How do you survive toilet training a toddler?

I thought I was doing well as a parent. Then we came to this milestone. And it’s a giant roadblock.

Every chance she gets, my mother reminds me that both my brother and I toilet trained ourselves at the remarkable age of 18 months. Excitedly hopeful that this display of prodigious poop-awareness might be genetic, I started getting the potty out for my son to become familiar with when he was the same age.

That was a year ago.

Since then we’ve tried, failed, given up and tried again. This process is arduous, drawn out, stinky and gross as droppings and dribbles have made appearances everywhere except in the toilet.

Clea's son when he was much younger. Image: Supplied.

We’ve tried the three day toilet training technique, but all that resulted in was our wooden floors being stained in a shade of ‘acid-wash’ urine yellow. Hubby and I have attempted to foster a culture of co-peeing, we’ve used bribery and I pretty much have a Lloyd Webber show’s worth of catchy jingles that I have composed to encourage the correct ablutive behaviour.

My son mastered his balance bike in seconds. He says “please” and “thankyou” like a champion and he can even use the word “investigate” in the correct context. Overall he is doing well, but this endless routine of coaxing him to adapt to the discipline of dropping deuces is really wearing me down.

The thing that is really getting to me the most is that he does seem to have a grip on the concept itself. When offered treats at the right time, he’ll head to the bathroom and perform like an X-Factor contestant at the Grand Finale. 

At least with potties you don’t have to stop watching Octonauts... Image: Supplied.

I know he has secretly conquered bladder control but doesn’t want to let on because on three separate occasions, he has turned timeout in his crib into the opportunity for revenge wee. He has waited until I have shut the door and then taken a slash right on his mattress with all the consideration of a drunk outside a Black Sabbath concert.

My son’s little girl friends are uber tinkle-talents and have been proudly sporting their Frozen knickers for months, which only adds to my frustration each time I shell out another $15 for a packet of nappies.

I used to have a glamorous life. I went to A-list functions and had tickets to all the cool shows. I’d get excited by the prospect of a promotion, a pay raise or the discovery of a heavily discounted Sass and Bide skirt.

Clea and her son mucking around. Image: Supplied.

Nowadays it’s the sight of my pantsless son, toddling up to present his potty, complete with a fresh deposit, to our lunch guests for inspection that fills me with pride.

It’s a slow and painful journey, but we’re getting there. And I’ll have my revenge for all the resistance and naughtiness when he is a teenager and I tell his girlfriends all about the time he laid a log on his own bedside table.

Got any toilet training tips to share?