Potty training for dummies

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I feel like everywhere I turn, I keep hearing about/seeing/schmoozing with toddlers WAAAY younger than my own 2-and-4-months-year-old who are potty trained — as Leo would say — “ALREADY!” (He loves adverbs. He doesn’t always use them correctly).

I know girls often potty train a lot faster than boys, or at least this is what I tell myself in the witching hours of the night when I wake up wondering if my kiddo will wear diapers forever (the Honest Company patterns are so cute, I wouldn’t blame him). But in all seriousness: I had not been sweating Leo’s lack of potty-dom because I’d been going off the advice of some friends with older children, which was that if you train too early, you might regret it AND it will take longer. But if you wait until they’re old enough, it can happen quickly and painlessly (hold back the laughter please, thanks). Anyway, I figured we’d get to potty training when Leo was about two-and-a-half. Until last weekend, when TWO (seriously: two) different parents* of two different toddlers scared us shitless by telling us that there is a window for potty training, and that window shuts at 28 months. And guess what. My child is 28 months old… today.

I got super curious as to what actually happens after that window closes and another one does not open even though the Mother Abbess said one would. Does your child just decide that diapers are the new black and vow to never pee or poop in a toilet EVER UNTIL COLLEGE? Does he/she give you the toddler version of the middle finger? Does a two-years-and-five-months-year-old realize that diapers are actually more convenient? (Who really wants to take a potty break during a fun Elmo movie/Thomas episode/board meeting at work, anyway?) Honestly, I’m just really scared of having to persuade my kid to put down the train so we can go potty. Or leave music class to go potty. And I didn’t even think of this until RIGHT NOW, but God help me if I have to take off his car seat cover because there’s an accident. That thing actually requires a PhD to put back on. And a mechanic’s license. And patience. Okay we just won’t ride in the car. It’s settled.

In a bit of a panic early in the week, I read a potty training book INSTEAD OF WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY, ordered about forty (unexaggerated figure: seven) Thomas the Train underpants on Amazon Prime, and started mentally preparing myself for what I believe will at best be challenging and, at worst, require us to buy all new rugs. I’d love to hear any potty training tips below (but even better would be some encouragement. Because if we epically fail, Ethan will be thisclose to hiring a Taskrabbit to do this for us). Okay, not really. Okay sort of really.

PS: The dummy in the title of this post is obviously Mom. And Dad. Not Leo. He calls a yoga mat a “yogurt mat.” If that isn’t brilliant, then what is? xox

*Parents, you totally did us a public service and are amazing and we love you. You just scared the living daylights out of us. But don’t worry we won’t send Leo over with his crayons and the directive to “draw on every available surface.” We would never do that.

PPS: I think Leo will actually nail this potty bizness. It’s just a hunch.