This is a sponsored post by Charmin and Acorn Influence. All opinions are my own.
As I walk past our children’s bathroom, I see it. I see that I am a failure. I see that I clearly suck at potty training my kids. Because inside the bathroom sits the unflushed toilet, the all-too-dry towel, and toilet paper squares spread all over the floor.
Again.My potty-trained children are five and a half years old and still many of the finishing touches of potty training escape them.
Honestly, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do to help them at this point. They’ve been without diapers for over two and a half years. It’s not like they still boldly announce every single time that they use the facilities and gleefully boast about their bowel movements to everyone who is in our home. If they did, I could then cheer back “Yeah! Now flush the toilet! Wash your hands! Use soap!”
If you are a long time fan of the blog, you may recall that my parenting tips have not included potty training tips.
Sure, I managed to potty train my twin daughters by the time they were 2.5 years old and 3 years old, but it wasn’t like I did it like a supermom. I can’t claim to have potty trained my children in 3-days, because I didn’t. I am void of good voiding tips.
Potty training is a marathon. It’s not a sprint to the finish line. So, while you high-five your spouse that you can stop buying diapers, sometimes after only a few days of active potty training efforts, those hands will be hanging low after the initiation process is over. Because the other perks of having a child out of diapers elude you for months if not years.
Butt wiping? Yeah, you’re still wiping your kid’s butt for months after he leaves diapers behind. If you aren’t wiping for him, you’re coaching him how to do it right.
Cleaning up blow-outs and accidents? Yup! But, now these accidents frustrate you even more because your child knows better.
Less time worrying about another’s person’s bowels? Nope. Totally not. Because now you fear your child will they have an accident on outings. Even years after they left diapers behind. You worry about how fast you can get to a bathroom, how clean the bathroom stalls are, and how long it will take.
Potty training takes much more of your time as a parent than having a child in diapers.
With a child in diapers, diapers changes become a mastered routine, one where you challenge yourself to do it faster, better, and with fewer wipes. By the time your child is out of diapers, you’ve become a diaper changing ninja. You also only change diapers about four or five times a day.
Once they start potty training, you become a slave to their bowel movements, with endless trips to the bathrooms, only to be fooled by your child’s insistent assurance that they do in fact have to go potty. Apparently, the act of sitting on the potty removes that feeling.
But, because no parent wants to make another bathroom trip 20 or 30 minutes later, you stand over your child in a cramped public restroom stall for 10 minutes, praying, pleading, cheering, singing, begging, demanding for them to JUST GO and to hurry it up. You also curse the automatic toilets which create anxiety in your child like none other, and curse your child’s curiosity which beckons your daughter to explore those sanitary napkin garbage cans next to the toilet seat.
When you have another child or two (or three) with you, you just pray hard that none of them lick the bathroom floor as you wait for the child to finish doing their dooty already.
Once your child is old enough and mature enough to successfully take themselves to the bathroom without you, there are still so many other things you need to be sure of – are they actually wiping their butts? Are they using too much toilet paper if they are? Are they washing their hands? With soap? And what about that door? Have they learned to shut the door? Lock it? Well, at least when they are in a public restroom?At age five, these are still very real questions I ask myself weekly if not daily. And unfortunately, the answer to many of them is still no.
Which let’s me know I’m pretty much a failure at potty training.
Clearly, there must be unicorn parents out there with children who from the age of three have used the facilities, wiped their bums with the perfect amount of toilet paper, placed all of said toilet paper in the toilet, flushed the toilet, closed the lid, washed their hands, with soap, for a full minute, dried them on a towel (and not on their clothes), all with the bathroom door properly shut.
To me that all sounds like a pipe dream.
My solution? Make sure I pick up a Charmin Ultra Soft pack at Sam’s Club that’s there for a limited time again. With a thousand extra free sheets per pack, at least I know my kindergartners aren’t throwing as much money down the drain, at least at this point in their potty training careers. (*Bonus: My 2.5 year old son, who I’ve attempted to potty train on and off for the last year or so loves using toilet paper… maybe a little too much.) You’d think that children wouldn’t notice much difference between good toilet paper (my husband and I love Charmin and prefer it to other brands and have for years) and generic cheap-o stuff, but they totally do and let you know that they do.
Like the Charmin commercials say though, less is more. With the cheap stuff, my kids have been more apt to rolling up a giant, GIANT, ball of toilet paper so they wouldn’t have to actually touch the poop on their butts. Total overkill, but I get it. You want the paper to do the wiping, not your hand. With Charmin, less is more.And hey, Charmin is also very absorbent and works great to soak up all the pee that “accidentally” ends up on the carpet, or the bathroom floor, and then can be flushed down the toilet. In fact it’s so easy a child can do it! So, if you have to go, you might as well enjoy the go.
For now I remind myself that someday they’ll get all the fine mechanics of properly and sanitarily use the restroom. I mean, it’s not like adults ever forget to wipe, flush, or wash their hands…
To be entered to win one of 53 $50 Sam’s Club giftcards, you must share your potty training tip or trick on Twitter or Instagram with hashtag #CharminatSamsClub and click that you did so in the giveaway widget below. Good luck!
Are you gifted in the potty training department or are you a tad overwhelmed like me?