The Two-Year-Seven-Step Toilet Training Methodology

There’s a lot of advice out there on toilet training your child, from the “Three Day Potty Training Method” to “Elimination Communication” and everything in between. Personally I believe it is really up to each individual family how you choose to toilet train your child, and as such thought I would introduce you to the method I’ve devised while toilet training my two oldest children: The Two Year Seven Step Toilet Training Methodology. It’s not for everyone and is certainly more appropriate for sadists or borderline alcoholics but nonetheless some of you may find it helpful.


Let me take you through it.


Step One: Buy a potty for your 17 month old. Your child is definitely advanced and thus, is ready. Calmly explain the new object to your child: “This is a potty. This is where we go to make wee wee and poo poo now because we are big kids.” Encourage your child to use the potty and become familiar with it, but don’t force him – you are not that kind of parent. You are “new age” and your child is SUPER smart, she will totally get it in her own time.


Step Two: It’s probably not going to be working yet, so take interfering loving family members’ advice and start offering your child bribes. You know, a candy for a number one and two candies for a number two. If your child is especially cunning, he or she may comply with this a couple of times to a) get candy and b) lull you into a false sense of security. As you already know, your child is smart. Which means they actually don’t give a shit about your candy as they know they will get it at their sister’s birthday party on the weekend and it is totally not worth giving up the convenience of shitting in their pants.


Step Three: Get firm. Who do you think you are pretending to be new age? Please remember that YOU and YOUR BROTHER were reading Proust by this age and did not even leave skid marks on your undies. There is clearly something WRONG with your child. Start drumming this home to them: “You are a BIG BOY now. BIG BOYS use the potty. BABIES wear nappies. Are you a BABY?” Your child will likely respond by gleefully smiling and shouting “Goo goo gaga!” for the rest of the day. Stay firm – you can do this.


Step Four: Take your child out for the day without a nappy. The only way she is going to get this is if she learns by experience! She will need to piss and shit herself at least a few times to really “get” it and decide to use the potty. Be sure to take her to a café so she can wee all over the floor in front of dozens of unwitting patrons who definitely hate you. Ideally take her to a museum, so she can really learn a lesson by weeing on a special exhibit. If you really want to show your child who’s boss, let her take a poo in her undies while on a jumping castle – hopefully it will seep out of her underwear and all over the jumping castle.


Step Five: Buy wine. Lots of wine. Preferably red wine but white wine or rose will also do the trick. Open the bottle at 5pm and finish it by 9pm, so you get a full 8 hours sleep before starting new a day of poo filled undies and wet puddles all over the floor fresh as a daisy.


Step 6: Feigned indifference and reverse psychology. “I’m going to put the potty away in the bathroom now. I really don’t think you’re a big enough boy to use it. We can get it out again when you’re a big enough boy. Mummy doesn’t mind.” Your child definitely knows this is bullshit and will show you this by starting to rip their nappy off when there is poo in it and spread their feces about the house. Don’t worry! You’re almost there.


Step 7: Some time around their 3rd birthday, give up. Genuinely, completely stop trying. Scream at your husband “I don’t care if he’s shitting himself on his wedding day I am DONE!”. Throw out all undies and resign yourself to being one of those mothers who have to buy the XXXL 25kg+ nappies – who actually gives a #@!*? At this point, your child will calmly tell you that they don’t want to wear nappies anymore. They are a big kid now. And off they will take themselves to the toilet, while you sit twitching in the corner.


It’s not a conventional method but in my limited control group of two, it’s 100% effective. Feel free to share it with your friends.

Z x

Progress Report

It’s been such a long time between posts that I had a whole draft written with updates on the whole family, extended family and cousins half removed, but then I realised that none of it mattered that much or was relevant or made sense and decided to give an update on Ruby and her hip dysplasia because that might actually be helpful to someone! Phew, here goes.


Basically Ruby is doing awesome! Her gross motor skills are coming along to the point that she is pretty irritable most of the time lately – she really just wants to be moving around like a normal bub but isn’t coordinated enough to work that out in the harness.

She is sitting up and swiveling about and can get from her tummy back to sitting with no problems. She is waving and talking and has two little teeth. I’m really enjoying her funny personality coming through, and realising she is actually quite a determined little soul in her own quiet way.


Sure, she is still very cruisy and easy but we are seeing glimpses of the little toddler that she will become.


ANYWAY the BIG news with Ruby is that we are 10 weeks in with the Pavlik Harness and have been told she will definitely have it removed at 12 weeks. So two weeks to go! Based purely on physical examination she is able to achieve full abduction (basically the starfish position), which a truly displaced hip wouldn’t be able to manage. We are still waiting on an ultrasound and an X-ray, but regardless of that will be getting the harness off and reassessing once she is walking.


I know that this won’t be the “end” of the hip journey – it will need constant monitoring and we still have that “worst case scenario” that she will need further treatment but her surgeon thinks that is unlikely. We’re just crossing our fingers and doing as we are told. We’ve been really diligent with the harness and the OT and hopefully that will pay off. Ruby’s case was always classed as moderate, which gives me hope too.

Honestly, I just feel lucky. I’ve been in hospital and doctors waiting rooms non stop for the last few months and I’ve seen such a range of cases, so many worse than Ruby’s. I’ve seen a little boy covered head to toe in burns after playing with a flammable blanket near a heater. I’ve seen kids in wheelchairs who are unable to communicate. I’ve seen so many parents who have every excuse to be worn out and despondent but manage to keep a smile on their face. Being in the orthopaedic clinic we have also seen LOTS of cheeky little monkeys with broken bones, and am just waiting until the day I’m inevitably there with Walter the wild.

I’ve also met so many people who’ve shared their own hip dysplasia stories with me. The Mum from school who still walks with a limp as hers was never corrected. The (very, very fit) Mum at the bus stop who spent the first six months of her life in a double nappy. The visiting Grandfather who explained that the region he is from in France is very well known for producing babies with hip dysplasia and was all too familiar with Ruby’s harness. I’ve also met lots of people who have no idea about hip dysplasia (don’t worry, I was one of them too) and have grown only a little weary of explaining the condition. I do hope I would have had more tact than to assume someone’s baby had broken both her legs but you never know.

As far as Ruby’s concerned, she’s happy and doesn’t know any different. And I like to think she already has a pretty interesting life story, for someone so young. A huge shout out to the doctors, nurses and OT’s at The Duchess of Kent in Hong Kong, who have all been pretty fabulous.

We are all so excited to see what’s next for Ruby once the harness is removed. Wish us luck!