The Potty Is My Alamo (And I Can't Blame My Child)
By zchamu on March 27, 2012
I am pretty sure I'm doing this potty training thing wrong.
I mean, I think I know "how" to do it "right," or at least "right" by various wise people's definitions. When one has a toddler who does not know that feces go in to the toilet instead of in their trousers, one must show said toddler the light. Take them to the bathroom frequently. Teach them to sit on the potty as they vacate their interior waste. Once complete, teach them to gather appropriate amounts of toilet tissue with which to wipe their butts. Polish said butts to gleaming, then replace pants. Provide positive reinforcement in the form of praise and rewards. Rinse (literally), repeat until they clue in and this is all second nature to them. Tah-daaah! Functional child! Go write your MCAT now, you little genius!
Except I can't seem to do it. My part, anyway. I cannot just bite the bullet and pitch the diapers and just DO THIS. This is my first real parenting mountain that I'm having trouble climbing, as it were. Potty training is scaring the crap out of me.
Everything else about parenting has seemed (and please don't shoot me for saying this) easier than I expected. Perhaps because I expected it to be really astronomically difficult. Not her; she is awesome and cool and amazing. But I expected parenting, the work of dealing with a small human who cannot care for themselves and cannot be reasoned with, to be really, really hard. I thought the sleepless nights would be just evilly torturous; expected dealing with poopy diapers to be gag-inducing; dreaded the crying jags and puking and tantrums and whatever else. Basically, when you look at it, I figured I would end up a quivering mass of jello on the floor more often than not. (Which begs the question why I had a kid if I thought it was going to put me in the mental hospital, but we'll leave that obvious fail of logic for another time.)
Yet for the most part, I've been pleasantly surprised by how I've managed to keep it together during this parenting schtick. While exhaustion sucks, I lived through it. While poopy diapers are not my favorite things to deal with, I've learned to hold my breath and get fast with the diaper genie wielding foot. In other words, I'm getting through this better than I thought I would. I am not a perfect parent by any means, but so far nothing has knocked me on my ass..
...Until now. Potty Training. I fear it may kill me dead.
I mean... what's wrong with diapers? She can pee whenever she wants in a diaper. I don't have to drop everything and drag her to the bathroom if she just craps her pants. Right?
Oh, god. I think that's it. It's ME. I'm just too damn lazy to potty train. I don't want to remember to run to the toilet every 20 minutes. I don't want to stop in the middle of road trips. I don't want to deal with putting toilet paper on frightening, smelly public toilets. Frankly, I think I'd wear a diaper too if I could. But that is not what we call Socially Acceptable.
I think this may be my parenting Alamo. (Or my war of 1812, or whatever Canadian analogy works.)
But all this hand-wringing isn't helping anyone. The upshot of all this is, my kid is pushing 3 and isn't reliably potty trained, because I'm a lazy jackass. I'm delaying making the break from diapers in to big girl pants which, I think, would let her clue in far more quickly and get this thing done. And I'm not doing it because I don't want to.
Which I think kind of makes me a parental asshole. Oh, god.
Tell me: Did you feel the same way? How did you force yourself to bite the potty training bullet? Am I fretting over nothing and will potty training make me sing hallelujah? HELP ME, PEOPLE. Before I send an 18 year old to university in princess pull-ups.
I talk loads more over at zchamu dot com. Come visit.
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