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I brought my toddler twins to a school holiday concert this week. And just before the music started, I turned to those sweet 2-year-olds and said,


I was so proud when they made it through every holiday jingle without an accident.

Of course, later they both pooped in their underwear but nobody’s perfect.

Potty training is not my thing. I’m not one of those parents who enjoys those potty parties where you sit inside all day, madly hydrating your child and putting them on the toilet every 6 minutes. My idea of a party includes a sitter, margaritas and most certainly a rooftop bar.

Plus diapers are so convenient. Public restrooms are not. Even a portable potty in the back of a minivan can get messy.

Why does everyone say with such incredibly joy, “We are done with diapers!” They should just say… “A one hour drive will now take us 6 hours with bathroom breaks!”

There’s a reason that infamous NASA astronaut drove 950 miles in diapers so she could confront a romantic rival. A course in “Peeing in Bathrooms is a Serious Time Waster” must be part of the rigorous NASA training.

But then one day, a friend watched me change my son Chase and it was not a pretty situation. She asked, “So when are you going to start potty training?” I looked at that gross diaper and thought, “How about right now.”

I bought a big box of pull-ups and told my twins it was time to start using the bathroom. I wanted the process to go quickly. So in an effort to sweeten the toilet deal, I offered them an M&M every time they peed in the potty.

And in 3 days, they were potty trained! I mean, in 3 days they were M&M addicted tyrant dictators! They would somehow manage to squeeze out two drops of pee in the potty at 15 minute intervals and demand more M&M’s.

My M&M budget was nearing my diaper budget and I’m not a nutritionist but I don’t think kids are supposed to eat a steady stream of corn syrup and artificial dyes all day.

Time for a new plan. I scrapped the candy and now they get a potty high five and a potty song! This new reward is much less popular. Honestly, they both asked me to stop singing the song.

I know some kids sort of potty train themselves. My 2nd child Summer was a ridiculously easy. I honestly remember handing her a pack of underwear when she was a toddler and that was pretty much the end of it.

But my twins are more of a work in progress. I work. And they slowly progress.

15 Responses to the secret of potty training. there must be a secret, right?

  • Abby says:

    You are such the evil genius!!!!!! My nephew Murray got the M/M thing and he, too, began to expect little special treats. Then again, he’s the only kid in the family so we spoil him rotten no matter what. I got him to take a photo with me by promising him a special treat, and when the photo came out fantastic I told him he could have whatever he wanted. Thankfully ice cream goes a long way. Who knew a high five and special dance worked such magic!!!!! Good job!

  • Kerri says:

    Love it! We did something like that too. Waited till the kids were ready & they trained in a day ( we tried once a week for a bit but after 2 accidents we would go back to diapers & try again the next week). I also switched to stickers & then woohoo, to them needing nothing because the didn’t like being wet anymore. Gives a chance to re-introduce M & M’s for poops in the potty!! Good Luck finding all the bathrooms, every place you go (before they need to pee!)

  • Tara says:

    I’m sure you already know this trick, but boys love to “sink” Cheerios in the toilet when they pee! Such a fun game……just don’t reward him with Cheerios!

  • bitsy says:

    Potty training is overrated. My kids were like eight by the time they caught on. Maybe nine. The youngest was already contributing to his IRA by the time he finally pooped in the potty.

  • Leigh Ann says:

    I was terrified to train the twins. I waited as long as humanly possible. We didn’t leave the house for WEEKS. Ugh.

  • Lanie says:

    M&Ms did not work for us either. Alyssa would just hop up in the potty & demand chocolate. I know people have all kinds of tricks, naked lock downs and potty boot camps but Fletcher and Alyssa outsmarted me with every one. Perhaps I need to go back to college for some course in being smarter than your toddler. . . i think i will need a roommate – wanna come with me? Miss you. xoxo

  • Betsy says:

    Pull-ups did not work for us. I made this big deal about these Special Potty Training Pull-ups. After several accidents, I asked her why she was not using the potty. She had special potty training Pull-ups. She looked at me and said, “They are not special potty training pull-ups. They are diapers!” So we did what all of our German neighbors did. (We were still living in Germany.) A shirt, bare bottom and a lot of outdoor time. Thankfully she caught on quick. Ir was also summer.

    Also, thank goodness for the Pottette portable potty. Fit right into the stroller, diaper bag, etc.

  • Marta says:

    Love it. Let me know how that goes. I mean everyone loves a high five. I keep meaning to potty training my daughter, but I just don’t really feel like dealing with all the accidents…

  • Jesabes says:

    If only someone could convince me a happy dance is better than eating all this leftover Halloween candy. Because the candy is winning pretty big right now.

  • Jay says:

    pulls dont work just put them in underwear and after 2 days and a roll of bounty a small nervous breakbown and a good floor cleaning or two theyll take the hint except for night time then back to diapers trust me it works super great and thanks for your blog i love it its so true to life

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kelcey kintner