How to Stop Time: Start Potty Training

by Abby on January 13, 2012

potty training boy on potty with phoneEveryone’s always moaning about how time passes so quickly and they wish there were more hours in the day, right? (Everyone except me, that is. Personally, I wish there were FEWER hours in the day, specifically the hours of 5:30-7am and 4-6pm.) Well, I have the perfect solution for those of you who want time to slow down: potty train a child.

That’s right, you heard me. Start potty training and you will soon be spending 20, 40, even 50 minutes at a time, several times a day, sitting on the edge of the tub, coaxing, reading to, or simply offering moral support to your pants-less child.

While he sits there and tries to go, you will become intimately familiar with your grout, notice that weird water stain on the ceiling, and wonder why on earth your husband thinks the proper orientation for a roll of toilet paper is for the paper to unroll from the bottom, rather than from the top, as any sane person knows is the correct way. (Just kidding! That would imply that’s he’s ever changed a roll of T.P. in his life!)

You may also find yourself giving absurdly detailed and specific instructions on how to do something that’s often breezily referred to as “answering the call of nature.” I can assure you, humans are not born knowing how to use a toilet properly. At least not my little humans. “Sweetie, scoot back. Yes, like that. Now point that down and put your legs like this. Now hold onto those little handles on the side there. NO, don’t lean forward like that! You might fall off. Stop wiggling!” Come to think of it, it’s a little like the nurses who tried to “help” me give birth. There are some things you simply can’t practice in advance.

As soon as your child realizes how much of your time and attention he’s getting, you can be sure he will drag you into the loo every chance he gets. At my son’s weekly gym class, he claims 3 times in 45 min. that he has to go, when really he just wants to fiddle with the soap and paper towel dispensers. Come ON, kid! We’ve got forward rolls to do! Bars to swing from, parachutes to shake in the air! We can play in the sink at home.

And we do. Oh, we do. And the thing with potty trainers is, they know they have you between a rock and a hard place. Or rather, a diaper and a messy carpet cleanup. So you’re just not willing to take the chance that they might be faking every time they say they “have” to go.

The other day it finally happened – the moment we’ve been waiting almost 3 years for. Son #2 finally went #2 on the potty. I was excited, but I kept my reaction in check because I’ve been through this before. Just because it happened once does not mean it will happen again. My celebratory tweet was barely sent out into the world before I got my reality check. See, he wasn’t quite “finished” yet. That’s another problem with beginning potty trainers: premature dismount. Sigh…

So here we are, back in the bathroom again. Sitting. Watching. Waiting. Those “stop and smell the roses” people certainly aren’t envisioning stopping HERE or smelling THAT, I can promise you. Enjoying every moment? Sure. Just crack a window for me, would you?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie Mizzell January 13, 2012 at 5:41 am

Ha ha… Funny how our brains work. I’m about to write my blog post today and you may notice the subtle similarity. Looking back and saying “I would have done this or that” is so much different than living the actual moment.

As far as potty training… D was 3 1/2 when he officially moved to um, “part 2.” I had a premature celebration, around age 3, as well. Even at 3 1/2, though, he had to learn about what to do when you’re standing up to pee and then have the sudden urge to do the other thing. In this particular case, it landed on the floor. When he called me into the bathroom, I actually laughed. Then I snapped a photo and sent it to my husband at work.

Oh, yes. I did. (And then I cleaned it up)


steph mills January 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Nice!!! I’d send a pic to my husband, too. Sometimes words just won’t do.


Lou Mello January 13, 2012 at 7:48 am

Soooo many years ago that it is just a very faded memory. All I can recall is that girls are so much easier at this than boys who have all kinds of things going on in different directions.

Now, as to the proper etiquette for TP, all one has to remember is that TP is just short for over the TOP. My goodness, woman, how do you stay married to such a barbarian?? 🙂


Abby January 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

LOL! I wonder that all the time, Lou. And great tip — TP for “top.” I’ll pass that on to the barbarian. 😉


Ali/Alessa January 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

My latest post was about potty training… my 5mo, that is. I’m sensitive to bad smells, and his poops, lately, have been trying my scent glands. I can only imagine what I’ll have to go through when he’s actually ready to potty train, and I’ll have to sit in the bathroom with him, engulfed in the smell – gawd!


Malia January 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

Oh, gosh…the “enjoy every moment” people drive me crazy! I don’t think they’re thinking of ALL of the moments that go into parenting. Some are downright gross (like cleaning up last night’s bathtub poop from the 2yo). Enjoy THAT moment, I dare ya! 😉


Abby January 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

Hahaha!! You guys crack me up! Maybe we need to revise it to “enjoy every moment…except the ones involving poop.”


Holly January 13, 2012 at 10:04 am

Ugg, I hear you, Abby. I can’t stand potty training. Can’t stand it. And, my LO always poops in her underwear when I am home and have to clean it up – never when the hubby is home. I’m kind of sure she hates me right now and knows what she is doing. Must be it!
And, although I am up all night working and have too many things on life’s list – I would pay money to give away the “witching hour” of 4-6pm. 🙂


Mindy January 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

We are right there now. My daughter keeps saying she has to go, then we go in and talk about the Sesame Street characters on her potty seat for about 10 minutes before she hops down and asks for a diaper.


Kathleen Basi January 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

You are SO RIGHT!!!! 🙂


steph mills January 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Amen, Amen, Amen!! So true. All of it. Thanks for putting what I am going through into words!!


Rachel January 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

happy to read this on a day I road-tripped with my potty training kid! THANKS!!!


Katie August 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I love this! It is so true…so true. My daughter is 2 and a half so we are in the thick of it.


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