How potty training nearly broke me.

I am a teacher of teenagers. I have been for a decade. I have been called a "fat b*itch", I have had chairs chucked at me, tables flipped, I have broken up fights with gangs of vicious, hair pulling, girls. Yet I can truly say the most distressing and horrible thing ever? Was when I tried to potty train my girl last year. Yep. It very nearly totally and utterly broke me. In fact it has took me well over a year to recover enough to write this. And my aim? Is that you lovely potty training parents learn from the way I royally f*cked it all up.

You have to make sure the timing is right. I can promise you now. The dead of winter, with a tiny new born baby and a frankly rabid two year old? Is not the right time. Nope. No way. OK, OK this may seem common sense to you. But in my hormone crazed mind? This seemed the PERFECT time to try and potty train my child. I was an idiot. I'm not expert but I think probably summer, when they can crap all over your garden seems a much more sensible time.

Please note. This is not my daughter. This is Barbie.

Tell other people to "sod off"
"In my day children were potty trained by one!" Yes love and in your day people smoked 40 fags a day and drank gin whilst nine months preggers. It's no-ones business when you potty train your child. You don't tend to see any grown men walking around in nappies do you, so I imagine everyone gets the hang of it at some time. I caved into the social pressures and just tried to do it too early. That was daft. I wasn't ready and my girl at just two? Certainly wasn't. You have my permission to tell them to do one. Send any one who moans my way. And I shall have a stern word (and that word will be "nob").

There is much discussion over bribes. I understand they can be seen as bad. But me? Love em. Yep. I am an educator of children and how the hell do you think we get them to do anything? I teach RE! To teens! No-one is going to want to do a whole project on Jesus unless there is some sort of incentive (bar religious people, and I am sure they would do a lovely project). We used charts - there are some fab ones online. Obvs we did the Disney Princess ones and I hit poundland for some reward stickers. I will say this. I did kinda lose track of what I was giving stickers for, which was a bit crap and confused everyone. I very clearly remember screaming at my poor husband "IT'S TWO FOR A POO TWO! DON'T GIVE HER TWO FOR A WEE! SHE ONLY GETS TWO FOR A WEE IF SHE WIPES HER BUM". Maybe have a chat with your partner and come up with a fool proof plan.

If at first you don't succeed..forget it for a bit
I spent months living in a house of actual crap. As I said it was winter. There was poo everywhere. I had a brand new tiny baby. I couldn't even face washing her pooey knickers so I (don't judge me) gasp chucked them! Yep if they were too poo filled they went in the bin. How bad is that? With hindsight I should have just forgot it for a bit. Stopped being too stubborn. In the grand scheme of my girls life (where she will live to be 103 after a successful career as an international popstar/scientist) two extra months in nappies? Nothing.

The 'pants' drawer looking a little thin on pants. Some may have been (were) chucked.

Potty Party!
Now this is where my tale takes a turn for the better. I went round to my lovely friend's house with another chum who also had two year old potty training toddlers (big up yourself Mel and Rach!). And we sat in the garden. The weather was warmer. We had three pottys out. They ran around naked and played in the paddling pool and you know what? They all went on the pottys. It seemed to have this magic effect. I did take the best piccy, but I am sure my future teenage girl does not want her bare arse on the internet. It was really brilliant and ever since then? She has been potty trained. Ta daaaaa!

So there we go. My tale of woe. I am sure most of you out there had a much better crack at it than me. I am sure most of you got it done very, very quickly and used your actual common sense. If you are reading this please heed my warnings and don't get yourself all wound up about it. It will happen. But like everything in the crazy world of toddlers. They are in charge. So let them do it in their own time...oh and buy LOTS of spare pants. I won't judge you if you chuck away the odd pair.

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