Potty Training Boys
Here's a little secret you may not know about me.
A long time ago, when my 3rd child entered school – I applied to teach at the local preschool. I thought this would ease her transition into school knowing that I was there. Turns out, the whole experience blew up in my face (that’s a blog post for another day).
I taught 5 mornings a week, time split between a 2 and 3 year old class. Many of the kids in the 3 year old class were potty training. In fact, most of them wore actual underwear to school.
Part of the deal – of course – with children this age is that they require help in the bathroom from time to time. It turns out however, that my all female estrogen laden parenting experience did not prepare me for potty training boys.
Did you know that boys don’t wipe? Seriously, they just put their hands on the wall, stand on a stool – and pee all over the potty aimlessly. And then when they are done, they don’t wipe. (I did NOT know this!)
I learned this lesson the hard way.
After each boy would go in to the restroom to pee, I would hand them a piece of toilet paper. One little boy said, “What is this for?” And of course, I said – “To dab, you know – to wipe after you pee.” He looked at me like I was crazy, and I made a mental note of how unsanitary his mother must be.
For about two weeks, I did this each time the boys went in. Each time, the boys gave me that same glaring crazy look (I didn’t actually go IN the bathroom with them, so I have no idea what they actually did with the toilet paper after they were done).
Then, one day – I asked my husband why he didn’t use toilet paper to ‘dab' after peeing.
He looked at me with that crazy look, like I had just grown horns. And I quickly looked down at the little wet spot on his sweatpants that proved he didn’t ‘shake' well and that wiping may be in order.
I proceeded to tell him that I gave the little boys in my 3 year old class a few squares of toilet paper when they had to pee and told them to dab when they were done.
And suddenly, his eyes grew wide. And I was schooled in the proper mechanics of potty training boys. I was also told that I was probably traumatizing these poor little boys – because BOYS DO NOT WIPE AFTER THEY PEE. THEY SHAKE! In a voice that was almost a shout, he told me to cease and desist this behavior right away lest I want to completely and forever scar these little boys.
How was I supposed to know this? I spent all my time potty training little girls. And girls DO wipe (I still think boys should). And why didn’t any of the little boys object to the toilet paper, or at least tell their moms that the crazy teacher at school gave them toilet paper when they had to pee? (Probably because they appreciated the lack of pee stains on their sons’ tighty whities!)
At any rate, I listened to my husband. I stopped handing little boys toilet paper when they had to pee. Today, those boys that were in my class are in 5th grade, and I see them from time to time. I always wonder if they see me and secretly think, “There's the crazy whacko lady that tried to teach me to dab my penis after I peed,” then duck their heads and run in the other direction. Or maybe, just maybe – they DO dab. Truth is, I will never know.
But here's a little word to the wise for those of you who – like me – have no experience potty training boys. Boys do not wipe. They shake. Now I know the real reason God did not give me sons – because I would have turned them into blotters.
Image via iStock