The idea of a potty-trained kid is awesome. The thought of getting out of buying disposable diapers or no longer cleaning cloth diapers, is enough to make any baby mom start thinking toward the toilet and dreaming of the day when their child can use the potty. Having a potty-trained child is glorious. Freedom from the changing table opens a world of opportunity. Not too fast though! What you may not consider is how the majority of your life for the coming months will be spent in these tiny prisons of poop.
Welcome to the living in the bathroom phase of parenting.
When you start the potty training process you may find yourself sprinting like a gazelle across your local Wal-Mart. Embrace the race! It is common to feel like you won the gold in the 200m dash (or sometimes the hurdles race) to get to the potty in time. Or you may be on an hourly or 90 minute timeline where your child becomes a ticking time bomb. Your reality may be worrying your child could detonate if you linger a moment too long at the Dollar Spot at Target. Let’s be honest, the potty training high fives you give your child are also claps for your succcess. You are a potty training champion!
Days pass and it gets easier. All the potty timing becomes part of your routine. You plan your day around where potty breaks will happen for your child. Getting out the door to go anywhere is slowed to glacial pace as the pre-car ride bathroom trip is a must. Your days are now filled with visits to all the local toilets and you can give better directions to the precise location of the restroom in every restaurant, store, and building that you enter than the people who work there.
Time to shake it up again!
Confidence sets in when you start feeling really good about how your child is doing with using the toilet at home and around town. “Let’s tackle night time potty training!” you may think to yourself. Welcome to round-the-clock Potty Land as trips to the toilet – or changing wet bedding in the middle of the night – will interrupt your peaceful sleep until your child fully grasps the concept and has the ability to go on his own. (Oh please let that time come soon!) Naptime goes back to infant mode where you embrace the advice of sleeping when the baby is sleeping. Don’t be surprised if you lay on the sofa and peacefully begin to dream of a time when your life will be about more than the bathroom… only to realize, crap, you need to go potty!
Oh, you haven’t started potty training yet?
If you haven’t started potty training yet, I strongly suggest reading Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right. The author, Jamie Glowacki, is witty and knowledgeable. Even more it will empower you to start on potty training and to be successful!