Potty Training Diaries — Days 5 – 7

Well, I’ve been out of touch for a day because potty training has turned a corner, and we are happy to report that we are now mobile!

On day five, we took our first outing sans diapers. Jody and I took Matty Jay to Walmart, and of course we brought along his froggy potty and left it in the van. Once we were in the store, I could tell that Matty was a bit stressed out. About half way through our trip, he started to cry, and when I asked if he had to go potty, he wailed, “Yes! Go Potty!”

I left Jody with the cart and my debit card and whisked Matty out of the store. As soon as we hit the parking lot he said in a sad voice, “You take me home now?”

He made it to the van and peed in his potty chair, but he was clearly taxed by this little venture.

The next day we added yet another challenge. For the first half of the day, I decided to test him. I brought him downstairs and reminded him where the potty was, and then I pretty much left him to himself. I let him play with his siblings and have lots of free play time, but I didn’t prompt him about the potty at all.

How did that go, you ask? Not so well. He maybe put one out of four pees in the potty. The others were on the new leather couch, the floor, the backyard…it was a definite fail. Then, I thought I’d try scaling back to bare bottom but still no prompting. That went much better. My suspicion is that being bare bottomed was a reminder to pay attention to sensation of having to go.

During the bare bottom part of the day, Matty had to poop. He didn’t tell me about it, but instead went into the bathroom (good – that’s certainly where poop goes) and began his poop standing up. Once poop hit the tile, he must have realized this was wrong, and he called out for help. When I arrived on the scene, I praised his effort but also reminded him that he needed to sit on the potty. He did so, and finished his poop correctly.

At about 5:00pm it was time for another outing. This was going to be a longer one with a few stops. We were in our little Kia this time with the potty chair next to his car seat. When we arrived at the first stop, I asked if he wanted to go potty. He said yes and did so.

A little while later, we were driving and he said, almost to himself, “No pee pee in the car seat. Pee pee in the potty.”

“Do you have to go potty, Matty?”

“Yes.” And with that, I pulled over, leapt out of the driver’s seat, unbuckled him in a hurry and placed him on the froggy potty. He thought this was a great. Unlike the stress of the day before, he seemed totally relaxed and even amused by this whole potty in the car situation.

At the end of our excursion, we made another Walmart trip. This time, we got all the way through the shopping, but as we were approaching the check out lines, he said he had to go. Once again, Jody was left with the cart, as I raced out the door.

“Hold it in, Matty,” I repeated a few times, as I made my way to the exit, then out the door, then to the back of the lot where were parked, then as I fumbled for the car keys and then as I unlocked the door. And he did! He held it until I sat him on the froggy potty. I was so stinkin’ proud of that boy!

Last night he woke up once and asked to go potty. And in the morning his bed was dry.

Today was day seven. We spent the first few hours of the day at our homeschool co-op, and Matty asked every time he had to go. No accidents!

I’d say we still have a few weeks of ups and downs left before we call this potty thing mastered, but we are well on our way. Diapers are officially a thing of the past for Matty Jay! And we are on our way back to life as usual, except the new normal in the Stahlmann house includes a freshly crowned “Big Boy!”

Oh, and for anyone getting ready to potty train, swing by Walmart and pick up a few fleece blankets. They’re selling them right now for $2.88 each! Keep them by the bed in case of a nighttime accident. Just cover the wet spot with the fleece and your child won’t feel any of the wetness. Then you can change the sheets in the morning.

Drop us a line and let us know how your potty training experience is going. In the meantime, be blessed!

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

More Posts

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.