Saturday, March 27, 2010

Poddy Training Axe Murderers

After rehashing Blank Slate and  Boys Are Boys And Girls Are Girls, the final college theory I wanna revisit concerns poddy training. I have accomplished this six times and recently have been a life-coach via the cell-phone.

"Yea, Brookie, did you go poo-poo in the poddy? Gramma is so happy with you!"

"Brookie, do you wear big girl panties now? What a good girl!"

"Oh, did you accidentally pee on Mommy's floor three times today? "

I knew the tremendous impact of my life-coaching when she pooped in her poddy one day, then picked up her plastic cell phone. Her mommy heard her yelling from the bathroom, "Gamma? Poopy! Gamma? Poopy!"

Yes, not only did I poddy train my daughter, Jana, against all the advice I was given in college, I was so successful she actually knew how to poddy train her own daughter.

Neither of them are axe murderers. In fact, none of my six early-trained kids are.

You see, that was one of the comments made during a university college course. They were talking about the horrific impact of poddy training a child too early, too scheduled or too harshly. Early training, supposedly, could cause emotional problems and neuroses later in life. The professor actually used the term axe-murderer. I don't remember the exact context of the reference, but I thought maybe these theories might just be taking the problem a little too far.

He continued to lecture us, asking us to imagine how traumatic it could be to entice a little child to perform on the poddy, then you flush their prize down.

I didn't want to ask him what they thought you should do with the poo, I was mute with disbelief. Another boatload of money wasted on educational crap, and we all sat there, taking it in, not daring to question the authority. I knew they bronzed little baby shoes, but I was pretty sure you couldn’t send in a fecal specimen for preservation.

I wondered why just telling the truth would be so harmful to a child.

"This is poo-poo. It is icky. It has all the bad things your body doesn't need. When you poo-poo for Mommy, I will flush-flush and make it go away, where icky poo-poo needs to go."

I totally agree that any child training could be traumatic if you are angry, rude and violent, but I never understood or agreed with the criticism on poddy training too early or being too scheduled.

Training early means less money spent on diapers. (If you are green, this is earth friendly, less diapers in the landfill, or less water and soap needed to wash diapers.) If other society's train their infants from birth, I think we Americans can easily train before 2 years of age. With that said, it isn't a rule. Each Mom gets to choose when and how she wants to train. I think it is more about when Mom is ready than when the child is ready. But, the main point is that it isn't harmful to train them young if you train them with patience, love and kindness.

When I trained my girls at 18 around months, my boys at 2 years, I was often told I was trained, not my kid. I'm not sure what people meant, but if a child can warn you they have to poddy and go when put on the chair, I am pretty sure they're poddy trained.

Scheduling is needful because when you are training them, you need to catch them with full bladders and bowels. If you go into the bathroom often, eventually you will catch them at the right moment, and they'll do their business in the poddy. They learn the sensation of fullness and  the sensation of release. Eventually, you won't have to be as scheduled, they will learn to discern the sensations on their own. But, it is called poddy TRAINING because you are TRAINING them. Regular trips to the bathroom are kinda' necessary. The first day kids don't sit down on the poddy every time they need to go. The first few days you can pretty much guarantee they will pee and poo everywhere BUT the poddy.

Later, the routine of taking them to the bathroom often is necessary because children NEVER have to go to the bathroom if you ask them. They can be standing with their legs crossed, holding themselves, or doing the trying-to-make-my-pee-go-away dance, and if you ask if they have to go poddy, they will usually say NO. It's training. Training them first how to use the poddy is only the first step.  Training them to actually take themselves poddy when they need to go is the next step that can, unfortunately, take years.

I found it amazing, when looking up this theory the other day, to discover some of this early bad advice actually came from the government.  No comment.

Through the years of raising kids, my best advice has not come from books or from seminars or from people with initials after their names. My number one guidance has been the Bible. When subjects aren't covered there, like baby food and poddy training, I go to other moms. I go to older moms and younger moms and moms at the same stage. I glean from each of them and compile their advice for what works for me. Not all advice works, but gathering more than you need is useful. Eventually, something will work for you.

When looking for advice on poddy training, don't look for a highly educated person who has written books.  Look for a successful, experienced mom who has a wealth of information to share.

She'll be the mom with the kid in dry undies.


  1. When I started training at 18 months, (due to interest and success with it) my peditrician said it was a bit early still. I have to say I am going a little slower with this babe, due to adoption stuff...but I don't think it is too early.

    Actually I have a girlfriend who is Vietnamese and she began training her daughter at 12 months, as this is when it was normally done in her homeland. Hmm, her kids were very smart and I haven't heard that they've turned to any axe situations to handle their problems.

    Thinks you speaks wisdom Mindy! ;-)

    Bottoms up (or rather down).

    mama to 8
    one homemade and 6 3/4 adopted

  2. Exactly, Kimmie. When it is going to be a good fit into your life, you begin. That is the first advice I give moms who feel the pressure of "too soon" or "too late." Do it when YOU have time, energy and ambition. During an adoption/new baby, probably not a good time! By the way, SO excited about the adoption. What an awesome reason for putting off poddy training! :)

  3. And people wonder why I have a low opinion of going to college... wow. Interesting theories they have out there!

    Of course, I have a slight worry, that these same "educated" ideas will be forced under government control... :(

    Anyways, nice humorous post from you as always. My opinion is, from what I've seen of my own mother and others, is that if you train your child in ways it feels natural to do so, they probably going to turn out fine! God gave instict for a reason! :)

  4. The new rage is EC (elimination communication) which begins on day 1 or so. I have real blogging friends who do this. If I had tried that, I'd still be the recovery ward of EC overdose unit.

    Poddy or potty? I believe "potty" .. IMHO.

  5. Funny Organizing Mommy should ask that. I was intrigued by the title in my reader, as a poddy here is an orphaned calf! We call it the potty!!!
    I thought you were going in for homesteading or something.
    Have a great week.

  6. The "poddy" is poetic license, highlighting American vernacular.

    Just like I write gunna', instead of going to, wanna' instead of want to, I use poddy because that is how we pronounce it in America. :)

  7. LOVED this post!! Thanks for the info and even a little chuckle!

  8. You have inspired me to start trying poddy training my youngest who is 19 months while working with my 3 year old. If my grandma and others before me could train their children between 12-18 months, then surely I can work with my little girl. She also knows the sign for potty and uses it as she speaks it. Maybe my girl will be easier than my boys were. Night time is what I still need to conquer with most of my children. I know this is hereditary.

  9. Harrison picked out a pink "poddy" complete with sparkly jewels and music for the throne fit for a princess - I mean prince... Great color choice huh?

  10. I love your reflection on what you had learned in a "formal" atmosphere. I think this highlights the fact that our society is very uncomfortable with the concept of early potty training, but there is nothing at all that says it can't be done. So much of it is attitude! I love the information provided in your blog and it reminded me of this site where I got some great basic information and had some questions answered for me. I wish I had known more when mine were of this age!!!


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