Potty training is one of those milestones you dread, but you also know is for the greater good. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel — no more paying for diapers, or having to change them!
That’s partly why we started potty training our first child when she was 18 months old. We wanted to get her using the potty as early as possible. The thing is, she wasn’t fully potty trained until she was almost 3. It was a year and a half of potty training hell. I’m pretty sure I still have PTSD.
Now that our second child is 2, you would think I’d be trying to get him interested in using the potty. Except I’m not. If anything, I’m actively avoiding it like the plague because:
1. It’s fucking gross.
Any parent who’s been there understands. You will clean things that you and your spouse will never speak of. You will see things that cannot be unseen.
2. Even after you potty train, you still have to clean up pee.
Once I get my son to use the toilet, there will still be an additional decade or so of urine all over my bathroom. I’m not in any hurry to deal with that either.
3. Butt wiping sucks too.
After being potty trained, there are still years of ass wiping to follow. Even if you can convince them to do it themselves, you know if they do, you’ll be playing poop stain roulette.
4. I can’t put life on hold every 20 minutes.
Diapers are expensive, but they are much more convenient when we go for a drive, or to the park, or literally anywhere. Otherwise, outings mostly become trips to every gas station and fast-food restroom in a 30-mile radius.
5. I hate public restrooms.
First, I have to do some sort of contortionist routine to cram into a stall with both kids. Then I have to help one at a time while desperately pleading with the other not to touch anything. And we can’t seem to escape without at least one being traumatized by an automatic flush or electric dryer.
6. They either hate flushing or enjoy it way too much.
Our oldest is scared of flushing toilets (see above), so she will let whatever’s in there linger until someone else comes along to flush it. I suppose that’s better than the kids who are so fascinated by flushing that they experiment by flushing every household item they can find. Either way, there are no winners.
7. They suddenly expect rewards for merely existing.
Once you open Pandora’s sticker box of rewarding your child for using the potty, you create a tiny monster that expects to be rewarded for every single thing. It doesn’t matter what you bribe them with, they’ll want more of it.
8. We are already drowning in laundry.
I can’t think of anything I need less than more towels, sheets, and clothes to wash — especially ones that reek of bodily excretions.
9. I can’t give up any more sleep.
If potty training only took place during the day, it would be one thing. But as soon as you ditch those overnight pull-ups, you’re left with the following options: 1) Wake up with your child in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, or 2) Wake up with your child in the middle of the night to clean up a soaked sheet. Just the thought of losing any more sleep makes me want to cry.
10. Having a toddler is stressful enough.
Tasks which should be easy, like getting dressed or eating food, are already a nightmare with a 2- or 3-year-old. I feel like trying to wrangle a toddler to the restroom on top of that would end up killing me, or at least send me running toward the nearest box of wine.
So people can judge all they want when they see our toddler in a diaper, because I’m not ready to put our lives on hold to potty train him anytime soon. I trust that we’ll figure it out at some point before kindergarten, but for now, I just don’t have the time or patience for that shit.