Potty Training…it’s a jungle out there

For those of you who have experienced the peaks and valleys of potty training a toddler, you know it is a world rife with drama, unpredictability and surprises.

One of the biggest surprises for me, personally, is that it seems they don’t actually pee as much as you think they do. Recall all those crazy amounts of diapers you were changing when your little one was a baby? I think it’s a branding thing – you never really realize how much that changes as they age until you start potty training and realizing – they pee less than we do – you’re just still caught up in what they were like as babies.

But see, potty training is not for the weak at heart. As you might guess, the little ones, though not peeing as frequently as one would think, do not have the ability to just – well – hold it. So with the beautiful new world of not needing diapers comes a deep fear and anxiety over – what’s going to happen if/when they have to pee somewhere and we aren’t anywhere near a toilet?

And so, you venture off on each new trip on a wing and a prayer, hoping for the best, dreading the worst, praying that you did really remember to pack an extra pair of pants and socks and underware before you dashed out the door with said toddler.

One of the most hilarious stories I’ve heard recently about potty training is from a friend whose daughter also attends my DD’s school. They were busy shopping at Buy Buy Baby one weekend at the onset of potty training, my friend turned her head for one second, only to look back and realize her DD whipped down her pants, sat down on one of the training potties in BBB and was peeing in that potty.

OK – HILARIOUS. This is one of the things I love most about little ones – they are so literal. There is a potty, I have to go pee pee, ok then – perfect! No filter. Just all practicality. Everything is black and white to them. Love it.

On the flip side of less successful potty training stories, I will tell you what happened to us this weekend. My DD has been potty trained since January and despite my anxiety, we really haven’t had any accidents…until…..Saturday.

Enter a child just recovering from being sick…on top of missing her morning nap….on top of being totally preoccupied. See – when the toddler gets distracted and busy doing something totally fun and exciting – they do not have time to worry about going potty, eating, or drinking. If only I could get this consumed with something other than shoes or celebrity gossip.

Anyhow – we had to take DD to get special sneakers and inserts to correct her foot-turning in/tumbling a lot issue. We left the shoe store and went into a toy store very quickly for a birthday present. DD was in her brand new practical (and boring) white $80 tennis shoes not five full minutes, I was paying at the registered, glanced up at DD and noticed “the stance.”

In other words – she was one step away from putting her hands over her crotch like little kids are prone to doing. My stomach filled with dread and then my husband made eye contact with me – in a look of horror – as we both realized that DD has just peed all through her pants, her brand new shoes and on the carpet of this toy store.

He looked at me frozen in time. He was a man immobilized.

Me, being an action-oriented kind of gal, I mouthed “Get out of here! Go to my car!”

And he swooped her up and literally ran out without a look back.

I stood there, feeling so relieved that no one in the store could identify me as the parent to the child who was so busy playing trains that she completely pissed all over the place.

This was new territory to me.
Do I tell the store that my child just urinated everywhere like a zoo animal?

Or do I run out after I sign the credit card receipt – just as quickly as my husband did, after quickly noticing that said carpet is very absorbent and a dark shade anyway – so no one would even notice unless they stood in that spot barefoot?

You decide what I did.

And kittens – don’t ever say I didn’t warn you – it’s a jungle out there with potty training.

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