When I was pregnant (and let’s be honest for a while afterwards), I did everything in my power to avoid sudden laughter, coughing, sneezing… all in fear that I would accidentally pee my pants. I will run the risk of sharing too much information when I tell you I basically wet my pants a few times when caught off guard by a sneeze. I would go to the bathroom every ten minutes to ensure my bladder was as empty as possible and avoid any nasty surprises. I know the feeling of wet pants and it is just awful.

At least, it was awful for me. It’s apparently not so awful for the little man. He doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass if he’s on the toilet or not when nature calls.

I am so bloody sick of potty training. We’ve been potty training for eight months now and every time I think there MIGHT be a light at the end of the tunnel we take seventy three steps backwards. He can go to college in a diaper for all I care. Hopefully baggy jeans are back in style then to mask the padding from the Depends undergarments.

For a while we were really making progress. He was telling us when he had to go pee and was going on the potty. He wouldn’t go by himself because he can’t pull his own pants up or down (not for lack of working on it), but he was going with us.

Then he stopped telling us he had to go, but would still go whenever we took him. Sometimes he would put up a fight, but would still pee once he got there. Now, it’s any body’s call what the day will bring. Some days he tells us he has to go, some days he pees on the couch. Some days he’ll go when we take him, some days he pees in the back yard. This morning he peed on the couch while watching a movie. I have no idea why. For some reason he would rather wet himself and sit in it than mention that he has to go and get up and go to the bathroom. He’s a kid of the new millennium, he understands TV can be paused if necessary. He doesn’t suffer the hardship of having to wait for commercials like we did. We then went for a four hour round trip excursion and he didn’t go once! There is no rhyme or reason to it.

And don’t even get me started on #2. I can count on one hand the number of times the kid has actually intentionally pooped on the toilet. It is a daily occurrence that he drops a bomb in his shorts. For eight months we have been asking him to go on the potty, dumping it in, showing him where it goes, flushing it goodbye… at the first sign of a grunt we head into the washroom and sit him down, only to sit and wait for…nothing. Yes, we’ve had some great conversations in there, but no progress in the poop department. And take your eyes off him for a second once you’re back out of the washroom and he’s in his room and filling his shorts faster than you can say “Nooooo!”

Today, he peed his pants while playing in the backyard with his Opa. My guess is he didn’t want to stop playing to come in and use the washroom. There was absolutely no indication that he had to go, he just went. It was just before bath time so I took off his pants, changed his shoes and let him hang out for the world to see. A few minutes later I heard some exclamations of dismay from Opa and discovered that he had pooped in his play house.

WHAT THE HELL? WE HAVE TOILETS!!!

I am beyond frustrated. One of the recurring pieces of advice I received when we started this journey was to never go back to diapers or Pull-Ups, as he would surely regress and we’d find ourselves set back at least six months. He sleeps in Pull-Ups, but he’s been in his “big boy” underwear during the day from the beginning. Sure, the occasional long road trip or flight brought out a Pull-Up for the day, but otherwise we have stayed strong, making sure we have changes of clothes at the ready just in case.

And for the most part, we have had very few accidents when out and about. There was the infamous “Code Brown” incident at Costco back in March, but that was a juice-induced issue that he literally couldn’t control. It’s when we’re at home that’s the problem.

I don’t know if it’s an attention thing, or a rebellion thing… our reactions have gone from loving and comforting to exasperated to concerned to comforting again… there is no identifiable pattern to know if it’s something we’re doing or not doing. He gets the concept and understands the process. Even if he’s already peed in his Pull-Up when he comes into our room in the morning, he still knows he has to go to the bathroom before we do anything else. He can tell us where he’s supposed to pee and poo. He gets it all in theory but doesn’t seem to be able to put it into practice.

Nobody told me it would take this long. I understand from talking to friends and doing a bit of research that the poo thing is pretty common for boys. I’m not totally sure why it’s only boys that have an issue with it, but it seems to be the case. It’s gross and the worst part of every day, but I can deal with it. It’s the pee that is driving me nuts. He’s three and a half and has been potty training for EIGHT MONTHS. I would just like him to be able to pull his own pants up and down and TELL me when he has to pee. Is that too much to ask?!

I don’t know how much more of this I can take. It wouldn’t be so bad if he wore diapers in college, would it? It might hurt his dating life a bit, but then he could just focus more on his studies…right? It could be very beneficial for his grade point average and ultimately his career.

See? Every cloud has a silver lining.