Underpants Aflame

And lo, the underwear, it did burn him.

Underpants hat and a life vest - the next awesomesauce trend

Mr. Pants thinks underwear is for hats only. Even though he gets it that Mommy and Daddy wear underpants (in the, you know, “traditional” sense), and even though he has books that tell him that “Underpants r awesome! Moar underpants pls kthxbai!”, he is still deliriously unhappy if we put underpants on him. Like, falling-on-the-floor-wailing-screeching-and-scrabbling unhappy. There are tears. Like the world will end if he wears those underpants for 30 more seconds.

Like the awesome parents we are, we tricked Kale into wearing underpants over his diaper and under his jammies last night by installing the underpants into the jammie bottoms and then putting those on him. After some prancing and general happiness about wearing our jammies (oh man do we love jammies), we then let him know he was wearing underpants and suggested he pull down his jammies to “check and see”. When he spied them, we were quick to tell him how awesome they were, what a good boy he was, how cool he was to be wearing underpants, and so forth. He wasn’t pleased at first, but after a few more (ultra fun!) “check and see”s, he was okay to have the underpants remain on him.

I should back up here. We’re starting potty training, although I can’t stand the word “training” when it’s partnered with “potty” or “toilet” because I don’t really think it’s “training” per se. It’s learning about your body, in my books, and Kale’s understanding of when he needs to pee and poop isn’t a skill I want to drill into him, it’s something I’d like to see come as naturally as possible. We have the ability to make peeing and pooping a non-event – I’d really prefer for there not to be control issues around it and for it to just be yet another part of life.

To that end, I want Kale to wear underpants so that he can wear underpants while we are home so that pottying is easier. I love the cloth diapers but they are hard to get off quickly so we need to move to underpants at home for easier pottying. Once we have at home mastered, we’ll start heading out in underpants and from there, hopefully, just ease out of diapers entirely.

But unfortunately, Kale thinks underpants are the devil’s work. When he wears them he says he doesn’t like them and begs for them to be off.  I’m stumped about how to make the underpants less crappy (no pun intended, okay, maybe a little). I will not buy underpants with licensed characters on it – I just won’t bend on that one. But I’d love to hear any advice you might have about how to encourage Mr. Pants that underwear = good, diapers = bad.

11 years ago


  1. Bribe with sweeties. Caden gets a smartie (ONE smartie) if he poops in the toilette.
    Sweeties may not be your thing, more importantly it may not be KALE’s thing- what is it called in dog training? food reward? lol Find what motivates him.
    But basically, bribery works. 😉

  2. Oh hey, we are not above “special treats”. Kale gets 1 M&M for a pee on the potty, and 2 for a poop. He pooped his first on-purpose poop the other day. That’s no problem. But I don’t get the underwear hatred, and how would I bribe that? “You wear these and you get this?”

  3. You tell Kale I LOVE underpants on the head. If they don’t belong there, then why do they look so good!

    Give up. Walk away. In two weeks take Kale shopping for underpants. Buy him whatever kind he wants.

    In the meantime, practice with no pants, no diaper. Trust me, if he pees in underpants it’s the same amount of mess as if he pees naked.

    If you don’t want to wait 2 weeks (totally arbitrary number I picked there) then I got some cloth training pants – padded underwear with waterproof cover- at Kids Kloset. Kale could wear those and practice pulling them up and down and they feel a bit more like a diaper so it might be more comfortable for him.

    He knows something is up, something involving him becoming someone else, so he is resisting it. And he can tell that you care so he is resisting it more. If they know you care, you’re lost. Pretend you don’t care.

    Also, kids are nuts and you can’t get him over an underpants phobia/fear of being a “big boy” until he’s good and ready.

    PS: My child, who is 3 months older than yours, is not interested in peeing in a potty. But that’s OK because I don’t care!
    PPS: See what I did there? Aw yeah.
    PPS: I do care. But don’t tell him.

  4. You totally made my morning with this comment. You are dead right I think! – he knows something is up so he is resisting. I can wait two weeks. I am patient. (sort of).

  5. Underwear and/or cloth trainers did NOTHING for us, because as soon as Ash had something around his waist, his brain would go back into “diaper” mode and he’d pee everywhere. I just say go diaper free.

  6. I really hate bribing kids for anything (it kind of falls into the same category as excessive praise in my book – I fear we will be raising kids that think they deserve a treat or praise for every small thing that they do). That being said, after I read your post yesterday the Mister and I talked it over and have decided that we are really tired of changing Moira’s poopy diapers and are now bribing her with stickers. At this point she is having “big girl poops” and no diaper is able to contain them so I’ve gotten a little sick of constantly having to wash her clothes and her sheets (she always poops after she goes to bed – or she will tell me to change her diaper so she can poop in the new one. Seriously! This child is so stubborn!)

    Anyway, I offered her stickers to sit on the potty last night and she pooped right away. *insert eye roll here*

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