My daughter was extremely easy to potty train. She had one accident, was horrified by it, and never let it happen again (exaggeration).

But I had a harder time with Peter. If I reminded him every twenty minutes, he could get most of his urine in the potty, if he was rewarded by candy each time. He didn’t instantly get it, and didn’t seem to want to get it like Heidi did. So I assumed he wasn’t ready and asked him if he wanted to go back to diapers. We tried a couple times, with different incentives and consequences each time. Still, he didn’t get it as quick as Heidi, and so I gave up.

I also made him wear clothes and wash his hands each time, which made everything more difficult.

And then I went to Girls’ Camp for a week and left Bryan in charge of the kids. The sweetheart used five vacation days so I could go have a blast.

When I came back, I found this.

a potty training chart with an picture explanation of the urninary system explanation of the digestive system a child's lego building sitting on the toilet tank

His system was amazing.

  1. He kept a chart of dry hours, not successful deposits.
  2. He gave candy only for “rivers.” Rewards were received for a river of pee or a river of poop, instead of just a drop or trying but not producing anything. If “tries” are rewarded with candy… yeah. Peter would try all day.
  3. He had Peter build with one Lego brick per river. This is another way to build confidence over success. And it is so free. And free of calories.
  4. He also taught about the urinary and digestive systems, because he said Peter would try every ten minutes, and be frustrated for failing.
  5. He didn’t make Peter wash his hands after going, and he let Peter run around naked.
  6. I had the van all week, so they couldn’t go anywhere.

Unfortunately, I also came home to find my toddler saying the f-word. “Fire truck” is difficult, I guess.