Saturday, January 17, 2009


With regards to potty training, I'm back to the original plan.

Which is to say I'm back to having no plan whatsoever.

Six months ago I was happy to have no plan, comfortable with my decision to just let Graham start using the potty whenever he damn well felt like it and perhaps even a little proud of my ability to remain unconcerned about something that seemed to get other parents in a lather.

Today having no plan, no inclination and no energy to potty train feels like an epic failure.

About a month and a half ago, when Rob and I were seriously considering stealing south with Graham for a solid week of rest and relaxation at some dreamy resort that economic turmoil had suddenly placed in our price range, I realized that many of the kids clubs at said dreamy resorts didn't take kids who were still in diapers.

Suddenly potty training seemed like a good idea and I resolved that my more than two weeks off work over Christmas would be spent convincing Graham that, despite his assertions to the contrary, monsters do not live in the potty.

The first few days were fairly promising: he was proudly wearing his big boy underwear for a few hours a day and I felt confident that we would soon be kissing diapers goodbye.

Then Rob's mom got sick and it all seemed too much. The pleading, the cajoling, the resultant tears and tantrums: it all seemed too, too much. The day I burst into tears when he refused to sit on the potty was the day I knew I was done.

And so I gave up, I just gave up.

I'm back at work now and we're still waiting for tests and results of tests on my mother-in-law and quite frankly, I barely have the energy to make it through the day, never mind potty train.

Graham's still in diapers, exactly like he was a month and a half ago, but it doesn't feel the same as it did a month and a half ago. I don't feel comfortable or satisfied with my laissez-faire attitude about it: I won't be turning this situation into a charming and humorous post about how he might wear diapers to his prom.

My failure to follow through just feels like a failure, as does the increased television and junk food that Graham is now enjoying and I simply don't seem to have the strength to resist.

And all of this...this shitty parenting - because really, what else can you call it? - just feels like proof that I'm not coping well with this curve ball that life has thrown us.

Apparently all I needed was an excuse to embrace my lazy side. Apparently I'm not as capable a parent, or a person, as I once imagined.

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Michelle said...

The only thing that is apparent is how hard you're being on yourself. It's OK to take a break! I hear ya on the TV (believe me, while H was sick all week, there was a LOT more TV than I'm normally comfortable with). Give yourself a bit of a break, do the best you can and please try not to beat yourself up. As for "potty training", I don't believe it actually works. When he's ready, he'll do it. In the meantime, offer. If he doesn't want to go on the potty, don't make a big deal out of it. He'll do it when he's ready and everything else is just stress... which you don't need.
(Of course, my daughter is still in diapers too so I might just bee talking out my you-know-what ;) )

Chantal said...

You are doing the right thing. Taking it easy on yourself and on Graham. You are not failing. Not in the least. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Not a fail. We're dealing with that here, too. I am comforted by the fact that I've never met a kindergartner in diapers. I got a magazine in the mail today that has an "article" on outsourcing potty training. Bottom line? I'm all for it. I am so not the "sit on your potty and no more diapers for you!" mom.

Hang in there.

AutoSysGene said...

Are you doing the best that you can? If your answer is yes, then that's all you can do.

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and sometimes a major change. When that happens you just put one foot in front of the other and walk on through it.

You ARE doing the best you can...and that's all that counts.

And btw, Hope wasn't trained until the day she turned 4.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is a subject about which I have very strong opinions--all my kids save one were potty-trained between 22 and 28 months--and it was not difficult at all. The one that I waited until 3 to start with (having had 2 kids close together and just really not having noticed I should be potty-training him) was a nightmare.

The diaper industry is selling us a big old bill of goods on this one and it's making things harder on us. This is one area where our mothers definitely knew best.

You're not the first person this happened to and you're not the last--wait until you are feeling stronger and then make a committment to do it and do not waver. It will be hard because a 3 year old realizes their power in a way a 2 year old does not. But you can do it--and you'll be so happy when you have.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have a three year old who still wears diapers at night. And I think as with all things (despite the last comment) kids do this on their own time. Don't stress.

I have had many friends tell me that despite all they did - the only thing that eventually they just said - "mom i don't need these anymore". Oh and girls apparently are earlier than boys. I have two boys. Lucky me.

erin said...

As long as Graham knows that he is loved and feels secure in that, you are doing just fine! Just give yourself some time to adjust to everything and life will even out again.

Anonymous said...

You do what you can when life throws you a curve ball. You can only do what you can do. Take it easy. Things will eventually settle down and you can pick up where you left off. Don't feel bad about it. It happens to all of us.

Mary Lynn said...

Oh jeez, Kelly, don't be hard on yourself. You've had a lot to deal with. It takes energy to get into the whole potty training business and if you don't feel you have the energy right now then that's okay. There's no hard-coded timetable that has to be followed.

Take care, eh?

Brittany said...

You are only human! That's all there is to it. You can't do it all. Stop beating yourself up!

It will work out! :) HUGS!

Shauna said...

Oh, my friend, if this makes you a failure than I don't know what I am. Treehouse is my saving grace and I refuse to feel guilty about it right now.

Potty training will come. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Wendy said...

You my dear are NOT a failure. Not even close. Have you taken a moment lately and looked at that wonderful, delightful, bright little boy you have there? You've done a great job. You're doing a great job. And allowing extra tv, junk foods and not pushing the potty training? So not a big deal. In fact, I'd say it's exactly the right thing right now. You've got lots going on, lots of stress. If a little extra tv and some quicky foods are what helps you get through the day, so be it. And potty training? It will come when he's ready. And when HE's ready, it will happen quick. Wait until things are less stressful, heck wait until summer and let him run naked in the yard and pee down his leg. That's what I did with Maddy. She figured it out quick and my floors thanked me.
((hugs)) to you. Cut yourself a break. Honestly. We all do what we have to do when life knocks us on our arse.

Anonymous said...

We are struggling too, with our just turned three year old. I was getting really frustrated a couple of months ago, and I let it go. Or I was going to start yelling at him like all the time.
I attended some training run by Alyson Schaefer this week (she does some parenting show on Rogers) and read her website afterwards, and according to her I did the right thing. It's a power struggle.
But I don't know when he's actually going to be properly potty trained. I mean, this kid is starting JK in September! Am I going to be the only parent with a kid still in pull ups then?!

flutter said...

no, you're not as capable.

You are more capable.

Anonymous said...

Two years ago I was in exactly the same place- except for us it was the birth of our second child that turned the world upside down.

I felt like such a failure for not being able to manage it all better.

But now? Looking back, I realize it was just a few months in a life time of parenting. My three year old may have watched too much TV then, but this summer she watched almost none.

My only regret now is that I was so hard on myself.

Gretchen said...

Okay, YOU? Are a wonderful mommy to Graham. Or at least that's what I gather since you live about a zillion miles away from me. But I think.

And the potty training? Worst. Part. Of. Parenting. I would breastfeed till he's 15 if it meant I never had to potty train. Well, maybe 10.

But, when you're ready, try to motivate him with what he wants. Don't use what other people tell you. Use what Graham wants more than anything. Like, keep dry pants? Get to take a nap with mommy in her bed. Or get to go on a walk with just Daddy. Or get to stay up as late as you want. Or get to have ice cream. Whatever.

For my kids, one was motivated by "prizes" that got replaced to the bag every night, like nail polish, a new video, a new puzzle, etc. Every potty = get a prize out of the bag, all to be returned at the end of the day. More successes on the potty = more prizes. My second kid just wanted candy. My third kid wanted stickers and lots of hugs and excitement. Every kid is different, so don't expect a "system" to work for Graham just because it worked for someone on your street, or someone who wrote a book, or someone on a blog. Whatever. Bottom line, you'll know when you've reached the point of no turning back, a.k.a. "no diaper territory". Good Luck!!!!

JCK said...

You are a fantastic mom and you have got to give yourself a break. Right now. As far as potty training goes, it will happen when he is ready and when he is ready it is so...easy. My son was 3 years 2 months and my daughter was 2 1/2. It really varies and there is no "right" answer.

Sending hugs. The word failure has been kicked out of the blogosphere, ya here?

Mr Lady said...

It's not shitty parenting, and it's not laziness. You don't live on a prairie in the middle of a wilderness for a reason. It's realistic parenting, baby. You can be the rock star mom all you want, and when you just need a minute, you can thank baby Jesus in heaven for Nickelodeon.

You are being WAY too hard on yourself. Me, with a few more kiddos than you, I'm sighing right now because yeah. Cheetos saved my life. It's true. (So did nintendo; don't tell anyone.:) )

Just don't set yourself up to fail, sugar. These things are here for a reason, the cartoons and the happy meals. Use them when you need them, and have no regrets. Let yourself be a human. You'll be glad you did later, I promise.

RiverPoet said...

Sweetie, timing is everything, and it just isn't the right time. I don't think you're lazy or a failure; I think you're an overwhelmed human being right now.

Believe it or not, Graham really won't wear diapers under his tux at the prom. He'll get it.

I wish you well - D

a kelly said...

I don't like a world where the DMD has lost confidence ....but I understand how we can get to that place all too well. Don't give up hope. Even when the world around you is not how you want it to be. You are a great mom.

Meg said...

Seems to me like you're just being hard on yourself. He won't wear diapers to his prom, he will eventually learn. One day he'll just do it. I know that right now it seems like he won't. My daughter was 3 1/2 before she finally stopped being a stubborn ass and just did it.

My son...well..two weeks before his third birthday, he just "got it". One day. Children are all so different.

It's no shitty parenting, it's just life.

I have a multitude of tips on potty training that I could throw at you but I won't. Feel free to email and ask if you want though.

Chin'll all be alright.

Whitenoise said...

Priorities. Your MIL's health first, work next, potty-training, junk food, etc. last. We're human and can only juggle so many balls at one time. The last items on that list may very well take care of themselves.

Jess said...

Sweetie, I hear you.

I had EPIC FAIL with training both my kids - my daughter took over a YEAR (Not to make you disheartened, but to say I'VE BEEN THERE)
You know who finally toilet-trained my kids? BOTH of 'em? Day care. I'm not sure if it was the herd mentality of everyone else using the potty, or the teachers reminding my kids every fifteen minutes, but by GOD, IT WORKED.

Honestly, it seems like SUCH A HUGE THING when you're in it. Like the breast-feeding debacle, and then the 'Will they EVER sleep through the night?' - the next enormo mind-suck - the TOILET.

Be gentle with yourself. And you might try asking someone else to take the reins on this - just for a little while.

ewe are here said...

I can tell what we did, the day after my oldest boy turned 3 last year.

We bought him a bike with trainers, something he desperately wanted. I hung it on the wall out of reach the day after he turned 3 and told him that we were going to be using big boy pants from here on out (except at night), and that the bike would be his if he had 5 dry/clean days in a row. Great first day, bad second day, great third day, bad fourth day... and then it clicked. Day 10, he got the bike. Almost no accidents since.

You might want to seriously consider the next 'big thing' that he really wants as a prize... like a bike or scooter... after a short break from the current situation of course... but once you go for it, don't alter course and go back no matter what (unless there's a medical reason). By all accounts, I think that's the mistake most parents make (ourselves included; we did try a few times while he was 2; he was too young to keep it up and lost interest).

Good luck with whatever method you decide to go with.

Melisa Wells said...

NOT a fail. My older one was FOUR before completely potty-trained.

Don't worry; Graham will not go to college in diapers. :)

The nice thing about this is, the older he is, the more "immediate" he will become potty trained once he decides it's the right thing to do.

Go easy on yourself! You're a great Mom!

Tabitha said...

Hi there ~ just popped over to say thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a kind comment! I hope that you will come on over again soon!
I think that where potty training is concerned ~ it is one of those things that you just can't force ~ you have to be ready and so does your son!
You sound like a wonderful Mummy and I am sure you will get there!
I will be back over later to have a better read through your blog ~ I love it!!
Take care ~ love and big hugs Tabitha XXX

CC said...

Awww hugs! Be easy on yourself. It will happen. It really will.

Rachel said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my new blog home!
Don't beat yourself up about the potty training thing. It sounds like a cliche, but seriously, when he's ready he'll just do it, and you'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. My daughter just decided one day that she was done with diapers, and never wore them again.
As long as his doctor gives him a clean bill of health (no bladder infections, constipation, etc) let him do his thing! I have also heard that boys tend to take longer than girls. I'll let you know in another year or so when I start trying to train my son!
My mom tried to rush my sister, and she ended up needing enemas becasue she was so upset about being put on the toilet that she would hold it for days. I know you'd never do that, just throwing it out there as an example of how far kids will go to prove they're not ready.

Anonymous said...

This is such a contentious subject. Lots of opinions, thoughts, ideas, etc. I agree with Jenn in that it's all about the diaper companies.

In fact, the whole "wait until they are ready" attitude was made popular by a pediatrician that was promoted by a major diaper manufacturer. You see where that went, right?

Okay, first, the others have all said it - it's not your fault, so try not to be too hard on yourself.

Second, some practical advice. First, the disclaimer - I know nothing about potty training, really. My oldest son was diaper free in the day just before 2.5, and free at night when he turned 3. My youngest is now just over 2 years 3 months, and we're well on our way to daytime diaper free.

What did it for us was Naked Time. While training, whenever they were home, they would be naked from the waist down. Didn't take too long for them to realize, and be able to go to the toilet. My older one just asked for underwear after a few naked weeks, my little one hasn't been as straightforward - he's great when naked, but we're still working on the underwear thing.

As well, realized, if you are using disposable diapers, they are designed so that the child never feels wet. If they never actually feel it, cognitively, it's difficult to make the ocnnection between feeling wet and peeing. I know it sounds strange, but it's true.

Good luck. Don't be too hard on yourself, and don't let on to him that it bothers you too much. Oh, and if he has an accident, just smile and tell him that next time he'll do better. They pick up on it, and, at 3, they are VERY much working on control!

Sorry to be so long!

Angella said...

Oh, sweetie. Don't be so hard on yourself!

My boys weren't trained until they were three. Once they decided they were ready they just stopped using diapers, and had no accidents.

You have bigger things to worry about, so this can wait. Take care of you and yours for now, and the training will happen at the right time.

Love, said...

Hon, I'm sorry you're having such a rough time right now. But honestly, potty training may NOT be the best idea if you're already overly stressed... Especially if he isn't interested in it.

That said, boys take longer. WAY longer, in my limited experience (Justin FINALLY finished around 4 and Evan was around 3.5. And I am not even counting bedtime dry...)

This is the one time that you should DEFINITELY be giving yourself a break. Take care of your mother in law. Take care of Rob. Potty training will still be there when you have the time and desire for it.

Zoeyjane said...

I agree with a lot of the other comments - he will be ready to do it in his own time, and when he is, it will be a piece of cake. The books, the articles, they all say to step back for a couple of weeks, then try again, and so on.

You're by no means doing anything that another mom frustrated with potty training's done! What about the thought of someone else, like the Hubs, taking the reigns?

SciFi Dad said...

Finding life difficult isn't failing, at least not in my opinion.

My only unsolicited assvice on potty training? Don't start it until you're ready to be consistent. We started, then one day had her in a pull-up at the mall (she was in panties at home at this point, accident-free) and told her to pee in it (rather than try and get her to a public washroom), and she reverted to diapers for another few months before we gave it another shot. Just be sure you're ready to jump in with both feet.

Kyla said...

Don't beat yourself up over it. It really isn't a big deal. He'll do it, you know he will. Potty training, truly, is not as important as the rest of the things currently on your plate. Cut yourself a bit of slack.

JMBMOMMY said...

Oh, sweet soul. No, no. Don't be so hard on yourself. It took one solid year for me to potty train my middle monkey who is a boy! It took 4 weeks with my girl...but boys are sooo different. Every child is different. So take heart. Step back. Rest. It will be okay. And anytime you need some advice....ask away.

Pregnantly Plump said...

you are definitely not a failure! We're only just starting the potty training experience and I've heard nothing but stories about how hard it is to potty train boys.
I hope the test results for your mother in law come back soon and that they are good news.

Pregnantly Plump said...

you are definitely not a failure! We're only just starting the potty training experience and I've heard nothing but stories about how hard it is to potty train boys.
I hope the test results for your mother in law come back soon and that they are good news.

Unknown said...

You can't really control when Graham starts using the potty, short of implementing some harsh regime that neither of you are going to like. He'll get there, I promise. I thought mine never would, and then, at 3 yrs on the dot, after more than 6 months of back and forth, she just did, and we haven't looked back since. No pull-ups, even at night.

I'm not telling you this to sound smug; I'm telling you this because it had absolutely nothing to do with me. I had no hand in potty training my kid, and like mine, yours will do it exactly when he's ready.

And hey, it's super easy to go a day without junk food. Do that and feel like the star you are again.

Laski said...

I'm sure someone said this, but because I am desperate to get my own thoughts down before I forget them, I can't go back and read all the brilliant comments.

I am CERTAIN that with all the awesome things you will do as a parent, all your genius parenting decisions, your profound parenting wisdom, this will soon be a distant memory.

I mean, it is potty training. Seriously, he's on his way to being an easy going, lovable, understanding and brilliant kid! With a great mom (I've read the posts, seen/read the evidence). I'm thinking TV and a little junk food and Disney imprinted diapers won't do a thing to undermine the utter love and devotion you have for him.

Oh, and BTW, I've never, ever, ever seen a kid wearing a diaper to his prom. Or his graduation. Or his wedding . . . so, you'll always have that :)

InTheFastLane said...

It is hard to not take things like this personally. But, as people have mentioned, it only works when the kids are ready. I had one that was super easy. One that was REALLY hard. And one that was in the middle. And I was the same parent with all three. Hang in there, you have a lot going on right now.

kittenpie said...

My feeling is, if it's not working right now, back off a bit rather than make it a big power struggle which no one wins.

That goes double if there are other stresses at the same time - all of you can only take so much. he'll get there. meanwhile, read the books about it now and then and offer on occasion, leave the potty out so he gets used to it just being around without being a bone of contention, and he may just get interested some day with the pressure off, especially if he has friends who do it. When he does, be thrilled, and he may not do it again for a while, but it's a start.

you're doing fine. (And everyone says boys take longer, so there's that, too.)

Clare said...

Wow!! You have gotten so many great comments, I am not even sure what to say:) I just wanted to tell you that you are doing a wonderful job, and don't be too hard on yourself. The hoidays seems like a hard time to start too, because of all of the craziness. Bradley just turned two, he sits on the potty every night before bath, but has NEVER done anything on it. We have an open family room and the other night he came out to talk to me in the family from upstairs and peed right in the hallway. hilarious, but also kind of sad. he totally doesn't get it, and doesn't seem to care. in the mean time i will just keep cleaning up yucky diapers and know that it will end sometime...hugs to you! Clare

Badness Jones said...

Don't force it hon, that isn't shitty parenting, if he isn't ready, he isn't ready, but one day he will be. I encouraged and cajoled my daughter to sit on the potty for a whole summer, and I cleaned up an awful lot of poopy big-girl underwear. Then one day she announced, "I'm a big girl, mummy. I don't need diapees anymore. I'm wearing underwear to school." (Preschool!) I bit my fingernails the whole day at work, but that was it, she was trained. But she still wears pull-ups at night, and she's just turned 5, but she's never been dry in the morning, and she screams bloody murder if we try to get her up in the night to pee, and it's just not a fight I'm willing to have. Graham will get there too, and worrying about when is normal, but if the potty is there, he'll eventually use it. You're a fabulous mom, stop beating yourself up!

Janice @ Mom On The Run said...

One day he'll say - no more diapers mama, and he won't look back. I'm convinced it has absolutely nothing to do with how much or how little effort we put into potty training. When he's ready, he'll be ready.

PS - you absolutely are not a failure!

Gwyneth Paltrow said...

Potty Training book saved my Sanity!!
Men’s Health Magazine (Sept. issue) recommends Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro by Teri Crane. My husband picked us up a copy after reading the article. IT REALLY WORKS!!

Everyone is talking about throwing a "potty party" to potty train a child. I was so desperate; I was willing to do anything. Her book outlines 10 themed parties. What kid doesn't love to play and pretend? All my mommy friends have successfully potty trained their kids with her book too.

Honestly, when I first learned of this book, I thought NO WAY! Maybe this would work on a little girl, but NOT a BOSSY, 2-1/2 year old BOY. NO WAY! Guess what? It REALLY WORKED!!! Teri Crane SAVED MY SANITY!!! Her book was easy to read, funny and extremely helpful. I can't thank Teri enough. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to EVERY parent. It will save you much grief and frustration. Potty training shouldn't be difficult, we as parents make it difficult because we don't know what to do. Teri teaches you. Buy the book, it's the best money you will ever spend

Most amazingly, I had some questions, so I called the author, and she CALLED ME BACK!!

Brandie said...

Potty Training..oh..I must say..we did that during the summer with the first one and with Luke I am not sure when ..ugh..but I have faith in you :) he will do it and you will smile and say "FINALLY"..we tried positive candy etc..and did not wear pull ups..:)

Karen MEG said...

Kelly, do not think for a minute that you're a failure. Shitty parenting? No way! You're a wonderful mom, do not ever forget that.

There is stress in the family right now; I'm sure Graham senses it; it just may not be the right time for him, as it is another change in his life. It's something he has control over and he doesn't want to give it up. He just turned 3. Seriously, he will not be in diapers once he's in school.

I was lucky with my boy ... my Mom somehow used some ancient Chinese secret and he was fully toilet trained by 2. Little G finally got it a couple of days after she turned 3 ... while I've been home with her. Talk about the pressure!!! My mom was on my back a LOT.

Or rather, G finally agreed to it... she'd known how for a really long time. But it was when she was ready and willing.

Sending good thoughts and lots of hugs your way for good news about your mother in law.

Sass said...

Potty training isn't just about the child being ready. It's also about the parent having the time and headspace to deal with the inevitable refusals and accidents.

Sounds like it was a good idea to take a break from it all.

Best wishes for your mother in law. Keep having fun.

By the way, I was cursing myself for taking the side off Peaches' cot last night. I thought of you, Graham and the cot full of toys and thought - 'she's got the right idea'.

Sass said...

Had to chuckle at Gwyneth Paltrow's comment. With a name like that, who wouldn't return her calls.

krissy said...

Oh dear. You are being all to hard on yourself here.

My daughter was very hard to potty train until I finally took her out of the pull ups and put her in underwear, awaiting the accidents to occur. She never had an accident in her underwear. Even in her sleep.

Don't worry. He will be potty trained before you know it and then you can rejoice by throwing the diapers out the window. And I do understand how stress in your life has added to your potty woes. I lost my father in law a few months back and I have not been able to maintain our "once working" schedule yet. And when you have a child in 5th grade with mounds of homework a night, things get very stressful. Uggh.

Unknown said...

Oh hon, please don't beat yourself up about this. I'm not gonna sugar coat it, potty training is hard. AND coupled with the fact that the WHOLE family is dealing with your MIL's illness only makes it harder I'm sure.

I was in a similar place with potty training last year at this time. And I think you are right to take a break from it. He WILL do it eventually and you ARE NOT a failure. You're just a mom, dealing with a lot and doing the best you can at this time.


Anonymous said...

This is not shitty parenting. This is parenting in the face of a lot of stress and heartache. We get through things as best we can. Please don't use your valuable energy beating yourself up over this.

I'm thinking of you & your family.

Beck said...

Toilet training is pretty much horrible. It really, really is.
My only advice would be to switch him to cloth diapers - they're REALLY uncomfortable when they're wet, so he'll have more of an incentive to get dry faster. Reminding him that school starts next year, that he can't wear diapers there and that he wants to be there with all of the big kids might help, too.
But when did your husband and his siblings train? If they were later, he might just have an inherited immature bladder. Believe it or not, he WILL train eventually.

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

It's funny how the mean age for potty training keeps getting older, and the developmental norms are following suit. When I was a baby, a woman would be deemed by some as a bad mother if her child wasn't toilet trained by 2 years or younger. Now there are plenty of 3 year olds who aren't independent to the potty.

My feeling is that if toilet training is stressful for the parent, the child is probably too young. He probably won't go to college in diapers, and if he does there's probably something else going on besides just parenting, right?

Woman in a Window said...

Oh dear. You've just a dip in the road to parenting. Sometimes there are simply things that are more important than fruit and underwear. Best to your mother-in-law. That's what's important.

(I took mine to the library and let them have a book rack beside the potty. They were reading and crapping at once. Beautiful, it was.)

Stomper Girl said...

Cut yourself a break Diva! We all have times when we resort to shitty parenting and IT"S OKAY! You are a good parent I can tell from the thought and love that comes through on your blog, so don't sweat it, cut yourself a break and when you've got the energy give the kid an M&M every time he uses it (maybe 4 M&Ms for poo, that was my value system!) and never give him one at any other time. Well that worked for me anyway!

A Crafty Mom said...

OMG, Kelly, I agree with the other commenters, don't be so hard on yourself. No one can be a star parent every minute of every day. We have ups and downs and it's hard. Life is hard, and there will be other curve balls. We just do what we have to to survive. We go through difficult periods, and my kids will eat more junk food, watch more TV, fall into bad habits, but then we always come out of it and get back on track.

You will, too. It's inevitable. You're a fantastic mother, it's clear as day in your writing. He won't be in kindergarten in diapers, trust me. And no one will ever look back and even remember what month and what day he was suddenly potty trained. You'll look back and remember the fun times you had, and even the difficult times you had - and you'll remember how much strength and love you got from Graham when your mother-in-law was sick.

So go be lazy for a while, that's life. You're still a good mother :-)

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! Lots of kids regress on their own - the stress of other things in life right now makes it completely acceptable to let go a bit, too. He'll get there. One day, you'll be in a store and he'll see those Lightening McQueen underpants (or insert popular character of the moment *here*) and something will just CLICK.

Till then, relax. You have enough on your mind that's worthy of real worry!

Anonymous said...

this is a reflection on your potty training abilities, not your parenting abilities.

Corey~living and loving said...

frist off....HUGS! I know that nothing I say will change your feelings of failure. You just need to feel poorly about this for awhile, and that's okay.

I haven't read all the comments (cause wow, doggies, you got a lot), but I will say I was in the wait until she is ready camp, and proud of it. She was 38 months when she decided and just trained herself. no muss. Just the way I like it.

I will wish you peace with whatever happens. You are a great mom!

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh sweetie, you can only do what you can do. Give yourself a break, you need it.
I am praying for you guys and your mom in law.
And you do not want to fight with him about the toilet, that is setting you both up for months of frustration. Leave it for a bit, let both of you take a breather and then try again. None of my boys were trained until after their 3rd birthdays. And then it was quick and easy. I refused to spend months cajoling a kid to use the toilet, especially once I knew that it could be done in a couple of days.
My second was reluctant, but was fascinated with the tiny toilets in the family bathroom at the mall. So I put him in underwear and took him to the mall for the day. Two days in a row. He had no choice but to use the toilet because I didn't bring any diapers. I didn't bug him about it, but we made numerous trips there and by the end of those 2 days he was trained. Done except for at night. Thank goodness!
When he is ready, it will go by quickly.
You are an amazing mom and I hope you can show yourself some grace and allow yourself to be human:)

iheartchocolate said...

My Madison is 3. She STILL is not trained. It is defeat after defeat..she seems great, and then she goes backwards. She just started a new pre-school, even though they require kids to be fully trained, we are just keeping our fingers crossed that she won't have an accident while there. It is never really an accident though, it is fairly intentional. She refuses to sit on the potty for number 2, don't know why! We bought a brand new pink potty and she has started having less accidents in her panties and even did number 2 in the potty this morning! Maybe you can influence his desire to learn by getting him a cool potty and keeping it with you in whichever room you are in. We were having issues with her wetting her pants a lot during the day because it was too much trouble to tell us she had to go and wait for us to open a baby gate for her to get to the bathroom! This is easier for her and she seems to really like the one we got. Good luck. None of us are failures, our kids really seem to catch on at such varied big deal. Hug to ya.

Jaina said...

::hugs:: You're in my prayers. You will get through this.