Talking today's mother through her first experience with toilet training is akin to talking someone off a ledge. Both situations involve massive anxiety, high drama and lots of yelling and screaming. Now, I am obliged to point out that whereas talking someone off a ledge has always involved drama, that did not describe toilet training until a pediatrician named T. Berry Brazelton convinced himself that this relatively simple process was fraught with the potential for psychological apocalypse. During his medical school days, Brazelton had come to believe that Sigmund Freud, the so-called "father" of modern psychology, was a genius when in fact he was mostly just deluded. Freud had made a big deal of toilet training, so Brazelton followed suit.