Potty Mouth and Potty Training: Our Journey and the Books We've Enjoyed Along the Way


Early childhood is full of "moments".

Some of them are exciting and adorable — that first smile; a giggle; first steps; a hug; a kiss; or the moment your child utters the words "mommy" or "I love you".

These are the moments that make parenthood a joy, and I was sure to catch all of these "moments" on video.

Some early childhood moments are not nearly as adorable — cutting teeth (a.k.a., endless crying); weaning from the bottle (a.k.a., more endless crying); learning to sleep through the night (also termed the CRY it out method and so by definition equates to even more endless crying); and my personal favorite — getting rid of binky (which is endless crying mixed with whining, screaming, and tantrums).

These are the moments that I was sure that our video camera wasn't anywhere near me, for fear that I might be caught having a "moment" of my very own.

Right now we are in what has been the longest early childhood "moment" yet: Potty Training.

Oh, I'm sure in some households this is a short and sweet process. I'm sure some kids decide one day that  underwear is the coolest thing on earth, and never turn back.

I'm sure in some households this is a short and sweet process….That hasn't been quite our experience.

That hasn't been quite our experience. In fact, at 2½ years old, baby bookworm has been potty training for over a year.


Yep. Baby bookworm had this peculiar obsession with her potty chair at a very young age. In fact, at 15 months "poop" was such a fond word of her hers that it became her favorite greeting.

"Poop" as a greeting!  We would be in line at Walmart and the cashier would turn to baby bookworm and say something like, "Oh, helping mommy today?" and what would baby bookworm say?

"Hi! Poop."

The same words were uttered when greeting our neighbor, or her music class teacher, or just about anybody.

Most people would laugh, of course, which only reinforced the behavior. Occasionally I'd get a puzzled look, feel my face blush, and just walk away rather than saying "yes, my child did just say poop to you."

"Poop" wasn't just a new vocabulary word for her, though. Baby bookworm was a pro at pooping on the potty at the young age of 15 months. There were weeks that would go by without my having to change one. single. poopy. diaper. SCORE one for me!

I thought, "wow…this potty training thing is EASY! People actually write parenting books about this topic?!? What a waste of 25 bucks."

Now, fast forward to present day. You would think that given her early start at using the potty, baby bookworm would be fully potty trained by now.

You would think.

Well, she's fully pooped trained. We're still working on the pee part.

Luckily for this early childhood "moment" there are children's books that can lighten the mood and stress of the whole process….

Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel is a classic.

If you are looking for something a little less anatomical and more comical, Bear in Underwear by Todd Doodler is a fun book with a lovable character.

A Potty for Me! by Karen Katz is a "lift-the-flap instruction manual."

Potty! by Mylo Freeman is a colorful book with animals that asks "Does your bottom fit on the potty?"

Virginia Miller's On Your Potty! is about a little bear who gets to his potty just in time.

From personal experience, I can't promise that any of these books will actually help with potty training. Remember, we're only poop trained over here.

But, in theory, they should.

At the very least they will give you a little chuckle (if you are into potty humor, that is), possibly make you blush, and give you a slight sense of embarrassment if you were to read them to your child in front of your father-in-law.

I'm hoping to have a happy ending to our potty training "moment" very soon.

And once we've thoroughly exhausted all of the potty themed children's books, I will be going out to buy my very own potty training book made especially for parents.

So much for saving 25 bucks after all.

Marissa Kiepert Truong, PhD is a Chester County, PA mom and early childhood consultant. This post is adapted from her blog Land of Once Upon a Time.


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