Sunday, March 23, 2014

Knee Deep in Potty Training

“Poop regression”...I never anticipated googling those words when we started potty training (or ever, really). Then again, I never thought I’d be writing a blog called The Tao of Poop either. Hell, I wasn’t even sure I’d ever make it to motherhood, but I digress. What I really want to talk about is how useless expert advice on the internet is in general.

When I google “poop regression”, I have very specific needs around its sudden appearance in my life. I want to know why my daughter has decided to start pooping in her pants again after a six months stretch of using the potty, and I want a child expert to tell me how to fix the situation.


I mean, Claire’s not revealing any truths. I have NO CLUE what’s going on in that diabolical little head of hers. And I'm desperate. I practically had a ritual burning of the Diaper Genie when (I thought) it was time to get rid of it. I was just about ready to add an "ed" to train as opposed to an "ing". Now, we have swiftly veered off course.

Google, I'm looking for a roadmap!

My search query brings up a plethora of information on the subject. Seems like a good start. Yet, website after website pretty much tells me the same thing. None of the advice is helpful, despite it’s authoritative tone or air of commiseration.

I get LOTS of reassurance that I’m not alone and that my problem is common. Great. They might as well say “put that into your pipe and smoke it” for all this touchy-feely empathy helps me actually solve my problem.

Then, the standard line about why poop regression happens just pisses me off or makes me more confused...

"Perhaps, your child wasn’t 'truly' potty trained to begin with."

"What?" I want to yell at the computer, “You don’t know me! How dare you judge me! It’s been six months! Six months, dammit!...So, ok, calm down; you're yelling at a website," I say to myself. "Keep reading. If it isn’t that, how about..."

"There’s likely been a big change in your child’s life that’s caused the sudden regression."

Now, I just look at my daughter like she’s the Sphinx. "What has happened to her?? Is she ok??" I think, desperately, "Speak child, speak!!!" 

I finally get to the solutions that the experts have to offer, which are always just plain common sense, e.g. not helpful....

"Wait it out, be kind and gentle, get her on the potty at regular intervals."

"C'mon, can't you do better than that?! I’m looking for something that I can hang my hat on, expert people! I could've figure that out on my own!" I implore to the computer screen.

But it isn’t the experts’ fault. Really, I'm just mad at myself. I'm mad that I had a fight with a computer. I'm mad because I should have known that I would have been better off praying to the porcelain gods than looking for any wisdom on the internet.

And The Tao of Poop does know better. The Tao of Poop knows that my daughter is her own person, and that any designs I have on being her puppet master are limited, at best. There’s a lot about Claire that I will never understand and that I need to just roll with. For some reason, my daughter seems to like to throw a monkey wrench in things. C'est la vie!

It's a bitter pill to swallow, so I go on a futile and fruitless search for answers to impossible questions.

In the meantime, here we are, again…waiting it out…knee deep in...

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Photo Source: Manish Bansal This photo has been altered, and it's use does not suggest that the licenser endorses me, it's use or this blog. License

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  1. Oh kids are always throwing spanners in the works, just when we think we've got it all worked out! Good luck with poop xx

  2. Oh I wish it got easier. I truly do. But you are right these darn kids with their hidden secrets. Sometimes I think they do it just to mess with us. Oh you thought you could tell grandma that I am trained? Take that!!! And sometimes I think they just regress for no reason at all. Hang in there

  3. UGH. If it's any consolation, Tucker's regression led to final (I hope, knock on wood, throw salt over shoulder) success. We also did the Big Bribe - a huge lego airplane thing that we put on top of the fridge. He tried to climb and reach it almost daily and each time he wanted it, we'd say "You want that? You get it when you poop in the potty." It worked (knock on wood, etc).
    Hang in there, mama. This, too, shall pass (hhahahhaha get it??? like pass? ok maybe not that funny). But really. She WILL get it, I promise.

  4. Oh Lordy I feel your pain. I read somewhere that when this happens (and if it keeps happening) you can try to make the child take responsibility for the mess... i.e. encourage them to get to the bathroom themselves with the poop in their pants, take off their own clothes and try to clean themselves up. Obviously the younger the child the harder this is. Both of mine were horrified when they pooped themselves so it didn't happen often but on the occasion it did I encouraged and helped them to clean themselves up. Usually followed by a quick hose down in the shower if we were at home. My son once watched a film half naked as he fouled himself mid-way through the viewing, I didn't have spare clothes and it seemed a shame to punish my daughter by yanking her out of the cinema. I also carried a "My Carry Potty" ( with me EVERYWHERE for two years. My kids pooped in the supermarket aisle in this thing, gross I know but better than a puddle or the alternative. It being Britain fellows customer just tried to avoid eye contact with the nursing mother whose older child was sh*tting next to the canned goods... It gets easier x

  5. We've got four kids, and the first three potty trained like nobody's business, so when #4 came along, I knew it was going to be a piece of cake. Nuh uh. Not even close to cake. Though cake did make him poop (sometimes in his pants). ;)

    Thankfully, and it will, this too shall pass. :) hahaha, pun definitely NOT intended.

  6. I kid you not, my girl still had accidents in her pants until first grade. Just go with the flow girl. I promise it will ebb and flow (sorry about that pun) and at some point, underwear will be clean and perhaps you will not have to wipe any butts. I can't promise you on that one- still wiping my 8 year old son's butt, so there's that. ;)

  7. Here is a thought from a fellow "geriatric parent" of now a 7 year old - this too shall pass. But perhaps it's worth to consider "poop prizes"? They did a trick in our household - luckily, on the first try :)

  8. I do not miss those days! I feel your pain and am sending you all the love in my heart! (I'd send patience...but I have none.) It will get better, I promise :)

  9. Isn't it the most annoying thing ever? Rey did this for a spell after being fully potty trained for about six months. Thankfully it was only pee and not poop. She mastered the poop thing perfectly.
    Stick with it mama .. it will find it's way and be over soon!
    Hugs :)

    I know it doesn't make you want another one anytime soon huh? LOL


  10. Just shared on G+ again because people need to read this!

  11. I don’t normally comment on articles, but I have an experience I’d

    like to share that will hopefully help others in a similar position as

    myself. I know how it feels to buy and try all these different things.

    It can get really annoying! We recently started to potty train my

    daughter (Emily) any

    time my husband and I tried to "potty train" my daughter it seemed

    like nothing was working! I did A LOT (let me tell you) lol of

    searching and found this site

    called which allowed me to potty train my daughter

    quickly and calmly. As it turns out, me and my husband were not using

    the correct techniques. But I can now happily say that I no longer

    worry about her, she is now fully potty trained. I have even

    recommended it to family members and friends. If anyone is in a

    similar position, I recommend using PottyTraining101.

  12. Just swinging over to wish you a Happy Easter. :)

  13. Oh, man! We're just STARTING to ThiNK about potty training and now you throw me this to start stressing about prior to even starting. Good luck to you! Hope you haven't gotten into any more verbal altercations with websites since you posted.

  14. We seem to have traveled through potty and sleep regression in one year. I can't say I prefer one over the other. I miss your writing, Rachel!

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