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I will just put this out here: I hated potty training. I hated having to be 30 seconds or less from the closest bathroom, I hated spending money on Pull Ups and underwear as we tried to transition, and I hated most of all cleaning up accidents that looked very much like human feces. I didn’t mind cleaning baby diapers as much, but I think with the potty training I resented cleaning it all up because if the kid had just gone to the bathroom like he’s training to do then I wouldn’t have to almost gag.

I will also confess I did not have a good attitude during the whole ordeal. I just didn’t see why it was so hard to use the bathroom. I only had boys, and they loved peeing on Cheerios in the toilet. They would drink large amounts of fluids and go into the bathroom together just to pee on Cheerios. But going #2 in the toilet proved to be much more difficult for my oldest.

I tried all the tips and tricks I could gather but he steadfastly refused to go anywhere but in his pants. I would just throw out the underwear-I couldn’t even look at it without gagging. I was desperate to get this potty training business over and move on to another milestone of childhood, one that didn’t involve nausea. I settled on an elaborate lie with a bit of threatening mixed in for good measure.

I bought yet another pack of Batman underwear, since my son adored Batman. I mean really who wouldn’t? Batman is a normal man with no super powers, yet he still gets to drive a crazy cool car and play with the greatest crime fighting inventions of all time. What’s not to like?

I sat my kid down and pulled out the pack of Batman underwear. His eyes lit up and he reached for them. I pulled them just out of reach and said “Now wait a minute. I spoke to Batman this morning before I bought this pack of underwear. I explained to him that you keep pooping in his underwear and he was not happy at all.”

Nathan’s eyes widened and I think he even gulped. I thought good-this is exactly the reaction I wanted. “Now I told Batman I didn’t really want to buy any more of his underwear but he said I should, and that I should give you this message.” I leaned in closer, for effect. “He wants you to know that you cannot poop in his underwear anymore. If you do, then he doesn’t want you watching any of his shows. And I can’t read any of his books to you.” Nathan looked at me earnestly and nodded his head. He promised me that he would not poop on Batman anymore. If only he had kept that promise I wouldn’t have traumatized him and carried a good amount of guilt to my grave.

A few days later I heard wailing coming from the bathroom. I rushed to the door and discovered an extremely distraught child. “I pooped on Batman! I pooped on Batman!” he cried. I almost laughed until my gag reflex kicked in and reminded me I was going to have to deal with yet another pair of disgusting underwear. I’m about to tell you one of my many Not So Proud Mom Moments (NSPMM) but it is part of the story so it must be disclosed. I pretty much lost it with my kid. I yelled at him and told him that Batman was very angry with him and that I would have to take all the Batman books and DVD’s to Goodwill. Nathan was beside himself with grief. He begged me to call Batman and ask for one more chance. I cooled off and agreed to talk to the Caped Crusader and negotiate another chance.

I’m not proud of that moment, but that kid never had an accident in his pants again. I’m not saying the end justifies the means, but I am saying that the fear of Batman was effective. Barbie however…..not so much.

I told my friend Linda this story because she was potty training her daughter Caroline. She came back a week later and declared that Barbie is not nearly as effective as Batman and her daughter had no problem pooping and peeing all over the blonde icon. Like I always say, not every tip and trick will work on every child. You just have to figure it out through trial and error. I would suggest that the errors should not be traumatizing though.

I find a lesson to be learned in all my past deeds. I definitely should not have lost it with my poor child when he had an accident. My behavior was a total overreaction and to this day I regret that. I just checked with my now twenty-three year old kid regarding his memory of that day and Nathan assures me he has no memory. He says he only knows what have I told him about that day. In fact hee laughed and said “Don’t worry Mom-I’m definitely okay.” Whew-therapy averted!

Please comment and let me know what your potty training stories. If you use my Batman tip (minus the mom meltdown), please let me know how that goes.

You can buy Batman underwear here