Potty Training: Fantasy vs. Reality

Potty training: is it even possible? Science says no but parents around the world can't stop making fools out of themselves. Potty training is not something you should put your child through. Children will naturally learn how to use the bathroom around their 14th or 15th birthday. 

Why did you have a child if you were not willing to sacrifice a few rugs and a couch for their happiness? Did you bring a child into this world just for the Instagrams? Shame on you. 

Potty training tells children that you don't accept them as they are- dripping wet from cold pee pee or with a semisoft deuce lodged on the inside left pant leg of their 2T sweatpants, ready to be shaken free onto your living room floor. Love isn't about smells or being "dry," it's about being yourself. 

The only type of potty training I condone is Elimination Communication. That's when the toddler communicates that they've eliminated on your top sheet. 

If you still think potty training is for your blessing, keep reading. 

Potty Training: Fantasy

Your toddler wakes up at 10:45am and gets dressed before joining your downstairs where you are reading an important Internet article about Disney Princesses reimagined as sandwiches. 

After enjoying a brunch of bone-in kalamata olives, feta cheese, soybean crumbles, gluten-free pita bread, and blackberry soup, you sit your toddler down and tell her you would like to start potty training. 

"How long have you felt like this," your toddler asks calmly, as she works on her Periodic Table coloring sheet, being careful not to draw on her face or break crayons with her back molars. 

"For awhile. I bought you some underwear and a potty," you admit with shame in your heart. 

Your toddler takes your hand and says, "I'm so sorry. I didn't know my diapers were inconveniencing you. I'll begin this immediately." 

You and your toddler gather up all of the diapers and wipes in your home and donate them to Toddlers Without Class, a local charity. 

Your toddler begins using the potty immediately. She's always efficient, never lingering. 

"Are we leaving the house today? I'll be sure to use the facilities before we go," your toddler says to you daily. 

Every night, your toddler hand washes her underwear in the sink before hanging them to dry on the windowsill. You offer to wash them in the machine, but she declines. "I've done so much harm to the Earth with my diapers, it's time for me to take responsibility for my carbon footprint. For my birthday, can I have hand soap? Now that I'm using the bathroom it seems appropriate. Unscented, please." 

When your toddler witnessed a three-year-old having an accident in the grocery store, she approached the wet child, put a hand on their shoulder and said, "Stop being selfish. Apply yourself." 

Your friends are all stunned and impressed by how quickly your toddler learned to use the potty. You feel like a great parent and can't stop giving people advice. 

Potty Training: Reality 

It's 5AM and you and your toddler have been watching Higglytown Heroes for an hour. Despite feeling dead inside, you make your toddler a hearty breakfast of the heel slice of a loaf of bread and a semi-clean sippy cup of ice cold milk to set a chill in their bones. 

You're scrolling on your phone instead of watching your child and notice that an acquaintance's toddler is potty trained. Despite your own child showing no signs of potty readiness at all, you decide that it's time because at the end of the day, parenting is a competition to you. 

You purchase a stand-alone potty and eight pairs of underwear. You opted for the licensed character undies because you think it makes a difference. 

Parent: "Guess what! You're a big boy now so we're all done with diapers." 

Toddler: "Wut." 

Parent: "Yes! You're big now and need to use the gift of prophecy to know when your body will choose to eliminate waste even though it's not a process you have any control over!" 

Toddler: "Birds." 

Parent: "Listen to me. If you go to the bathroom in this plastic Tupperware container with eyes, I will give you candy." 

Your toddler understands "candy" and makes eye-contact. 

After sitting naked on the potty for three hours, your toddler releases 2oz of urine. You act like he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in the category of Piss Production. When you're done celebrating, you give your toddler a handful of M&Ms and change all your social media statuses to: "My baby is potty trained!" 

Your toddler has no idea what they have done to earn the M&Ms but is willing to sit naked on the bowl, hoping he can recreate the conditions that produced the treat. 

Because you like pain, you take your toddler out of the house without a diaper on. After four days of your toddler peeing in every store you've ever been to, their carseat, and your driveway, you begin to lose hope. 

Finally, you're in Costco and your toddler says they feel an elimination process beginning and you elbow check several strangers to get the bathroom in time. After holding your toddler over the toilet for twenty minutes, you give up. You pull your toddler's pants up and he pees immediately, soaking himself down to the shoes. 

You weep quietly at first but your sobs grow louder prompting a store manager to check on you. 

You buy three packages of diapers and some Kirkland brand liquor before leaving. Your toddler laughs on the inside. 


Don't say I didn't warn you. 

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