You know how annoying I find those people who don’t offer any closure to those of us who listened to them whine about something for months on end. So as not to be one of those people, I am going to address that unanswered question I’m sure is on all of your minds: “So what ever happened with potty training your toddler?”
I swore that this time around would be completely different than the last time, when I basically followed my firstborn around the house with a plastic potty in a constant state of fear. I was TERRIFIED that he was suddenly going to explode all over the couch, the rug, every dry-clean-only surface in the house. Ironically, every square inch of the carpet would later be covered in spit-up from his baby brother and need to be replaced. I could have saved myself a lot of mental anguish.
Anyhoo, I decided with Son #2 I wouldn’t push it. I would follow his cues, take the lead from him. Right. Because toddlers are so logical and predictable.
For proof, consider this: Riley did #1 and #2 on the potty once, then not again for months. Then sometimes he would go on the little potty and other times on the big toilet. Sometimes he would go in public restrooms and not at home, or ONLY at home and nowhere else. Then, when I was ready to buy a lifetime supply of Pull-Ups, he went and did his business all on his own. We had just picked up his grandmother from the train station and were in the midst of rushing around making dinner. As good a time as any, I guess. And it’s been smooth sailing ever since. Almost.
Did he have accidents? Of course. One in particular stands out. We were at a park, which is basically the worst possible place to take a potty-training kid. If there are any bathrooms at all, they’re probably Porta-potties. And there’s no way in hell I’m taking a handsy toddler in there. Nor did I have one of those travel potties that go in the back of the car. I never needed one with the first kid.
So I’m chatting with another mom and I look over at my toddler, a few yards away in the sandbox. Even from a distance, I can tell he’s assuming “The Stance.” Parents of toddlers, you know the one I mean. “Noooooooo!” I screamed in slow motion, as I dashed across the playground. “Stop! You have underwear on!” But it was too late.
Wait, it gets worse: I didn’t bring any wipes. I cleaned him up as best I could with some Starbucks napkins I found and copious amounts of hand sanitizer. As for his clothes, I left them in a trash barrel and drove my child home in nothing but a too-small diaper that I found in the car. We didn’t leave the house again for days.
But now those messy moments are behind us and I no longer even need to carry a diaper bag. It’s so strange and new I almost have to pinch myself! But there are a few lingering issues we’re still struggling with:
“Emergencies.” The great thing about boys is that they can pee pretty much anywhere there’s a tree. HOWEVER. I have had to implement an “emergencies only” rule, or else my kid’s dropping his pants in every neighbor’s yard and in the middle of the T-ball field. You can see where this is going. Yep, he now claims it’s an “emergency!” every time he feels like peeing outside. Which is always.
Premature dismount. I will try not to get too graphic here. Suffice it to say, you’re not really “all done” until you’ve COMPLETELY finished, wiped, and flushed. I have tried to explain that this usually takes longer than 10 seconds. Give it some time, kid! Where’s the fire?
Backwards underwear. Now, I don’t really care if he wants to wear his briefs backwards. File that under “pick your battles.” But it does make wedgies a persistent problem, not to mention that little opening in the front of boys’ underwear is rendered totally useless. Although in an informal poll, 90% of guys don’t use that anyway.
So there you have it, folks: closure! I know you can all rest easy now. And be glad the people in your house know the true meaning of “all done.”
LAUGH O’ THE DAY: After The Park Incident, I borrowed a travel potty from a friend. I left it on the front porch to put in the car. One time we were playing outside and I look over to see Riley perched on the pot. “Hey!” I yelled. “You can’t do that on the PORCH – we’re not hillbillies!”