I have heard it a million times, and just like almost everything regarding child-rearing, ignored it: Potty training sucks! It is the most disgusting, semi-humiliating, and simply terrible thing that a parent has to go through.
Just this morning my son had a successful go at his little mini-potty. I know that I am supposed to rejoice these moments, but rather I am instantaneously struck with fear and disgust as I glare at what awaits. Diarrhea. I really do not know the best way of going about cleaning a plastic container filled with diarrhea. I sat and stared at the bright orange potty, completely unsure of my next steps. “Can I throw the potty out and buy a new one?” “Should I bring it outside and hose it down?” “Do I save it until my husband comes home?” Finally, I decide the best avenue is to get it over with as quickly as possible. I dump the poo into the toilet, make a paper towel glove, and clean it out. So terrible.
Everyday is a new adventure! Yesterday I was covered in my son’s pee. Again, he is having success on the toilet when all of a sudden rockstar realizes he can flex his pee-pee muscle upwards and shoot it strait at me. Apparently among my many other motherly duties, I am now tasked with holding his little guy down every time he pees. The alternative is a laughing child and wet mom.
Public restrooms are a treat as well. You get your child pumped to “go”, place them on the toilet despite their best efforts at screaming, flailing, and turning their bodies into pencils that will not bend at the waist. Next, you sit and watch as your kid gropes everything covered in the most unimaginable germs. There’s the tampon and pad garbage, the toilet seat itself, the flusher, and lets not forget the very center of the seat where the porcelain is (along with a collection of stranger’s urine.) My son seems to believe this is where you hold on. When all is said and done, the grand finale arrives when you stand them up and they grab your shoulders as you pull their pants up.
From all of my experiences (a whopping week) I have very little knowledge to offer, but here goes…There are several schools of thought on which potty training techniques work the best, and they all have very little appeal, unfortunately one must be chosen.
- Pull-ups- This strategy seems the most sanitary, but also the least effective. The child knows they have a diaper-like thing on and therefor uses it in lieu of a diaper. I am a clean freak and so when we leave the house, we use pull-ups. Note: If you have a boy, you still have to put their pee-pee in the downward position, or the pull-ups go to shit. I learned this shopping last week when suddenly my son comes running up to me, smiling and shouting “pee, pee”. As I look down at him, not only are his shorts completely soaked but his shirt, all the way up to his neckline, is also soaked.
- The Naked Technique- This method has so far been the keeper in our house. Its pretty simple. Keep the kid naked, and a potty close by. Every 20 minutes or so, attempt to put them on the potty. Watch them like a hawk. Again, the watching is key. I was preoccupied, when I heard the pitter patter of feat running towards me screaming “pee, pee”. I am quickly concerned and begin searching the house for the puddle when I find “it.” A pillow. Pulled off the bed in the guest room. Laying on the ground and covered in pee. I’m pretty sure he just laid right on top and let it rip.
- The “Put them in underwear and let them feel the wet” strategy- This one scares me. Not sure if I want to be constantly wiping up pee and changing urine soaked clothes all day, but supposedly it works.
Every child will be potty trained eventually. I am SURE I am starting too soon, but nonetheless have my fingers crossed that my son will be fully trained before baby #2 arrives. I suppose when they’re ready they will do it, but in the meantime I will continue to force my timeline and face the potty training hell that is.