Why My 3-Year-Old Son Still Isn't Potty Trained

by Trinity Owen
Originally Published: 
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If you’ve been through the toddler stage, you know that potty training is a dreaded but necessary ordeal. There are mothers who rave about how simple it was to potty train, while there are those, like me, who hate the mere mention of the subject. Yes, as my dad recently told me, it won’t be cute changing his diaper in 4th grade. But if you have not already, maybe consider that it’s just not time to potty train.

I’ve come up with 5 reasons (excuses?) why my son is not yet potty trained, and I’m sticking to them.

1. Everyone keeps telling me to potty train.

By now you must understand I know that my 3-year-old son needs to learn to piss on the pot. Every single time I change my son in front of a loving family member, I am asked the dreaded question, “So, is he almost potty trained?” When this transpires, I grit my teeth in exasperation and think of some witty comment and change the subject quickly. Yes, we all know that it’s a necessary part of life. No, my son is not there yet. I am sure that I would have my son potty trained if it weren’t for the frequent inquiries. They just don’t help the cause.

2. I don’t know how to potty train.

This might be a stretch, but in all honesty, I really don’t know how to potty train a child. I might know how it works; you point “that” toward the water and spray, right? Well, with a 3-year-old, it’s not that simple. It’s never that simple. Sure, I may need only to read through just one or two articles before I know exactly what I need to do. But in my case, “ignorance is bliss.”

3. It’s easier to change diapers than potty train.

You better believe I’ve gotten faster than a ninja on coffee when it comes to changing my son’s soaking wet diaper, clothing, and bedding at 3 a.m. in the morning. Sometimes I’m not even sure that the kid wakes up while all of this transpires. It’s a piece of cake. When comparing the task of changing diapers to battling the wit of a 3-year-old who does not want to potty train, what would you prefer?

4. My son is not ready to potty train.

My head is not in the sand just because I honestly think that my son is not yet ready to potty train. Sure, there are 18-month-old children feeding the toilet, but to each her own (let’s face it, only girls potty train this early). But I’m the mother. I’ll say when my son is ready. He has 99 years ahead of him to fill the bowl. Surely, one more diaper in a landfill can’t be all that bad.

5. I am not ready to potty train.

One thing I’ve noticed when being approached by family and friends is that no one asks me if I’m ready to potty train my son. With the busy schedule that I keep, adding just one more task to the list could literally cause my lid to flip. At this point in life, potty training would be more trouble than it’s worth.

Listen. Your 1, 2 or 3-year-old child does not need to be potty trained before a certain date. If it comes easily, count your blessings! If not, s/he will not be toting a backpack full of pull-ups to the 8th grade.

At least one day you can look back and remember the midnight cuddles and the extra songs sung after changing a wet baby. Those moments will cease to exist if the child is potty trained (so I like to tell myself). I choose to relish these memories because as busy as I get, there is nothing more therapeutic than sweet toddler snuggles in the quiet of the night.

If you’re freaking out because your toddler isn’t potty trained yet, just relax and remember that each parenting stage will pass. Some will pass too quickly. Enjoy the precious moments that you have at hand and save the potty training ordeal for when your husband is on vacation.

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