It’s My Potty And I’ll Cry If I Want To!
Of all the ups and downs parents face in raising their children, potty training has got to be one of the most trying. Our home is in the middle of this battle, and at times, the war zone escapes into friendly territory.
Our toddler/preschooler feels that he does not have to give the evil toilet his processed waste. In fact, when it comes time to change his “big boy pants”, he runs into the bathroom and hides in the corner furthest from the toilet. Once placed upon the commode he cries, screams, and strips down naked in a pre-school protest!
I have to admit; it has been at least fifteen years since I have attempted to potty train another human being. I was a single mom raising two children that were sixteen months apart. It wasn’t easy, but hey they are 21 and 22 now, and I am pretty sure they are out of diapers! That being said, I don’t think the way in which the world uses the bathroom has changed…so what is the big deal, why is this an issue now you ask? Let me smell you the situation!
Here is a quick blurp…
My husband and I are in the process of adopting three siblings. They are adorable; I call them our “littles.” We already had four children between to two of us; natural, step and adopted. They are all over 18, yet we knew we still wanted to share our home. (Is it any wonder that our first date was the movie “Yours, Mine and Ours?”) Sometimes, when you have a child placed with you, no matter how long they have been in care, you need to help them with tasks that other children their age have already started to develop, or master. From basic skills, like using utensils, to understanding they are safe, children in care need more. More Mommy, more Daddy, more TLC…just more. Potty training seems to be one of the areas where children need some additional assistance, so patience is always needed…not always easy to find, but definitely needed.
Here is a peek into some “fun” at our house…
One day, while prepping for dinner, I am alerted by two screaming girls that someone “stinks.” The two older siblings, which I totally feel should each have at least a set of Oscars or Tonys sitting on their bedroom walls, come rushing into the kitchen with wide eyes and hands flaring about. I normally have two reactions to this type of entrance. First one is to act as if I had not noticed the two pachyderms fumbling over each other as they race to be the first to me, you know they old “oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there” deadpan mom face. Or, and this is where I reel in my own Tony Award, the act of complete shock and awe to every word they say. You know the raised eyes brows, gaping mouth, and bulging eyes…enhanced by my “NO WAY!”…yup we have all done it, and if you haven’t, then it has been done to you.
Anyway…the oldest takes control of the conversation. “Mom, I think there is a problem”, she states, while doing the best geek push up the nose with her glasses look.
“Maaahhhhh, I think one of the dogs has gas,” said my middle little.
As I look over at the two slumbering boxers, I wonder, why is the dog always blamed? Knowing it was not them, I return, “Nope, they are here with me, no puppy gas.”
Within moments, I was hit with that smell. After adjusting my crinkled up face, I go into action. Knowing the toddler will attempt to outrun and out-hide me when he knows I am heading his way, I prepare myself. I reach under the kitchen cabinet and with silent swiftness, I move into action. As if I am channeling my inner Lara Croft, I walk in movie-like slow motion down the hall. My unshoed feet pay no matter to the Legos in the hall as I take each step with determination. Blindly, I shoot my fully loaded, double fisted, Febreze into the rooms as I pass by, coming to a halt at the end of the hall. I holster my bottles and take one last cleansing breath, knowing what lies behind the door. Slowly I open the toddler’s bedroom door, where I am smacked with the nauseating nasal assault.
“Did you go potty?” I ask the child, who is smiling ear to ear while holding a shoe filled with cars up to his head, as if he was on an important business call.
“Noooooo!”, he replies, in complete shock and denial. I think to myself, like, look, Soggybottom boy, just confess to the crime.
I go over and do a visual inspection and act surprised to find the “code brown.” I ask who then poohed in his pants; maybe we need Blue’s Clues to help us with this one?? As I pick up the boy, before he can run and hide, I laugh as he blames his sisters for the nasty mess that is now living in his pants and assaulting all those within a smell mile radius. Why do toddlers have the strength of an ox and the slipperiness of an eel? I mean, I barely made it two doors down to the bathroom carrying him. You ever wonder what the “T” in “T-Rex” stands for? It’s toddler! Think about it, they have a big head, little arms, and destroy everything when they are on a rampage!
As if out of a scene from “Daddy Daycare,” I am shocked at what I find. How such a little being can produce this horrifically vulgar smell is beyond me. I mean come on! He lives on Dino nuggets and pb&js! The coverage was quite impressive, every nook and cranny of his little undercarriage were infused with chocolate pudding from Hades! After using half the box of wipes, changing the entire outfit, and tossing his favorite Marshall socks (Yup we stepped in the pooh when trying to escape), he was powdered, kissed and hugged, then off playing again.
Helen Keller once said, “Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles…” In my house, this smell could have transported us all the way to Pluto!
Needless to say, the potty battle wages on in my house, some days are good, while others days…not so much. We are taking it one day at a time, even one pull-up at a time. Sometimes when I remember these moments I have songs that play out in my head, one such song is “Time, love and tenderness.” That is what you need when they face these little battles. Give them time, give them love, and give them tenderness…but also stock up on Febreze…
This is not the only battle in the house of Campbell’s Choas; it is not even the only battle in the potty…but that’s another story!