Pottytraining The Ballew Sisters

Yes, you read that correctly. We’re pottytraining both girls. It wasn’t the plan. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on restarting with Miss Elizabeth Mae until this summer.

She started late last year. Did well for a couple days. Then, my morning/noon/night sickness kicked in and we stopped.

On Tuesday, she asked for the potty. I brought it in, thinking, “This is too good to be true. Stay calm, Lyndse. Don’t show too much excitement. But don’t show fear, either. Toddlers smell fear. And strong-willed toddlers are like bloodhounds. Just be breezy.”


She wanted a hat for her doll. Fantastic.

But then she actually sat down and peed. Then she peed again. Pooped. And she George Costanza-ed it every time. What can I say? She’s a dedicated reader.


We had one accident the entire day. One. And it doesn’t even really count. She got into some cocoa and had a reaction. Not even a grown-up could’ve made it to a toilet. And I thought about burning that prefold. For real. I love cloth diapers, but that dipe almost didn’t survive.


“Only one accident all day? This can’t be possible.” I didn’t want to lose my street cred in the marathon pottytraining department. Graham took 3+ years. I never brag about pottytraining, because the toilet gods will zap you with lightning. Pottytraining is a mystical process that eludes me.

The next day, she did nothing on the potty. I knew I couldn’t be one of those “Three Day” moms. It just isn’t in my cards.

Thursday: “I don’t pee on potties, cuz I’m in charge! You can’t make me potty!”

No, I can’t. And I didn’t. I learned the very hard way that Graham used pottytraining for control. I refused to play that game with my second strong-willed kid. She stayed in diapers all day, and I told her the potty chair was for Adelaide.

Today, she was on potty strike again. “I no listen to Mommy. I a big girl in charge.” No big deal. Put the potty chair in the kitchen and went about my business of running a three-ring circus.

Out of the blue, Adelaide crawled to the gate. Looked at the potty. SIGNED POTTY. After I hyperventilated, I asked, “Adelaide, do you need to potty? Do you want to sit on the potty?” She said, “Digggiggggzzzzizgggi!” and flapped her arms. Which is an excited yes in Adelaidean.

I sat her on the potty, even though she had just gone. She was pretty happy on that chair.



About 90 minutes later, she signed ‘potty’ and again crawled to the chair. She had just peed.

I was determined to catch her before she had a bowel movement. She has several tells. But Graham and I left the living room to get something from his room and I missed it!

She crawled over, signed, and knew she needed a change. I cleaned her up, sat her on the potty, and she kept looking down to see if anything was happening. It’s very common for kids with hypotonia to lack that ‘I’m about to go’ sensation. But it won’t stop us from trying.


Bess became jealous and started using the potty again. She had some accidents, but wasn’t going to let Big Sister show her up. “Mommy! Get pitcher of Bess doing cheese smile on potty!” Sure thing, sweetheart.




I basically spent my day pottytraining. But I’m in a state of euphoria over Adelaide wanting to use the potty! It’s one of those things I wasn’t going to write off, but I also wasn’t even thinking about it. I was going to try after her 5th birthday to put her on a schedule and see if we could cut down on diapers. But SIGNING POTTY. It’s like Christmas. If your Christmas is filled with urine and feces. I don’t know your life…

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One thought on “Pottytraining The Ballew Sisters

  1. princess zulu says:

    amaze-balls! I am so proud of them!


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