A Parent’s Prayer for Potty Training in the Digital Age



Guide me, O Lord, that I may refrain from over-sharing on the Internet every blessed detail of the trials and tribulations of potty training; May neither Blog nor Facebook nor Twitter bear witness to my joy at the sight of poo in the potty, nor my frustration over the invariable pee-pee in the pants.

Dear God, grant me Restraint and Self-censorship, that friends and family and loyal readers alike may be spared the tedious ramblings surrounding potty trips, soiled underwear, potty schedules, soiled carpets, business done in the potty, unfortunate-yet-inevitable accidents, soiled furniture, number of books read or songs sung while on the potty, and/or how many stickers were awarded each day for going tinkle vs. chocolate treats for doing poops. May such rhetoric instead be contained to phone calls with grandparents, for this is why Thou created them.

Bestow upon me the knowledge, O Lord, that the only people who give a damn what kind of underpants my little girl is wearing are the pedophiles who may at some point in their miserable lives be busted in a massive child pornography sting. But should these pervs somehow elude the watchful eye of Chris Hansen in collaboration with the FBI and now come a-creepin’ courtesy of SEO and the Almighty Google, may Thou conjure a rabid honey badger to suddenly appear and chew off their junk. Because honey badger don’t care, Lord. He just don’t give a shit.

And be my conscience, God, that I may pause and reflect before [again] posting to the World Wide Web a photo of my child sitting bare-assed on the toilet, no matter how cute her expression, and instead ask myself, “Would I want to be violated like that?” (And Lord, that the answer be no – because let’s face it, some people are into that sort of thing.)

Indeed, Almighty God, help me bear in mind that one’s time spent in the bathroom is both sacred and private. And that the topic of bodily waste is neither adorable nor appropriate to the world at large, even when framed in the context of a toddler’s baby-soft bum, as opposed to a grown man’s giant, hairy ass.

And finally, Lord, may I look upon my child at times with objective eyes rather than maternal ones, that I should see her no longer as an infant, but as a little person – one with genuine thoughts and feelings and an unmitigated right to basic privacy.

Hear these pleas, O Lord, and lead me not into Stupidity. For it is in Thy name I pray, forever and ever.



  1. 2

    Sili says

    Where were you 9 months ago?! This prayer would have come in handy as not only did I blog about it, I believe I have a series on it called The Potty Papers. I may need some sort of confession with the blog priests.

  2. 5

    Emily says

    Hahaha! We’ve just truly started training and its taken all of my self control not to tweet “She pee’d in the potty!”.

    That is… Until the other day when my BFF who’s son is two days older posted a “First Poop in the potty” picture.


  3. 6

    Stephanie says

    “But should these pervs somehow elude the watchful eye of Chris Hansen in collaboration with the FBI and now come a-creepin’ courtesy of SEO and the Almighty Google, may Thou conjure a rabid honey badger to suddenly appear and chew off their junk. Because honey badger don’t care, Lord. He just don’t give a shit.”

    I needed this laugh today…

  4. 7

    debby says

    I have a nearly 5 year old in my pre k class who is not potty trained yet…but he’s great at changing his own pull up! My mission with him is to get him trained by the end of our school year. All in a day’s work.

    • 8

      Tarina says

      You, Ma’am, are what is right with the world. The fact that the boy’s parents probably EXPECT you to be the one to teach him is precisely what is wrong with it. On behalf of America, and that boys parents who will probably NEVER say it to you, Thankyou for going above and beyond for our children.

  5. 10

    Mamarific says

    Thanks for the laugh this morning! I am about to start potty training, & I pledge not to subject the world to the details of it…LOL. That is cause to hide someone on facebook, IMHO!

  6. 11

    Debbie says

    Amen to this. I feel sad for these little ones when it comes to what mom or dad is posting on FB, etc. This information is not going to go away. Those precious little ones deserve respect. Also i have seen some new born pictures that should not be posted.
    Thanks for saying, “Would I want to be violated like that?”

    Parents stop and think next time you go to post something. WE ALL DESERVIE RESPECT!!!

    • 12

      Kristin @ What She Said says

      Full-frontal newborn photos bother me, too. I understand the desire to share a photo of your baby’s first bath, but at least use a washcloth to cover up their naughty bits.

  7. 18

    Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)' says

    Amen. But aren’t those pictures of them on the potty so cute? I’ll just show them to my mom and will not send them over the internet. I know my mom has one of me when I was a kid, sitting on a potty shaped like a swan…

  8. 22

    Kristin @ What She Said says

    Thanks so much for featuring me here, Jill! I’m pretty stoked. Do people still say that – stoked? Whatever. That’s what I am. :)

  9. 23

    catina says

    If only I had this prayer two weeks ago before I blogged my frustrations away and grossed out everyone including my own mother!

  10. 25

    Sarah says

    LOL so true. When we first started potty training my oldest, I was one of those who posted about starting the training but I called my mom every time my little one when potty like a big girl. The most I put on FB is “Training is going good, now the youngest acts like she wants to try being a big girl like sissy” Thats not to say that my sister(who’s potty training my nephew) and I don’t text damn near every successful potty trip to one another lol. I do have potty pics that I email to my parents but I don’t post on FB…..I know the humiliation of the potty pic

  11. 26

    Tanya says

    I think I announced that I started potty training but I spared all the messy details that my friends don’t want to hear.

  12. 27

    Andrea says

    Good God it’s too late for me, posted, blogged, laid it out on national t.v. On a more positive note I’m pretty sure the fact that the kids are all potty trained is the reason for my present day happiness. Cheers!

  13. 28

    Peggy Aungst says

    While you are cognizant of the fact that posting a picture of a “child sitting bare-assed on the toilet” would be a violation, you still have a picture of your child or someone’s child sitting there. While cute in a parent’s eyes, I wonder what your son/daughter might think in ten or fifteen years if this photo is associated with them or shared on their or a friend’s or a bully’s Facebook page (or whatever advanced technology our children will be using then) while they are navigating the perils of middle school. Those struggles will make potty training seem like a walk in the park.

    • 29

      Kristin @ What She Said says

      Peggy, as the author of this piece, I appreciate your concern. However, I feel fairly certain that the photo Jill used above is stock photography using a baby model, just as the one I used in my original piece was. I completely agree with your assessment that photos of one’s own child sitting on the toilet is inappropriate and unfair to the child.

      • 30

        Kristin @ What She Said says

        Just to clarify, I think *public* photos on one’s own child sitting on the potty are inappropriate and unfair. By all means, take pictures… just keep ‘em off Facebook, Instagram, your blog, etc.

    • 31

      Tarina says

      Google “baby potty images” or something similar. Doesn’t have to be her kid to make for a good topic photo. And I doubt the kids in Jr High will be reading a blog like this to dig up dirt on classmates. Generally, they stick with the classic “fatty, 4 eyes” etc. Just teach your kids how to be decent human beings and let each mom worry about her own kid’s therapy bills :P

      • 32

        Peggy Aungst says

        I thought the whole purpose of mom’s blogging was to vent, gain support, inquire, find people with similar issues, share joy, share struggles, share experiences. While I wasn’t making a criticism, I was making an observance that recognizing that posting a pic with this subject matter was a violation and then doing it for whatever reason, no matter who’s child it was seemed contradictory and unfair to the child. Stock photo or personal photo I am positive that this child in this photo did not give consent.

        • 33

          Kristin @ What She Said says

          In that case, if I’m understanding your concerns correctly, it sounds like your main issue is with the child’s mother for consenting to let her child be photographed in this position. Or perhaps the stock photography site for carrying such images. If you’d like to voice your concerns directly to them, Jill might be willing to let you know which site she used if you e-mailed her privately. I used 123rf.com for the [similar] image I ran in my original piece. I hope that helps and am sorry to hear that the image used in the piece interfered with your ability to enjoy it.

          • 34

            Peggy Aungst says

            Really what my main concern was that as a mother she recognized that it was inappropriate and a violation and yet she went ahead and posted it. I totally agreed with the entire content of the blog posting. Just not the contradictory and admittedly inappropriate photo.

        • 35

          Scary Mommy says

          I hope the parents of the baby pictured above (in the paid for stock art) are saving for his therapy, as we all should be with the damage we are no doubt doing to our children in some way or another. But, since they put the photo out there and are making a profit from my usage, I am completely comfortable featuring it in this HUMOR piece.

          • 36

            Peggy Aungst says

            SO, just so I understand and I promise this will be my last comment/observance; you are ok with using a “stock photo” of something that you agree is a violation of the child because you paid some irresponsible parent who is no doubt profiting from thier child’s inability to decline to be involved in something that you agree is inappropriate? Everyone could use therapy and I am sure that I am the cause of some of the reasons my children might, but I do not believe I ever knowingly inflicted kids with what I believed to be inappropriate or a violation of their privacy or personal space to fulfill my need for attention from strangers on an internet blog.
            I know that this may seem that I am over reacting, but step back and look at it from another perspective. Four children later and my perspective is constantly changing.

            • 37

              Scary Mommy says

              I think you are WAY over analyzing what was intended to be a lighthearted post. There are countless things I’m willing to get enraged over, but this just isn’t one of them. If I could have found a picture to buy of a child smearing shit on a bathroom wall, I would have preferred that one, but this did the job.

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