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.