Why I Could Not Potty Train My Four-Year-Old

Posted: October 5, 2015

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A witty and refreshingly honest write-up about a mother’s difficulty in potty training her individualistic four-year-old daughter.

Yes, I know, what is going through you mind as you read the title of my post. You invariably wear your ‘judgmental hat’ and sneer at me, tagging me as one of those inefficient moms who botch up the whole motherhood thing. But have a heart and listen to my tale or saga as I should put it.

It all began (I mean the poopy affair) when she was one and a half years old ( see, I started the process so early!) I did all that was expected of me as the mom of a toddler. I bought a nice potty seat as told by ‘them’. I was informed by many of ‘them’ that the use of a potty chair would make her habituated to it and that it will be cumbersome to carry it everywhere. A potty seat on the other hand could be fixed on the normal western toilet seats (the tale is getting shittier with each word). I did what I was told to do by people at large. I succeeded in making her sit on the potty seat but nothing beyond it (I hope you know what I mean). The dictum, “try, try until you succeed” too did not lead to any sort of success. May be it was not meant for toddlers, I thought in hindsight. I succumbed to the pressure (apt choice of words, isn’t it?) and bought a fancy potty chair, with music and all. Other than occasionally being used for the minor job, it was not put to much use, to my dismay.

It all began (I mean the poopy affair) when she was one and a half years old. See? I started the process so early! I did all that was expected of me as the mom of a toddler. I bought a nice potty seat as told by ‘them’.

I still did not lose hope. “Every child is different,” they told me. I believed them. Time flew by, slowly but steadily. She grew and my expertise in “poop cleaning” grew as well. Finally she was old enough to sit on normal toilets. We made her sit. We sat on the washroom floor with her. We watched crappy videos wherein kids were doing what? Yes you are right. But, no joy for us.

And the best part was that my little girl could speak fluently by the time she was two. She knew she was giving us a hard time. But, she triumphed. Eventually, we stopped trying. Cleaning poop became a part and parcel of our lives. Yes, as simple as that. We learned to live with it (yes, I know I am being too philosophical about it). But, our girl held her front. No amount of threatening, cajoling, persuading, worked for her.

A few days ago, she turned four. We have officially abandoned our ‘Mission Potty Training.’ We have reached one conclusion, that the prime reason why we failed at her potty training is that she just does not want to do it there!

Some days ago, she turned four. We have officially abandoned our ‘Mission Potty Training.’ We have reached one conclusion, that the prime reason why we failed at her potty training is that she just does not want to do it there!

So, this post is a dedication to all those parents who are struggling at this chore like us (I hope there are many out there, or else I would be crestfallen.)

As Emily Dickinson said “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all”.  I hope one day she will “Poo Poo in the Pot.” Until then, may God give us the strength to do “you know what!”

Image via Shutterstock.

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