child development

I Refuse To Potty Train Until My Son Applies To College

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Ugh. I don’t even want to talk about the subject of potty training, but here I am writing a blog about it. Maybe you could call this the utmost in procrastination.

My son is a little over two years old, and thankfully, no one has given us the side-eye about missing the Potty Train just yet. With every other type of child training, I’ve always felt passionate about it.

I went hard on sleep training until I broke my children’s spirits so that they slept through the night. I encouraged motor development so that my son would roll over, crawl, and walk on time. I read up on toddler speak and independent play to try to curb some of his endless tantrums.

But potty trainingโ€ฆ There’s very little incentive in it for me. I know most parents say how they can’t WAIT until their kids are out of diapers so that they can save money and quit wiping asses. As for me, it’s not my favorite thing in the world to clean runny shit off a kid’s back, but most of the time, I don’t mind one way or the other.

I will qualify that by saying that I absolutely hate, hate, hate wrestling a toddler to the ground to change a dirty diaper because it’s not like I want to be doing it anyway. But I digress.

I have a handy little potty training book that I have yet to read. My toddler hasn’t shown any impressive interest in the toilet, other than pointing at his small potty and saying “poop.” We did have an ultra-cute moment where he sat on the little potty and jumped up over and over again to give me a hug. As adorable as it was, he still didn’t deliver the goods.

I’ve read some research that says that starting potty training too early only drags out the process. Also, some of my friends with boys say that it takes longer. So, I’m going with that as my lazy excuse. Boys take long to potty train, he’s not ready yet, and I have never seen a teenage boy graduate high school in diapers. I’m sure he’ll figure it out when the time’s right.

(Image:ย Renata Osinska/Shutterstock)


  1. ShanLea

    February 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I am right there with you! My guy is 2 1/2, and pretty much ignores the potty altogether. We butt heads on so many other things, I’m not looking forward to adding something else to the list. With my older one, we lived in Hawaii at the time, so we did a 4-day beach camping trip and he was naked the entire time. It didn’t get him completely potty-trained, but it kick started the process because he was more aware of when he was going. However, since we moved back to Montana, and the high temp tomorrow is -11, I don’t think that strategy will work here for another few months!

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      I have a year before my laziness starts to show (age 3)!

    • Tinyfaeri

      February 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      I was 3 when I was trained. I lived. You’ll all work it out when you’re ready!

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • M.

      March 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      I’m with you…my son is 2.5 and has zero interest. He’s in preschool 2 times a week and they take the kids on a schedule, so I tried that at home for 3 days straight. I had a timer I set for every 20 minutes. When it went off we’d go try to pee pee on the potty. If he sat on the little potty and tried to go he got one M&M. If he actually MADE pee pee in the potty, he’d get a gummy worm (highly coveted). The bag of M&M’s is gone, the bag of gummy worms unopened. He’d go BETWEEN the 20 minute intervals. Every. Single. Time. For 3 days straight. I’ll give it another go in a couple of weeks.

  2. EX

    February 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I’m with you too. With the new baby here now my last concern is potty training the 2.5 year old. Changing diapers is a pain but rushing to find a bathroom with a small, incontinent person sounds worse to me. She has shown some interest but I figure I’ll wait til it’s warmer out, let her run naked and see what happens. She’ll get it eventually.

  3. Brittany Anne

    February 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I’m totally with you on this one. My parents tried to potty train me too early, and I wound up with sooooo many UTIs because I just wouldn’t pee. Ever. (I was a very stubborn child.) So obviously it took forever to potty train me. They figured things out pretty quickly and didn’t push any of my younger siblings to use the potty, and they weren’t potty trained any later than I was.

    Definitely planning on letting my kids take the lead with potty training, even if it means spending a little bit more time changing diapers.

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      That sucks!! I don’t know if this was related to potty training, but my niece got nervous about pooping in the toilet as a toddler and had some digestive issues because she would hold it in. Sucked for her and my sister!

    • Brittany Anne

      February 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Yeah, it definitely didn’t work out as planned. And I don’t want to make it sound like my parents were terrible or clueless. (They’re really great parents, I promise!) But my younger brother and I are 20 months apart, and though I only have one kid, I can imagine that having two in diapers can be pretty rough.

  4. Crusty Socks

    February 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Beth, I thought we established that #1 goes to Yale and #2 will be a CnD dancer.

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm


    • brebay

      March 1, 2014 at 12:44 am

      definition, please.

  5. K.

    February 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    (I apologize in advance for the scatological content in this story, but it IS an article about potty-training!)

    We read somewhere that one technique is to remove the diaper and allow the kid to run around naked so that they gain some awareness of when they are going. So we took the child outside in our backyard and I swear to God, as soon as we took that diaper off, he gave us the biggest grin we have ever seen in our lives–oh, the delicious freedom we had given him! the air! the breeze! And then he squatted, and took a shit in the middle of our driveway, and while I stood there, sort of waiting for my brain to restart, he thought it would be delightful to step in it.

    Later, surveying the poopy footprints around our carport, I decided that *I* was not ready for potty-training.

    • Brittany Anne

      February 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm


    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm


    • Crusty Socks

      February 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      You must be new to Mommyish… all we talk about is smelling baby poop, eating baby poop and/or eating poopy diapers.

      We’re thinking of changing the name to Scattyish

    • Valerie

      February 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Um, its not poop. It’s sausage. Get it straight.

    • Crusty Socks

      February 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      You have lofty expectations of me.

    • Valerie

      February 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Gotta keep you reaching.

    • Alexandra

      February 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      OMFG I just snarfed miso soup out my nose. THat was hysterical. you win.

    • Valerie

      February 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Totes. We tried the “hippie go free free” method with our second kid and he literally shit on the kitchen floor. Like, he was walking out of the room and he briefly squatted like a goose and before I could make sense of the situation a bunch of tiny turds tumbled to the floor.

    • ted3553

      March 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      I can’t imagine someone thinking this was a fantastic technique. I let my 1.5 yr old run naked for about 1 minute right after a bath and that’s exactly what he does-runs as fast as his toddler legs will go while shrieking. I too would be hosing down my driveway. Love the story

  6. Linzon

    February 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    My kid is 3 and a bit and is only now showing anything besides complete animosity towards the potty. He’s always been pretty chill about diaper changes so we haven’t really pushed the issue, especially since we’re completely exhausted thanks to Baby No Sleep, but I guess this weekend I’ll stop being lazy and get some exercise scrubbing the floor every couple of hours.

  7. Kay_Sue

    February 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Here’s to not potty training. *lifts her glass*

  8. TheGiantPeach

    February 28, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    My 2-year old has shown some slight interest in using the potty, but so far hasn’t been very successul. A couple of weeks ago he told me he needed to pee, so I took him to his little potty. He stood in front of it grunting for a few minutes, until a solid block of shit fell out of him and onto my foot. My husband is a teacher, so I figure he’ll have the whole summer to work on it.

  9. Lee

    February 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Again, impeccable timing Bethany. We started potty training my 2 1/2 yr old this week and my husband literally just sent me a picture of a turd in the potty (for the love of god, why?). We are doing pants-less training. Started Sunday morning. First time he started to pee on the floor I stuck him on the potty and he has been doing it himself since then. I have also bribed the hell out of him. I think all he really ate on Sunday was chocolate.

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Parallel lives!! Seriously, lmk how it goes.

    • Lee

      February 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      As for the parallel lives- I think I remember from a post about baby names a while back that your sons middle names are is my son’s first and middle name. I will definitely let you know how it goes.

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Whoa!!!! That’s awesome. We are basically the same person. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • darras

      March 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      hahaaaa! The first time my son did a poo in the potty I struggled HARD to not take a photograph of it. I managed to restrain myself, but it was a challenge! I understand your husband’s poo glee ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. SA

    February 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    OMG I am sooooooo ready to potty train. I am such a “you say it can’t be done, I’m going to do it” type person and I feel it as a personal challenge.

    Then, I remember that once potty trained there will be no more running around at the park for an hour straight while she pees freely in her diaper….teetering her over public toilets…million stops on road trips….accidents on the days I forget the diaper bag at home and I procrastinate.

  11. MerlePerle

    February 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I never got behind the fascination with potty training. I always figured it would be much more stressful to always be on the lookout for a bathroom. But my daughter was always pretty chill about getting her diaper changed, while my 9month old is already trying to run away if I try to pull his pants down, so we’ll see.

  12. PreschoolMiss

    February 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Wait until your child is ready. I’m a preschool teacher and I think the thing I hate the most is parents who force potty training on their kid and me. If your kid isn’t quite ready, they just aren’t ready. I’m just going to rant about a parent for a moment…Changing poopy underwear because your kid doesn’t even understand what a toilet is, however, you still insist on putting him in underwear every morning, is THE WORST. This kid just turned 2 like a month ago. Calm down, woman!! I understand you want your kid potty trained but if I sit your kid on the toilet for 20 mins and he does nothing but not even 5 mins later he poops himself, I don’t think he’s ready. And don’t lie to me. Everyone in the history of the planet who’s said “OHMYGOD! He NEVER has accidents at home” is a liar and I think less of you. /end rant

    • PottyStar

      March 1, 2014 at 3:54 am

      It sucks, as a parent, when you child’s preschool/daycare is not supportive. Especially when they passive-aggressively will your child to fail just so they can “prove” that they were “right” and that your child wasn’t “ready.” I PT’d my kid at 18 months and she’s not had a single accident at home (or out of the house, with parents) in more than eight months. Yet she has accidents at daycare at least once or twice a week; sometimes more often. Don’t know what the deal is there, but since I’m not around to see, there is nothing I can do about it. Rather than accusing the parents of lying, perhaps take some time to look at what factors may be causing these children to have accidents while in your care. End rant.

    • PreschoolMiss

      March 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      I keep him in the underwear and make him go on the toilet. I don’t know how much more supportive you want me to be. I’ve helped sucessfully potty train 4 of the other kids in my class since the school year has started. It was only due to my suggestion that 2 of the kids were taken out of pull-us when they were. I’ve been around this kid since June of last year. He’s not ready. And I know he has accidents at home because the Grandmom who occasionally drops him off said so. She told me how her daughter struggles at home with him going on the toilet. Congratulations on potty training your kid at 18 months, but don’t you dare accuse me of not doing my job correctly. Every kid isn’t your kid and I 100% know more than you about this kid. But thanks for that rant though ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Alexandra

    February 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    It helps if you don’t have to daycare…I hear some daycares won’t take un-potty trained kiddos?

  14. Cara

    February 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I’m with you. I was in NO rush to potty train my son. Then I brought my daughter home from the hospital when he was just over 2 and HE decided he was going to potty train!?! WTF? I had just had a c-section and could barely bend down to help him. I was nursing the endless nurser and he would call out for help on the potty! Accidents everywhere, new baby in the house… was kind of a nightmare actually. And then trying to go OUT was a nightmare (its always a nightmare trying to get a toddler and infant out of the house anyway)….. but he didn’t want to wear a diaper and wasn’t consistent enough with the potty, so there was negotiating, accidents in the carseat, many many trips to public potties (EEEWWWW). Keep in mind all of this is happening with NEW BABY IN TOW!!! Phew. Once it was over about 2 months later, it was GREAT. In hindsight, it is actually comical. But I really was not into it at the time. Now here i am preggers w/ #3 (due April) and my almost 2 year old daughter is looking to potty train! NOT NOW!!!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Diapers suck, yes. But the beginning stages of potty training suck harder. For sure. Hold off as long as you can!!!!!

  15. Valerie

    February 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Who even says it needs to happen by college? Twice in one semester someone took a shit in one of the dryers in the laundry room on my dorm floor. How about age 30?

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      SHUT UP.

    • Valerie

      February 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Yup. That same semester, someone (or a few someones) heaved the couch from our floor’s lounge out the window. We were on the 8th floor. Yeah for state schools!

  16. NotTakenNotAvailable

    February 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I refused to be potty trained until I was five. Considering I seem to have blocked the event out of my mind and still think I got a (forgive me) bum deal, I can only assume cattle prods were part of the process. I’m of the opinion that as long as you at least teach your kids to change their own diapers at some point, go ahead and laze it up. #thisiswhyishouldnthavekids

  17. JoAnna Marie Waddoups

    February 28, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    my three year old girl just got potty trained a couple a weeks ago . We bribed the bejesus out of her turns out she could give 2 craps about stickers on a chart..She did however want dance class.. im under the lazy mindset of hey being 16 and in a diaper will be embarrassing enough for her know I can barely make it to the potty sometimes and heaven help me if i sneeze so I always feel like im the opposite of potty training expert..

  18. brebay

    March 1, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Seriously, even a human raised by wolves would be controlling its own bladder and bowels by 4 or 5. Potty-training is for adults’ convenience, kids would learn it anyway, just like walking. That being said; I did potty-train, but was kind of a C-student. My youngest didn’t go full-panty until just before his third birthday, oldest did it himself at around 2, just because he thought it was sort of hilarious and was bored with his toys. I think if you have to put that much work into it, it probably just means that kid isn’t ready, or it’s just not a priority for him. They’re all indy- poopers by kindergarten, so who cares? I would say that no one’s going to put the age they were potty-trained on a resume; but nowadays…

  19. MamaLlama

    March 1, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I’m supportive but hesitant on his plan. Only because I know that the ‘terrible twos’ are nothing compared the the ‘horrendous threes’. It felt like by the time our kids were three, they knew that our ‘no’ didn’t always mean ‘no’ and that the world does not end when I got to 3 after warning you have until the count of 3 to do so something. That darn abstract reasoning starting coming into their little brains. We decided to potty train when stickers and candy still meant something and that ‘you’re a big kid now’ really seemed to wow them. Our course, big sister was potty trained at 22mo but we didn’t try little bro at that age. He started wearing big boy undies at home for about four months around 26-28 months and loved feeling like a big boy. He wet them a ton but totally got it after a few months. I don’t usually comment on parenting styles so I will digress now as you know your child best! Good luck, when he gets it, it will seem like he’s been doing it forever!

  20. Katherine Handcock

    March 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I definitely agree that it’s better to wait until kids are ready! Although I will say that there are some kids who are more willing to be encouraged to train than others, and some who are ready earlier than others. Combine those two things and you get the kids who train easily at 18 months: they were ready and they liked the process, so they did it.

    Both my kids are constantly in motion (seriously, anyone who says video games are a passive activity has never seen my son leaping around the room as he plays) – it was a hard sell convincing my son that it was worth sitting long enough to figure out how all this worked! My daughter showed interest in training before Christmas, then suddenly developed a real dislike for sitting on the potty again; knowing her personality, pushing it would be a bad idea, so I’m just telling her lots about how neat it will be when she’s trained. Also, because she hates getting her pull-ups changed, I tell her every time that, when she’s going in the potty, that won’t happen any more. Sooner or later, she’ll decide she wants to go again ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. yesica

    May 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    how to teach your child go to the bathroom
    Identify the signs that your child is ready
    Around age , a child begins to identify what you feel are eager to pee
    or poop .Some children are ready to begin the process of removing the diaper at
    18 months of age , but others do not show any interest until they are 3 years
    or more .
    In America, most parents begin to train their children go hang bathroom
    when about 2 ยฝ years , but in many Latin countries are used to start earlier ,
    especially in earlier generations when diapers had to be hand wash (and even
    boil !) at home.
    So do not be surprised if your mother or mother tell insist they stole
    diapers their children before they were one year. You may have done , but
    perhaps devoted much of her time to clean up ” accidents” .
    The important thing is to see if your child begins to show some signs
    that you’re ready to learn to go to the bathroom alone .
    Some questions to ask yourself to see if you’re ready are: obey simple
    instructions , do you walk and feel alone , do you try to imitate adults or
    siblings when they go to the bathroom , can be raised and lowered panties ? ?
    Try not to put pressure the subject, when it is not rush ready yet be
    counterproductive and frustrating for you and for him.
    More info:

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