So essentially, Chance is at a point where he has the potential to be completely
potty-trained… but he’s not. Some of it
is normal; he still gets too interested in playing to always stop and go to the
bathroom. He doesn’t always tell me he
has to go, so I have to make him take potty breaks. If he gets upset or over-stimulated, he’ll
have an accident. And he still will run
off and hide to poop in his pants. 

But the biggest thing I noticed (or finally clued into) was that he was using accidents as payback. He has an accident and then runs away instead
of getting cleaned up. Turns it into one
huge game. It’s another way to push
mommy’s buttons… and lately, he’s been big
into pushing buttons. (Can you tell this
totally makes me insane?)

The scene: Chance and I are playing together but he keeps
pushing me with his feet.  After I’ve
told him to stop three times, and tell him I’m not going to play if he isn’t
nice, I stop playing with him. I sit on
the couch and pick up a book to read.

Chance pees his pants. 

ME: “Oh kiddo! OK, let’s go get changed.”

CHANCE, watching me intently:  “No!” laughs hysterically, starts to run off

ME, temper rising: “I’m not going to chase you, Chance. This isn’t a game. Let’s get
cleaned up. You don’t want your butt to
hurt, do you?”

CHANCE, more laughing, tries to hide

ME, (completely mentally snapping): “OK then, you know what?! When you’re ready to get changed, you let me

CHANCE, stops laughing, looks at me warily

ME:  stomp to kitchen,
forget what I’m doing, stomp back, pick up something off floor

CHANCE, sees me coming back, starts laughing again

ME: “I’m not going to chase you! Are you ready to get changed?”


ME: “All right, you let
me know when you’re ready.” I stomp back
to Keen in the den and tell him what’s going on. “I’m going to go practice drumming. Don’t change him until he asks.” (Mean mommy!) I head outside and bang on things for a while. 

Twenty minutes later I go in to get a tissue (damn
allergies) and Chance has just gotten
changed. I then invite him outside to


Ten minutes later, another

ME, feigning nonchalance (but inside I’m still pissed from
earlier): “Oops, looks like you’re
wet! Do you want to get changed?”


ME: “All right, it’s
up to you. You let me know.”

CHANCE goes back to playing.

Five minutes later.

CHANCE: “[I’m] cold,

ME: “Well, that’s
because you’re wet, kiddo. You ready to
get changed?”


ME: “OK, it’s up to

Another five minutes later.

ME (because I couldn’t resist): “So are you going to have an accident in
front of all your friends at school, too, and then stay in wet clothes?”

CHANCE: silence

Five more minutes later.

ME (after the wind had kicked up a little): “Hey kiddo, ready to get changed?”

CHANCE: “Yes.”

ME: “Let’s go.”


Get inside and Chance waits for me to undress him. (Which, honestly, up until this point I
usually did. It was just faster that

ME, not stepping in to help him at all: “OK, take off your clothes.”

CHANCE starts to tug at his clothes but still looks for my

ME: “Nope, you’re a
big kid. You can do it. Take off your
shoes first.”

CHANCE takes off his shoes

ME: “OK, now take off
your socks.” (The totally sodden,
sticking to him socks.)

CHANCE wrestles socks off his feet

ME: “Good job! Now pull down your pants and underwear. Everything off!”

CHANCE gets out of pants and underwear

ME, giving him a quick wipe down and handing him new
clothes: “Put your clothes on. I know
you know how.”

Chance again pauses, waits for help

ME: “Go ahead. You’re a big kid, you can do it.”

CHANCE s-l-o-w-l-y pulls on all his clothes himself.

ME: “Great job,
Chance! See, you’re such a big kid now I
knew you knew how to do all that yourself.  And when you have to go potty I know you can
come in here and do that yourself, too.”

CHANCE, big beaming smile


That was Sunday. The
next time I asked him if he had to go pee he ran into the bathroom shouting, “I
can do it myself!” The next time he had
a (perfectly understandable) accident he 1) told me, and 2) when I said, “OK go
take off your pants” he ran into the bathroom and took off his pants.  The angry, button-pushing peeing seems to have
stopped (God, I hope I’m not jinxing myself!), and best of all, he actually
pooped in the potty the other day! Then
the last time he tried to do the run and hide maneuver (to poop) all I had to
do was remind him of that great poop he made in the toilet and he went running
for the bathroom. 

Who knew me having my own version of a tantrum would work
out so well?

 – the