And you thought your days in seedy toilets were over...

Potty Training--The Double Edged sword…

So your kid wants to pee in the toilet.  What could be more awesome than moving away from diapers and into big kid status!  I mean, this milestone is so exciting there is a dance made up for it-- The Pee-Pee dance. A kid in a TV commercial even got a parade for using the potty, and every parent related.  I admit it, I cannot freaking wait until the day my kid rips his diaper off and craps in the toilet. Hell yeah I will do a dance!

So, what's the double edge sword you ask?  Please view exhibit A:

A toddler did that.
(Photo Credit: Scene from the movie Trainspotting)
OK, so maybe a toddler didn't do that, but it's possible. How? Because the minute potty training begins, you may very well have to visit every toilet you pass. Yes, even, The Worst Toilet in Scotland… And unless you are prepared, things could get very messy. Allow me to explain.

A few days ago I got a text from a girlfriend and fellow momma of a near two year-old boy that read:

The best part was that she wasn't even pushing the potty on him. He just out of the blue, said, "pee-pee." Holy Crap! How freaking exciting that moment must be for a parent.    I was super stoked for both of them.

Then we started talking about what her next steps should be to encourage him to keep using the potty.  As a first-time mom, I have no idea.  I mean, I know it is a process, but what I did not realize was that potty training is not a weekend or even month long process, it is something that could last a long time if you include night time training too. All I could think was, so much for the, Potty-Train Your Kid in 3-Days, books. LIARS!

So, for you first-timers out there like me, this is what I learned from my conversation with Chase's mom who is also the mother of a beautiful 8 year-old girl, and another mommy friend with two boys...

1. Potty Training requires lots of patients and accidents, and will take a long time.
2. Use thick underwear that lets them feel the gross wet feeling that diapers hide, but also limits leaks.
3. You have to offer the potty ALL OF THE TIME. Including the seedy ones you pass.
4.  Keep a fold up travel potty seat in a Ziploc bag, with LOTS of baby wipes on you at all times.
5. Even though potty training sucks, and can be very messy and annoying, This Too Shall Pass.


Offer the potty option to every seedy toilet and keep a fold up toilet seat in my handbag at all times?  I am not sure which one is more disgusting, but I think I will go with carrying a toilet around with me everywhere I go.

In order to feel more comfortable about said fold-up toilet seat I looked them up…

OK. I am feeling a little better now. It's not white sterile weirdness, which happens to be all I could imagine. And it does appear to fold up kind of small… I'm in.  I'll try it out.

Now that I am comfortable with the fold up Petri Dish Toilet seat, I will go back to my concerns about the whole, offering to visit every toilet I pass...

When I was pregnant, I was sure I used every seedy toilet in my town, or really every public toilet for that matter.  I mean, I was Mrs. Tiny Tank when it came to pee breaks, and being that I was an outside advertising sales rep, I was in and out of public toilets all day, and some very seedy ones. A few I managed to get on a first name basis with the cashier. By my second trimester, I was carrying travel rolls of toilet paper and antibacterial wipes for emergency seedy toilet use, and every time I walked out of  those crap boxes, I swore once I delivered I would NEVER go back.  

Never say, Never…

As much as I want to say I will just avoid crap areas of town, and dirty toilets during our potty training phase, I know that is just silly.  Currently, the man-child is showing some signs of being ready to potty train, but I am not forcing the issue, and knowing what I know now… I'm probably not going to force the issue until the warm weather returns.  Nothing is worse that a freezing cold public restroom.

Dammit, add this potty training thing to the list of, shit the parenting books don't tell you the whole truth about.  

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit