M&Ms are so yesterday.

I think it’s official.  After four-and-a-half days of the worst form of torture a parent must endure until her 16-year-old comes home with a learner’s permit, I am potty trained. 

Yes, I said I. 

As long as I watch my daughter like a hawk and anticipate every bodily excrement, we are successfully using the potty.  She is not yet at the point where she will tell us that she needs to go, but it’s pretty obvious when she starts walking around in frantic circles with her knees glued together that it’s time to set her on the potty.  She is not necessarily a WILLING participant in these little jaunts to the potty, but she will eventually perform. 

Then this afternoon, I think we had a breakthrough.  I’ve actually discovered a potty training reward that is more effective
than M&Ms.  You’ll never guess what it is. 

Okay, so I’ll tell
you.  A shower.  Not just any shower, mind you — the public shower at
the swim club. 

Oh yes.  Just when I thought potty training couldn’t be any more
undignified, now I’ve not only become intimate with every public potty
at the swim club, I’ve also had the joy of taking not one, not two, but
THREE showers in a span of two hours in the dank and dark cement bathhouse that adjoins the swimming pool.

But.  I think I can say with confidence that the potty is no longer a source of fear and trepidation.  In the span of two hours, we went from
kicking and screaming and the use of bodily force to willingly and happily requesting the use of
the potty.  And not just the little Baby Bjorn potty chair that has
accompanied us everywhere for the past week — the formidable
adult-sized potty.

You see, on the first potty excursion, when I grabbed her slithering wet body from the pool and carried her, writhing and protesting, into the bathhouse and set her on the potty and bribed her with re-entry to the pool, and she miraculously released the copious amounts of chlorinated water that she had been drinking for the past hour, all over the potty and down her legs, I decided that I should wash her down in the adjoining shower before returning her to the pool with all the other unsuspecting patrons.  Which I did.

And she had so much fun turning in circles under the spritzing water from the shower nozzle that she begged to "do again".

So the next time we went running to the bathroom she came along willingly, and after producing her tee-tee in the potty, this time with less spewing and spraying, she asked, "Shower?"

And so delighted was I with her performance on the potty that I agreed to another shower.

And so delighted was SHE with the shower that less than 15 minutes later, she was actually REQUESTING to go to the potty.

Although I had my doubts as to the necessity of the third potty trip, I didn’t dare call her bluff, so I went along with it as any mother of a just-newly-potty-training child would do.  When we got to the potty, it was soon evident that there was no reason to be in the bathhouse except for a 2-year-old’s morbid fascination with the shower. 

And because I was so relieved that the worst of the potty training seems to be behind us, I gladly humored her with yet another shower before we gathered up our stuff and headed to the car, cutting the first pool trip of the season a little short. 

After we got home, it wasn’t long before I saw the tell-tale signs and plopped her little bottom on the potty.  Without any complaint or protest, she promptly produced her tinkle and proceeded to cheer for her accomplishment.

And that, my friends, is worth spending the better part of my day in a public bathhouse.

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25 Responses

  1. For me it was going to the mall. If they made it to the mall they could use the miniature potty in the family restroom and both boys think that it was the. coolest. potty. ever.

    I think the only time I go to the mall purposely is when I’m potty training.

    Congratulations! It’s such a freeing feeling.

  2. Congratulations. I hope she keeps up the good work. You have given me hope with my little one.

  3. Wow! I may have to try that! We are in the middle of potty training and this week is going to be it! I just know it!

  4. Why am I suddenly remembering an early Seinfeld episode involving George at the gym and there was a shower issue…

    Well, anyway, so glad it is working! She’s doing great–and is very clean.

  5. here via Blog365 megafeed…

    boyoboyoboy, I was ready to give you “what for” when I saw your headline in the RSS feed.

    Instead I found a really cute and entertaining read about something we haven’t dealt with in 35 years.

    I wonder if your approach would work with dogs?

  6. now then…after the use of the phrase “public bathhouse” watch how many freaks you get visiting your page from using that as their search string. giggling over here… d’oh!

  7. Yay! Didn’t I tell you that the pool was the best potty-training place?

    We just survived the first stomach bug (the #3 kind) after potty training. Even though it was torture taking her to the potty every 15 minutes, she was so good at telling me she needed to go. Well – after the horrid Chick-Fil-A experience the day before.


  8. WOOT! I know this has to be a HUGE milestone and a HUGE relief!
    Wonder if the shower at home will work too if needed?
    Never would have thought of using the shower for a reward!

  9. CONGRATULATIONS! I pray that your success continues. I am not sure if you have a big bath tub in your master bath, but if you do maybe that could replace the public shower. My kids loved the idea of the “big” tub. Regardless, whatever it takes I am sure you will find a way to stay on track. Have a glass of Pinot. You deserve it!

  10. YEAH!! I know those frantic potty call dances well as Zoe who has been trained for almost a year will still dance around and sit and wiggle as I drag her to the potty. Congrats to you for sticking it through and visiting those disgusting public showers that many times!!

  11. I’ve heard many many tales of potty training tricks – but that has to be a first!

  12. Hooray! I know you are not sad to be saying goodbye to this part of motherhood. I guess you won’t be needing the book you won on Friday!

  13. Ooohh…This story just reminds me of the WORST thing ever when trying to potty train. Both of my daughters HATED (were terrified really) of the public, auto-flush toilets. Because their little bodies were not heavy enough to register someone sitting on it, the toilets would sometimes flush unexpectedly. My youngest would scream and cry and hold it in for HOURS when we were out, claiming she didn’t have to go. She is still leary of them and she’s 5. I had to resort to bending over to hold my hand over the sensor and hope that it didn’t flush…not always a great place to be. I got peed on more than once because someone jumped off mid stream to avoid being flushed down the potty!

  14. OOOh God, you are to be given the Mom’s for Potty Training award after reading all of this. My daughter still leaves me little packages and tinkles around the house, but she does not protest any longer for her diaper. That’s some progress, I have to watch her more, it’s hard when I need to do stuff but we are taking it slowly. You keep up the good work, it seems to be paying off.

  15. Congrats! I’ve been on vacation for a week, so I have to catch up, but I had to say this sounds terrific, pruney fingers or not.

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