How to potty train two kids in four hours

Published on March 05, 2021

Guys, I know this sounds silly, but sometimes, I truly, deeply in my core, feel like once everyone in my household can go to the bathroom in the right place at the right time without involving me in any way, I will be completely carefree, inexpressibly fulfilled, and unshakably happy, every second of every day. Recently, I tried to make that happen.

After a few months of dealing with the incomprehensible diaper volume required by my “international twins” (see photo), I realized that my number one life problem was the amount of wipies and wipables I had to handle on a daily basis.

So, I determined to fix the problem. I was going to defeat diaper sadness. I was going to scale Luvs Mountain. I was going to grab the bull by the horns and demand it alleviate itself in a civilized way. And I came up with the perfect plan. A foolproof system. I was going to get these two tiny people out of diapers and into undies, with the insurmountable power of my will.

The steps were very clear in mind, so here is how it should go:

  • • Remove diapers from the two diaper-wearing children and sit in the bathroom with them for four hours.
  • • Resolve to triumph.
  • • Listen to them scream.
  • • Warm your heart within the fire of your unquenchable will.
  • • Witness small success in the midst of screams.
  • • Celebrate with girls as they continue crying.
  • • Ignore crying and focus on your internal determination fortress.
  • • Text your husband a picture of the one moment of calm.
  • • Enjoy Facebook praise after he publicly shares how awesome you are for successfully potty training two kids. Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 8.13.17 PM
  • • Congratulate yourself for being right. Only you could have crushed this.
  • • Listen to more shouts of anguish.
  • • Watch as more ones and twos find the floor.
  • • Hear your insides break.
  • • Spend the rest of the day taking deep breaths, weakly weeping, power-eating the secret chocolate, and watching two children relieve themselves all over the floor, the white rug, your determination fortress, and all of earth’s surfaces.
  • • Quit at 3PM.
  • • Wonder aloud if bare butts and failure will be your only companions until death.


So, that happened…

My attempt at greatness was met with early and intense failure. After two more feeble tries, I started telling people “I quit forever” and just hoped the girls would figure it out someday. Fingers crossed.

This is pretty much where all my best laid plans land me. Even my most determined efforts can flop. Life, for all of us, is lot of prepping and failing and finger crossing.

As much as we try to end each day winning at parenting, winning at working, and winning at not sinning while ridding the world of pottylessness, we don’t.

We can’t.

The will of fire fizzles and the inner fortress falls. Our very best attempts are not enough.

“For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” – Romans 7:15

“…The flesh is weak…” – Matthew 26:41

And we all know it is not just double potty training. I decide not to lose my patience with my kids. I resolve to read the whole Bible in a month. I decree to be anxiety free for a single day. I claim this as the week I lead someone to Christ.

Often, plans are made and fingers are crossed and steps are taken in hope.

But, it doesn’t work.

“I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” – Romans 7:18

Do you know what comes at the end of that chapter?

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Sounding very much like a broken mom crawling toward the secret chocolate, the Apostle Paul says what we all feel sometimes. “I am too weak. My resolve is not enough. Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

But, unlike me, crying in the corner with the international twins, Paul keeps preaching.

Who will deliver me?



We do not plan alone. We do not try alone. We do not handle the work that matters.

We have Jesus. And Jesus has everything.

Jesus’ plans don’t flop. Jesus is a fortress never failing. Jesus can potty train the cattle on a thousand hills.

And Jesus is ours.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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Scarlet Hiltibidal

Scarlet Hiltibidal is the author of Afraid of All the Things and He Numbered the Pores on My Face. She writes regularly for ParentLife Magazine and She Reads Truth, and enjoys speaking to women around the country about the freedom and rest available in Jesus. Scarlet has a degree in biblical counseling and taught elementary school before she started writing. She and her husband live in Nashville, where she loves signing with her three daughters, eating nachos by herself, writing for her friends, and studying stand-up comedy with a passion that should be reserved for more important pursuits.

Read more about Scarlet

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