16 Sep
It’s the Potty Train, Toot Toot.

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

As a mother of boys, did you receive backhanded compliments and comments on their potty-training, especially from mothers of all girls? At almost 24 months, my son is potty training now with great success and progressing much faster than his sister did at this age.   However, ALL I hear from his nursery school teachers, and other moms there, is how early it is, especially for boys. One mom actually said, “I tried it with my daughter but she got angry and I found it really is BETTER not to push it.” I got defensive and told her we were following his lead and not pushing it. One day my son ripped off his diaper, sat on the potty and peed so we moved forward from there. We just make it fun. We “ride the potty train, toot, toot” and mom does the silly potty dance when he’s successful.

I keep getting comments that I’m pushing him and boys just take longer. Everyone I talk to paints boys with the same brush of low expectations. I’m so tempted to say something like, “Don’t resent me because my son is beautiful and brilliant! Just come ride the potty train with us – it’s fun, toot, toot! ” Or “Keep your comments to yourself.”

What’s your opinion on this? Have any ideas on what  I should say the next time some one tells me how damn early it is or implies that I’m pushing him?

The Potty Train Conductor


Dear Potty Train Conductor,

As a mom of two boys, I have to say I didn’t receive much in the way of compliments or comments on their potty training, good or bad. This leads me to wonder exactly what your son is making in the potty that has people so interested in his bowel movements. Is it liquid gold, like crude oil? Or does his poop have the face of the Virgin Mary on them? It must be something phenomenal and marketable to make them care so.

Fortunately for you and me, I experienced both sides of this particular spin-off battle of the Mommy Wars and so I am a bidet of potty training wisdom.

My oldest son was (excuse the pun) a huge turd to potty train. He alone taught me the truth that sometimes it is best not to push. He didn’t respect my previous experience as a cheerleader nor any of the potty cheers I made up for him. Color-coated chocolate treats and stickers had no effect whatsoever. He was over three before he finally potty trained.

On the other hand, my youngest son potty trained before he was two-and-a-half. In fact, it was right after a stressful move to a new city, which between you and me proves his intellectual edge over his peers. No, seriously, Parker did teach me that sometimes boys do potty train earlier on their own without any pushing from an overachieving parent. Besides, the last I checked, Harvard isn’t awarding scholarships based on how early someone potty-trained.

Currently (and for whatever reasons), a boy who potty trains well before three is considered early. The next time it comes up, simply agree with them that yes, your son did potty train early and that Ivy League colleges showed interest in his accomplishment too. If it’s implied you are pushing him, keep in mind these are insecure people showing concern over a strange child’s bowel movements. Should we really care what they think?

Happy flushing to you and yours,
Heather, TMH


It’s a TMH Book Giveaway! The wonderful Izzy Rose from  Stepmother’s Milk has a wonderful new memoir out called  The Package Deal: My (Not So) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom and we’ll be giving a copy away to one lucky reader this week! To enter, simply leave a comment on any post this week, and for an additional entry, send us a question to answer to ask@mouthyhousewives.com and you’ll be entered to win. (Questions will be posted anonymously!)   Good luck!


9 Responses to “It’s the Potty Train, Toot Toot.”


Comment by Wendi.

I am totally putting “highly accomplished toilet user” on my boys’ Yale applications.


Comment by hokgardner.

If I met a mom whose son potty trained early without any stress, I’d bow down to her and invite her over for drinks. And while she was at my house, I’d make her potty train my son, who is steadfastly refusing to be trained.


Comment by Kelly.

Jealousy and mommy-competition is exhausting. I’d respond once with a statement letting them know it was HIS idea… after that, sarcasm and rudeness is fair game if they keep going.


Comment by Muirgen.

Maybe I’m missing something in the tone here, but the comment actually quoted wouldn’t make me think these people think you’re pushing your son. “I tried with my kid and found it was better not to push” is about lessons that parent has learned – not about you.

Now if someone is actually saying “you must be pushing him”, I’d be tempted to say “I’d like to push you”…. but I also know that I am sometimes oversensitive, and I don’t need to intereact with people I know are jerks. That’s when I just smile and say “Well, isn’t that nice” and walk away: the southern response to just about anything when you really want to say $*#()#)(#$*@!


Comment by Finn.

Perhaps you should just ignore other people. It works beautifully for me.


Comment by Mary.

I think I get a bad mom card on this one. I cannot for the life of me figure out this obsessive need to discuss the toilet habits of our offspring. Why is it that wherever I go people want to tell me about their kid pooping? You know what? I don’t really give a crap. (haha. pun.) You know what else? I have changed diapers – I don’t need you to tell me how many times you change your kids’ diapers or what they look like or what supposedly cute thing your kid does on the pot. And, no, I am not going to discuss my daughter’s toilet habits with you. It’s private.

Thank you for loaning me your soapbox.


Comment by grandmother of 5.

Remeber-in the mean moms club—if he wasnt early you’d hear–“wow,my son has been potty trained for over 6 months now,Have you tryed the singing potty?-That might help!!”—They are seeeeeething with jealousy—–And the next time they tell you we arent pushing our son—-YOU SAY—-“You know what neither have we—I guess my baby boy is just sheer genius!!!!!”You have to let your voice get a little high and bat your eyes(thats important)——And to borrow a line from some other southern sisters——You speak it “Like a true Smart Ass!”—Southern girls can get even with a smart mouth and still make it sound so pretty!!!!


Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

What grandmother of 5 said up there – you definitely have to say that!

And believe me, I’m definitely jealous. I didn’t push and they trained late. I pushed, and they trained late. All 6 of them…


Comment by Tasha.

I’m not going to lie, I’m impressed! I’m trying with my daughter now, and she’s 18 months. I consistently get asked the same question, isn’t that a little early? I then inform them that back in the day, not sure if that’s the 50’s or the 60’s, most kids were potty trained before 18 months!! My Grandma told me that both my Mom and my Uncle were potty trained way before they were two.

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