I’m not sure what I imagined about life after Princess was potty-trained. I thought about being able to drop her off at the Ikea child care area and being able to swim at the town pool. I had vague images of bowel movements occurring without my help and not even noticing when she went to pee.
Now I’m proud to say we’re done- in undies, even at naptime and at night. (It involved a complex charts and prizes and some Resolve but we did it. You can find some of the tools I used on this Pinterest board– might as well follow me while you’re there.) Sadly, I now know there is a dark underbelly to this post-diapers world that no one tells you about. I thought I’d share so you can be prepared.
1. Your child learns to use and abuse 5 powerful words.
“I have to go potty,” she says. Every time, I respond quickly and happily, like a well-trained labrador retriever. Full shopping carts are left in the middle of the aisle. The hot meal I was just served and brought a forkful to my mouth of is forgotten. Feeding baby brothers are dropped like hot potatoes. Bedtimes are pushed back. Once the nearest potty is reached, most times I am rewarded with the sound of the tinkle hitting the water. Sometimes, though, I just get a sheepish grin and, “I guess I don’t have to go potty.”
2. That diaper may have been holding his or her pants up.
Diapers are bulky. When absent, pants loss may occur. My in-laws were in a Wal-Mart parking lot when my father-in-law felt a tug on his hand. “Uh, Poppie? I think we have a problem,” she told him. He turned around to see her shorts around her ankles.
3. Every toilet is a new adventure.
They come in all shapes and sizes and levels of cleanliness. Porta-potties, kid potties, camper potties, tall potties- each new one is approached with trepidation. Like only some are willing to accept her offerings. Sometimes I have to promise not to flush while she’s in the stall. If there is one of those jet-propelled why-just-take-the-water-lets-take-the-skin-off-too dryers nearby, she’s probably not going to go at all.
4. Strangers are going to be lured into conversations about feces.
I waited until we got to my hairdresser to give Princess one of her potty presents, a pink Barbie laptop (purchased at a consignment shop.) I knew this would keep her quiet while she waited for my cut and color to be over. While she was playing, another lady arrived and sat next to her. At first, Princess made the usual small talk- “I know all about snakes. My aunt Courtney is coming over tonight. We’re going to see Mimi today.” (She doesn’t, she wasn’t and we weren’t- but that’s ok.) Then she says, “This is my poopie computer.” I prayed the woman wouldn’t ask. But she did. “I got it for making a poopie. It was huge. Daddy said it was a real man-log and he was a little jealous,” she replied. Okay, she did say the huge part but the daddy/man log/jealous was avoided only when I quickly changed the subject back to snakes.
5. Bathrooms are not stroller-friendly.
Not for Princess- for her little brother. When she was a baby, I would typically hold it until I got to a bathroom where it was okay to drag the stroller or, more likely, until we were home. Since I cannot ask this of the newly trained Princess, her little baby brother often has to come with us on the trips to these toilets everywhere. Anyone know if this will result in some trauma for him?
There it is. The down side to having a potty trained child. Still pretty happy every time I hear a “plop” in the potty, even if she can’t wipe her own butt.