If you are organized and thoughtful enough, you can easily potty train your child, with no trouble at all. Just do what I did!
Pre-planning: As with any successful strategy, the earlier you start the better!
1. To successfully potty train a child, you must begin five years prior to having a child. Muse aloud to your partner that unlike your friends’ kids, your kids will be potty trained long before they turn 3, which is way too old for diapers. Maybe, you think, your kids will do that no-diapers thing from birth, so as to avoid supporting evil diaper companies, who are destroying the earth, and the like.
2. Around that same time and going forward, remark inwardly to yourself that when it is time for you to potty train your kids, you will never ever bribe your child with TV, or, gasp, candy to use the potty. Shame your own parents for training you with M&Ms if you get the chance. Wonder: what kind of parents would even think of doing such a thing? Ditto for princess panties, “Thomas the Train” underpants, etc. Assure oneself that because you are so relaxed and unstressed, when the time comes your child will want to use the potty on his/her own, and that the simple organic cotton underwear and standard adult toilet will be just fine for your kids, thanks.
3. Get pregnant. Tell everyone that you will NEVER turn into one of those gross parents who discusses their child’s elimination habits in adult situations. You will have more interesting things going on, and nothing is more boring or inappropriate than talking about your kids’ poop, right?
4. Have a kid.
5. When said kid is 1, purchase a plain white potty seat and tell child what it is. Assume child will begin using it on his/her own very soon.
6. When the kid is 2 years old and has yet to go near the toilet or the potty seat, swallow your pride and buy an Elmo potty seat and toilet cover thingy, and slowly collect every pair of licensed character underpants they have at Target. Speak positively and with smiling eyes about how great potty is. Wrap underpants like a gift and give to child as something very special. Whenever in earshot of your child, even in public, talk loudly about how everyone cool uses potties.
7. At 2.5, when the kid has yet to go near toilet except to throw toy trains into it (screaming, “water tunnel!”), swallow more pride and pull Elmo plastic potty seat in front of television. Allow unlimited screen time while child sits naked on potty seat in the middle of your living room, hoping they will poop. Read every book and website on potty training. Contemplate “boot camps,” hiring outside experts, and that iPotty you were loudly mocking a year ago.
8. Talk to everyone who will listen, including to your scant remaining child-free friends who haven’t started avoiding you altogether, about your potty training challenges. Details about potty-training strategies, the problem with pull ups, constipation from withholding, and frequency of urination are particularly great party talk! Get annoyed when this audience makes suggestions (what do they know, those judge-y jerks?) or seems bored.
9. Between 2.5 and 3 years of age, institute plans by which you alternately bribe your child with toys, stickers, and, finally, candy if they will just poop on the damned potty. Tell them ridiculous and obvious lies that there are no more diapers being made, that only people who poop on potties can go to the playground, that they can’t wear diapers on Tuesdays. After shame-filled conversations with your own parents as well as other parents whose kids are already potty trained, eat entire M&M supply and blame missing candy on the dog. In short, lie, bribe, cheat, hate yourself, and then wonder why your child doesn’t want to happily go along with your potty plans.
10. When child is 3, and is finally using potty reasonably regularly, and you are ostensibly on your way to being successfully done with training, go ahead and have another baby! This is a great idea as it will screw everything up, causing regression and weird eating habits and you name it! Your child isn’t trained yet, in fact things have gotten much worse, but you are too tired to notice or care!
There you have it, 10 easy steps that include many life lessons in humility for you and plenty of chocolate for everyone. You’re welcome!