I find it odd that we are supposed to be training our children in the art of life-long continence when in reality, I don’t have a frigging clue how to teach someone how to manage their bowels and bladders. Is there a potty training, training course for clueless parents? If so, I missed the boat.
Before I could even say ‘potty’, my girl was stripping off and weeing in the plastic thing. It was like a game of cat and mouse: Dare I talk about this phenomenon, shatter this spell which she appeared to be under?
One day turned into one week. We clung onto Pull-ups like our lives depended on it. I think we found it harder than she did. Mind you, she found wearing knickers a slight problem initially, but we seem to have gotten over that now, some 6 weeks after she threw her last nappy aside.
There are a few things I have encountered during this transition process, and I thought you’d like to hear my words of wisdom, or, er learn from my experience:
1. Kitchen Roll is your best friend
Never before had I loved some paper so much. I take it everywhere with me; it mops up accidental wees on restaurant floors, other people’s carpets and you can fashion a makeshift Pull-up pants from the really strong stuff.
2. 2.5 year olds speak loudly in toilets
My girl can’t help herself but comment on everything and everyone in the public toilets.
“Is that a lady?”
“You’ve got a YUCKY BUM Mummy!!!”
Have all been uttered from her mouth.
Nothing, however, NOTHING beats the time we went into a loo in a Pub, right after an older lady, who for reasons I can’t fathom, left the toilet in a less than cleanly state.
“ARGH! POO! MUMMY! SMELLY POOOO! THE LADY DID A POO!” she screams as we walk into the toilet stall, the only one currently available. She’s hopping from foot to foot, desperate for a wee.
“Just get on the toilet!” I hiss, trying to wrench her onto the seat whilst holding my breath and trying not to breath in through my nose.
“NOOOO! MUMMY! CLEAN IT!!!!!” She cries, and in my desperation to avoid her 5th pair of knickers in a day, I do what I never thought I ever, ever would.
I grabbed the loo brush and I cleaned that old woman’s poop from the toilet. For my girl.
“HOORAY!” She shouts and jumps on the toilet, only to do the smallest wee in the history of wees.
I silently cry inside and order a large glass of red as I walk back to the table…
3. Your hands will never be cleaner
See example above. Also wiping moving bums means wee and poo ON YOUR HANDS. I scrub and scrub. Antibacterial soap is a must. As is alcohol gel. Maybe some washing up gloves…
4. Trousers are OUT
Skirts, dresses = yes. Easy access to potty and toilet, no fussing, and when you’re out in public, you can whip off the wet stuff pretty easily. I feel sorry for those who have to wear trousers for any reason. In fact, when we are indoors, I aim for the heating on and minimal clothing, in an attempt to reduce the washing pile that I only just got under control from when she was born….
5. Repetitive Speech Strain
All I do every minute of every day is ask her if she needs a wee or a poo. It takes over your life. We have come full circle, from talking to each other about her wee and poo, when she was a newborn, to talking to her about her wee and poo. You ask and ask, and the time you forget to ask, is the time that they do need one and pee all over the floor….
6. Getting excited about wee and poo
You have to be mega interested in wee and poo, OK? When your child uses the potty, you have to summon up the enthusiasm and the energy to really WHOOP WHOOP and Holla! about the amazing feat they have performed. Even when it really smells and poo is hanging from their bum and they are running around your living room. Way to go!