All Pooped Out: Potty-Training 101 For Moms on the Go (Hint: Call Grandma)

Dispatches from Potty Training Land



Friday marked the beginning of potty training boot camp. Coraline shows all the signs of being ready — informing us when she has to or has gone, asking for a diaper change, pulling her pants down and trying to remove her own diaper. We decided the best course of action is to just dive right in: She’ll wear cotton training pants all day, every day for at least a week (of course she’ll still sleep in a diaper). Accidents will happen, and that’s okay (I’m telling myself this as much as her), and I have strategically placed changes of clothes, Bac-Out spray bottles, and rags throughout the house and car. We’re ready.

8:15 a.m. Coraline is jumping up and down on the bed. Since she just nursed for almost an hour I’m thinking it’s a fair assumption she has to pee. I sit her on the potty, and we wait. We sing the ABCs a couple times until she announces “Coraline all done sit the potty.” I decide not to push it, and get her dressed despite the fact she still hasn’t peed.

8:27 a.m. When we get downstairs she moseys over to the corner and both pees and poops. “Uh-oh, Coraline sit the potty,” she tells me as she watches the puddle form under her feet. Uh-oh is right.

10:30 a.m. I put the potty and six changes of clothes in the car and we head off to run errands and meet a friend in Woodstock. Despite a precautionary attempt before leaving home, Coraline pees her pants in the store.

12:25 p.m. Before we head into Bread Alone I make Coraline sit on the potty again in the back of the car. Given the juice box and cup of water she’s chugged between my first set of errands and now, I’m thinking something has to happen. We sing two rounds of the ABCs and one of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” but nothing. She refuses to sit any longer and so we go inside.

12:32 p.m. Totally nervous she’s about to pee all over, I take Coraline into the bathroom of the bakery and make her sit on the potty again. She will have none of it.

12:35 p.m. Coraline stands up on the bench and pees. “Uh-oh, Coraline sit the potty,” she says again. I bust out the rags and baby wipes with lightening speed and try to clean her (and the bench) up before anyone can notice. What the heck was I thinking?! It’s only mid-day and so far we’re 0 and 3.

2 p.m. Before leaving Woodstock, I beg Coraline to sit on the potty one more time. She sits and immediately goes. Score!

3:15 p.m. We get to my mom’s house just as Coraline wakes up from a car nap, totally dry. I leave her (and four changes of clothes) with grandma to go to an appointment.

5:35 p.m. I get back to my mom’s place to pick up Coraline and, lo and behold, she’s wearing the same pants as I left her. My mom reports that she went potty not once but twice! It must be grandma magic. We are now five hours accident-free.

7:45 p.m. Coraline has made it the rest of the evening without an accident. I put her in a diaper for bed, the first one all day.

9:15 p.m. When she’s finally asleep, I sneak downstairs to wash the day’s disasters and am pleased when I realize that there were really only three accidents all day. Not bad, not bad at all.

Got any potty-training stories (or disasters) to share? Post them to the comments box below.

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About This Blog

Shannon Gallagher

Shannon Gallagher
Rhinebeck, NY


Dutchess County native Shannon Gallagher is a contributing editor for Hudson Valley Magazine. An erstwhile thrill-seeker, these days she courts disaster of a different variety wrangling a spirited toddler, honing her vegan baking skills, and chasing the ever-elusive work-family balance. She teaches Pilates and does fascial bodywork, and lives in Rhinebeck with Coraline, a cat named Otie, and Sushi the Fish (named, of course, by the toddler).

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