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April 15, 2009

Is there a school for potty training? You know, for parents?

Potty I have a confession. I'm terrified -- terrified -- of potty training.

My 2-year-old is at that point now. First she began patting her behind whenever her diaper needed to be changed. It was a nice little system. Pat, change. Pat, change. And always good to have a heads up before you literally have to suck it up and hold your breath.

But the whole setting her on the toilet, showing her what to do, cleaning up that inevitable mess in that tiny bowl, haunts me even in the daytime. Which is funny, because I should've earned some sort of medal for the kinds of diapers I've seen. Instead I imagine she'll be 30 and still patting her behind because her parents never taught her how to use the toilet. (Her dad is even more scared than I am.) That's so sweet, honey, I'll say. Your husband must really, really love you.

My husband and I eventually bought a little plastic potty for her and hoped the whole process would take less than a weekend. We would sit her down, explain the facts, and, voila, no more diapers! Or, even better, it would be just like learning to walk. They all learn to do it sometime, right?

Unfortunately, it hasn't exactly worked out that way. And it's not that we haven't tried. Every time she'd pat her diaper, we would sit her down on the potty and say those magic words: "Pee? Poo?"

She would just smile, shake her head and get up to find one toy or another, totally leaving us stranded, our hopes dashed. She even taunted us one day by pulling out the plastic poo-catcher and waving it excitedly around the living room. (Yes, it was clean.)

She just wasn't interested.

Now she's gotten to the point where she can actually say the words. And I fall for it every time. But whenever we get to the potty ... Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. I'm beginning to think she's teasing us, or maybe she just thinks it's the place where you hang out and chill after you've done the deed. Who knows?

In the meantime, we continue our quest to make our daughter fit for toilet-using society, hopefully not in vain. Wish us luck. I'm just hoping I don't get that inevitable call from elementary school: "Mrs. Clark? You know, Depends are for something else entirely."

An original LA Moms Blog post.

When Laura Clark isn't fretting about potty training, she's writing about adventures with her daughter at L.A. Story.

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