It’s been quite the slog through potty-training for my two and a half year old. We are now over 1 year since she first went potty in the toilet; that’s right, she mocked my wife and I as parents by using the ‘big girl potty’ over a year ago, only to regress immediately and give up on potty training forever (or so it currently seems). She played her parents like fools…well done Eliza. I’m reading into her actions a bit here, but here are the 9 reasons I believe my toddler is refusing potty-training…
- The Potty Library
When Eliza sits on her little toilet, she quickly gets antsy and immediately looks to flee. To distract her and keep her naked buns on the seat, we have several books in the bathroom. I have literally read to her for over an hour while watching her fail to actually use the bathroom. She’s figured the game out and I believe she now uses the potty as an excuse to read books (especially when stalling at bedtime).
- The Crocodile Death Rolls
These are the sideway spins and kicks of a toddler during a feisty diaper change. If a 30+ pound kid doesn’t want his or her diaper changed, good luck pinning the little monster down while they roll and spasm against getting changed. I think my daughter enjoys this motion too much, as she often employs this strategy even when she’s not upset. Her poor mother is no longer strong enough to change her when she decides to flail!
- The Vertical Poop
If there’s one thing I know my daughter loves, it’s having the ability to relieve herself standing up. We can see it a mile away: she’s laughing and playing wildly until she suddenly leans slightly forward, grabs a piece of furniture to brace, and fills her diaper in a flash. I believe the freedom that pooping standing up provides Eliza is too much for her to pass up. Why constrain yourself to the porcelain throne when the world can be your toilet?
- Mom’s Ugly Faces
This might be the only reason I can support my toddler not being potty-trained. What a 2+ year old produces in their diaper is not mild and certainly not pleasant, which produces a wide range of disgusted faces as my wife reacts to Eliza’s explosions. Eliza giggles wildly (as do I, as quietly as possible in the next room) as my wife reacts to the carnage with a barrage of horrified facial expressions and gagged sighs of disgust. Why pass these moments up by using the toilet?
- Baby Sister Jealousy
While it is definitely not fun having two girls in diapers simultaneously, I suspect Eliza might enjoy still getting treated as the baby in some ways. With sister Everly filling up nine dozen diapers a day, Eliza’s refusal to potty train keeps her bowel movements in our focus. Getting potty-trained might tip the attention scale too far in sister’s direction.
- Too Much Fun
One of the biggest reasons I believe Eliza refuses potty-training is that using the bathroom is nothing but an inconvenience when you’re zipping around the playground, jumping up and down on daddy’s chest, or playing one of ten thousand plastic instruments. She has too much fun to pause for 90 seconds and use the restroom. It’s much more practical for her to relieve herself on the fly whenever she’s busy raising mischief. Potty-training is a roadblock to an efficient playtime.
- False Alarms
Eliza loves the hype surrounding potty-training: mommy and daddy rushing her wildly to her seat, pleading incessantly for action, and promising the world (well…stickers and juice) for a positive result. She loves this routine WAY more than actually using the toilet. I have a feeling she sometimes thinks to herself “I’m bored, maybe I should pretend I need to go potty to watch mommy and daddy go nuts for a little while.”
- Diapers Galore
I don’t know how, but I’m convinced Eliza understands how many metric tons of diapers our house consumes in a single week. It’s almost like she thought we got off easy with the birth, the 415 check-up visits, and the weekly daycare bill; she’s going to milk these diapers until she bankrupts us. Perhaps she’s afraid we might actually spend money on ourselves or, worse, her little sister. Little does she know that I’m holding this potty-training con game against her; every dollar spent on a diaper from here on out will be subtracted from whatever help we were going to give her for a first car or college. Or so I tell myself. Maybe she’ll stay non-potty-trained long enough to get a job to pay for her diapers?
- Daddy Mastery
I’m wholly convinced the number one reason my daughter is fighting potty-training is because she knows her daddy wants her potty-trained. We had our fun when she was only one, but now the pieces on the board are being set, the troops are preparing for battle, and the groundwork is being laid for a two decade back and forth between my first born and myself. She realizes she possesses the strategic high ground and is pursuing an early victory in our Father-Daughter struggle. The moment I stop caring about her being potty-trained is the moment she finally relents. In the meantime, she’s going to push each and every button of Daddy’s…