewards charts!
marie in galway wrote (53 days ago):
Very honest description of the challenge of pottytraining! It takes me back to the many frustrating days spent trying to lure my now 5 yr son from behind the couch to clean him up! I used to sit on the bathroom floor and read stories to him in the hope that the elusive poo would enter the bowl!
Anne McTigue in Galway wrote (53 days ago):
Hey Sonia, At least the weather is v suitable for the potty job, had forgotten the joys of potty training, hoping the car journeys would be dry ones and v quick turn offs with the car for toilet emergencies, sailed through Blaithin's toilet training day and night at 1.5 years, not quite as good with Diarmuid more patience needed and much the same with Oisin. My floor was constantly getting dettol washes:-)
Ann Marie Connolly in Belfast wrote (54 days ago):
This is a very honest account of the potty training saga and I'm sure many parents will agree with it. At least you can have a laugh about it!
sharron wilks in Belfast wrote (59 days ago):
hi sonia STILL as gorgeous as ever lol i'm going the dreaded potty training as well, My youngest, Who is almost 4 is only now potty trained during the day, but still wears pull ups at night, whereas my oldest child sarah when she was a baby she as potty trained fully by the age of 2, they're all different but just persevere my friend xx
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Sonia Butterworth
Sonia Butterworth

Sonia is a broadcast journalist and writer. She began freelancing for UTV in December 2012 having worked for several TV and Radio outlets.

She lives in Belfast with her two children, Liam and Kate, and her husband Keith.

In the (little) spare time she has she likes to write and just for good measure plays guitar and sings (although these days her audience tends to be age 4 and under).

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