Mommy A to Z

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T is for… 10 Things My Toddler is Doing in the Bathroom, Besides Using the Potty



“Who said toilet training boys is hard?”

Famous last words. I uttered these a year ago, when my then 1-year-old son surprised us by using the potty a couple of times. Remembering the tantrums and tears we had endured when training our daughter, I thought we were out of the woods. I wondered why everyone said boys were difficult to potty train. Either our son was a prodigy (a distinct possibility), or the rumors of boys and toilet training had been greatly exaggerated.

Sadly, my son’s initial interest in the potty quickly waned. Fast forward six months, and our little guy is still happily doing his business in a diaper. And so, we’ve started that oh-so-fun ritual of leading him to the bathroom, plopping him down on the potty, and encouraging him to “make pee-pee like a big boy.” And he enjoys sitting on the potty… for about 30 seconds, before moving on to more important matters. Here are 10 things my toddler’s doing in the bathroom, besides using the toilet.

1. Cleaning his potty. Clearly he can’t use his miniature toilet until it’s spic and span, which requires about 6 feet of toilet paper and all of Mommy’s patience. Once he’s “scrubbed” his potty clean, he of course needs to dump all that paper in the big potty. Which leads to the next important task…

2. Flushing things down the toilet. Left to his own devices, my toddler would gladly flush everything from his rubber duckies to his sister’s toothbrush down the toilet. Since Mommy and Daddy aren’t going for that, however, he’s forced to satisfy himself with toilet paper and the occasional cup of water. All of which is, nonetheless, completely and utterly fascinating.

3. Organizing a peace summit. Sitting on the potty is okay, but not nearly as interesting as gathering every member of the household into the bathroom with him. Not until we’re all seated, on whatever available surface we can find, is my toddler ready to sit on his throne.

4. Brushing his teeth. Once the allure of sitting on the potty has faded, he’s up and following his other favorite pursuit — brushing his teeth, ideally with anyone’s toothbrush but his own. I’m not sure what his fascination with oral hygiene is all about, but at least he has sparkling fresh breath while not using the toilet.

5. Closing the door. While I appreciate a man’s need for privacy, I’m not sure I understand the point of shutting the door after he’s dragged everyone in the bathroom with him. But we get the idea: It’s potty time. No one’s going anywhere.

6. Moving his potty around the bathroom. Hey, a man can’t be expected to use the toilet without the proper feng shui, right?

7. Throwing toys in the bathtub. Bath time may be 8 hours away, but it’s never too early to prepare. Besides, if he doesn’t put his favorite Sesame Street characters in the tub now, they might make other plans. Better safe than sorry.

8. Serenading his audience. Like any great performer, my son appreciates the value of a captive audience. Because who doesn’t want to hear “twinkle, twinkle, little star” or “itsy bitsy spider” while sitting on the bathroom floor?

9. Driving Mommy insane. Nothing is funnier to my toddler than watching Mommy pull out her hair, shouting “Potty time is pee-pee time!” like a toilet-obsessed madwoman. Really, what’s funnier than pushing Mommy to that fine line between tears and hysteria?

10. Sitting back on the potty. The second I announce that potty time is over, he’s back on it, with ardent promises of “I make pee-pee! I make pee-pee!” Which of course just leads to his repeating steps 1-9 above. Here’s the sad truth, little man: Mommy’s on to your game. She’s just desperate.

Obviously, my son is not quite ready for this developmental milestone. We’re going to wait a couple more months, and then try again, hopefully when he’s interested in doing something in the bathroom besides tormenting his parents. In the meantime, I’m done with bathroom summits and potty-side performances. The bathroom is going back to what it should be — a quiet haven where Mommy hides out from the kids.

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  1. At least your toddler us on his best behavior in the bathroom when his Grandpa is around…

  2. We are living the same potty training hell. Our son did the same thing, went pee pee a few times early on with great success and now…well, you nailed it. He throws toys in the tub, wants to brush his teeth, moves the potty around, takes the potty apart. Everything, besides actually using the damn potty. I’m at my wit’s end with trying. Thank you for writing this, I needed to read it. You are my very best internet friend today!

    • I think we should form an Internet support group. You know, before we all go insane… Thanks for stopping by and good luck! Let me know if you stumble across anything that works!

  3. In the bad old days we had to toilet train our kids whether they were ready or not in order for them to go to nursery school. This led to lots of shouting and temper tantrums. I finally, to protect my sanity, gave my husband this task. He had our daughter toilet trained in one day! I still resent him. in any case, I agree with your conclusion and hopefully he will be ready soon.

  4. Potty training is such a journey! I remember all of the ups and downs I went through — hang in there!

  5. I was not blessed with a son… but I could see a lot of toddler antics in this post either way. Best of luck as you continue. As one person told me during potty training, no one walks up to get their high school diploma in diapers. :)

  6. Ah, potty training! We’re going to be starting my son soon. I’m not looking forward to it. Training my daughter has been a long drawn out disaster! I really hope my son is easier.

  7. Hahaha, this was great! I HATE potty training, almost as much as I hate changing diapers. I’m going to outsource for the baby, when he’s ready. I’ve done two, I don’t think I have it in me to train another one!!!

  8. haha This is too funny. One of my favorite things about our new home is that the toilet is separate from the bathroom. He just loves putting this in the toilet!

  9. this is hilarious… my daughter loves moving her potty around too!

  10. So funny! I love all the creative things he accomplishes while on the potty. : 0 )

  11. hahaha!!! This sounds so familiar….with both my son and my daughter thus far! Wowee, is it interesting! LOL

  12. So funny! Sounds like the way it’s going with my 2 year old daughter right about now!

  13. So true! All new moms should read this, as what to actually expect when potty training! Glad to know we are not the only family with toy/household item flushers. That drives me so nuts.

  14. Funny how they act like they are interested in potty training and then they aren’t. I just had to buy a new toilet because my old one never completely recovered from my son throwing a few toys down it. Great post.

  15. Fellow potty-training hater here! I have devoted an entire page of my blog to it, in fact! I linked it instead of the one I linked for your party. Thanks for hosting!

  16. Bwahahahahaha! I love the toddler logic. While all of these steps seem like they are irrational and seemingly chaotic, it makes total and perfect sense.

  17. Hahahahaha! This is hilarious. I can totally relate as I am going through almost the exact same thing with my son at the moment. Some days he will just sit on the potty for ages and ages without going. Other days he insists on brushing his teeth while on it! Ugh. Thanks for linking up to the Tots and Toddlers Thursday Link Up Party

  18. This is hilarious and SO true. When my daughter was potty training she once went into the bathroom and used the toilet for dipping her toothbrush. YUM!! LOL Thanks for linking up at MeetUp Monday! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! (

  19. Hilarious. I love the singing in the bathroom. Hearing other people’s kids singing in public restrooms is my favorite.

  20. Hahah I loved this. My little one this the potty is for putting the dolls in the “bath”. Your blog made my day this morning!

  21. You made me laugh out loud. What a great post! Potty training actually bests my other most dreaded activity – laundry – by a mile. 5 girls down, one to go. Thanks for making me smile. I’m over from meet-up Monday. Following you!

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