Perils of Potty Training: The Aftermath
I can tell you exactly where the restrooms are for every store that my family frequents. I can tell you which ones are the most family-friendly, and which I only recommend using in an emergency. I will spare you the details of our tour of “places little boys can pee outside,” but I will mention that it is an extensive list, and we are constantly adding new sites.
I remember wishing that my kids were potty trained. When the twins arrived, my older daughter was not-quite-two and still in diapers. I averaged 25 changes a day. Twenty-five. A day. I would think longingly about the time when all three were potty trained.
It didn’t make me rush into it, though. With my oldest, the thought of dealing with newborn twins and potty training was enough to drive me to drink, so I didn’t (to clarify, I may have had a drink or two, but I didn’t potty train). I waited. And when her third birthday was approaching, I happily informed her that she was going to be so big that she wouldn’t need to wear diapers anymore. So, one day the diapers left, and after one weekend of learning – for both of us – we happily bid them goodbye. It was so fast and relatively painless, I almost wondered if I’d done something wrong.
Whether or not it was wrong, I decided that it worked so well I was going to do it again. So, I didn’t push potty training. The twins saw their big sister use the potty, but as my son would inform me, “I’m still little. I don’t need that potty.” So, we waited. And close to her third birthday, when we started talking about how lucky they were to be so big that they could use the potty, my younger daughter decided she was ready. She went into the bathroom, put on her big girl panties, and never looked back. A few weeks later, with a little more encouragement, her brother followed suit.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? What the heck am I complaining about? Well, it used to be that a bathroom emergency meant finding somewhere to dispose of a stinky diaper that wouldn’t take out an entire room of people due to toxic gasses. Now a bathroom emergency means that my child has to go – NOW – for the fourth time since we arrived at the movie theater. It means that despite asking each time we enter a building if anyone has to use the bathroom, we’ll get as far as humanly possible from the restrooms, with a full cart of cold groceries, when someone will decide that they have to go – NOW. It means constant vigilance as I stand in yet another tiny stall with three other people, with a running dialogue that sounds something like, “Don’t touch that! Don’t put your face there! Stand up, please! Yes, I do think it is stinky in here, we’ll be done soon!”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we’re past the days of 25 daily diaper changes. But I look forward to the day when a trip to the store doesn’t involve five trips to the bathroom.
Do you have a potty training complaint? Here’s your chance to share – vent away!