This is a Finish the Sentence Friday Post.
I thought I was so cool when I told everyone how easy it was to potty-train my oldest daughter.
And it was- for the most part.
Sure, we had our public pooping incident, which just so happened to be my most embarrassing and disgusting parenting moment to date. But for the most part, it was smooth sailing. One day, when Izzy was 2 years and 3 months old, she peed in her little potty. And she just kept doing it from that moment on. Of course we had accidents, but potty training was nowhere near as hellish as I had imagined. We didn’t need a sticker chart, or M&M bribes, or a weekend of running around naked and covering the carpet with urine tracks. (If you think I’m bragging, notice I didn’t mention our horrifying bedtime struggles, or the Toddler Bed Standoff of 2008.)
Anyway, I hadn’t put much thought into potty training my youngest daughter, as she is just a year and a half. Perhaps you’ll recall her brief foray into pooping in the potty when she was about 16 months. She started telling me when she needed to poop, I’d plop her on the toilet and she’d poop in it. Who knew? She did that for about two or three weeks, and then stopped. No matter, I hadn’t really been prepared to go there just yet. I let it go and dismissed it as another fleeting stage of toddlerhood.
Then she started peeing in the toilet at daycare. Like, 5 or 6 times a day. Huh. Teresa informed me of her plan to put Sophie in underwear the following week, and then one day, Sophie insisted she begin wearing the underwear right away. She even came home carrying her own pair. Okay, I thought, we can try this.
Teresa made it clear that there was no expectation that we go forward with potty-training at home. She let me know that many kids, especially ones as young as Sophie, may use the toilet at their childcare center but not at home. It was basically a no-pressure situation, and I felt fortunate that Teresa was going to be tackling the dirty work of potty-training.
But Sophie was so excited about her underwear that we went ahead and put them on her the following afternoon after nap. About five minutes later, I was seated at the computer while my husband heated up leftovers. I sniffed the air. For a minute, I was concerned that I might be pregnant, as the smell of the pulled pork was utterly nauseating. “What’s that smell?” I complained, as Sophie toddled over to me and climbed into my lap. “Seriously, why does that food smell so bad?”
Shawn wondered over into the adjacent living room where Sophie had been playing. “Um, I think this just fell out the side of Sophie’s big-kid undies,” he announced, pointing at a small turd lying on the carpet.
True to my Mother of the Year status, I sputtered, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Disgusted, I realized that Sophie and her shitlet-filled undies, was still happily perched on my lap. She’d been in her training underwear for all of five minutes and had already crapped her pants. And then it all came flooding back to me. How not fun potty training is.
I had sugar-coated my memories of Izzy’s first toilet adventures, and all of a sudden I remembered the things I hated about it. How much I loathed squatting on the floor, stretching taut the legholes of her Dora underwear, while she teetered from side to side, bashing into me with her bony elbows. I’m gritting my teeth just remembering all the public restroom tile floors I have been intimate with.
I have a vivid sensory imprint of cupping my hand over my then-two-year-old daughter’s backside, only to discover a clump of turds suspended in her thin cotton underwear. The sensation was reminiscent of a handful of marbles dangling in a balloon.
And here we go again. The wet training pants. The pull-up legholes. The bathroom floors. The cluster-of-grapes-like-poop-filled big girl undies.
I was hoping for six more months of dignity and a decreased need for chiropractic services, but to no avail. Teresa, if you’re reading this, I’m just kidding. Mostly.
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