Shades of Yellow: A Tale of Potty Training.

**This post will contain potty talk. Reader discretion advised.**

I am seeing yellow these days. And sometimes even brown. And why do I see these lovely fall shades so often this time of year? No, I am certainly not staring at any fall foliage (I live in Florida, remember? It only goes from “green” to “a little less green” around here). I am potty training. And its enough to make even the very reasonable germ-o-phobe in me lose my stinking mind. Literally.

It wasn’t even MY idea. Oh no. C.’s only two, and on the young side of two also – so why would I push it? I wasn’t. It was my older 5 yo son T. who gave him the idea. Once again, he had to go and be a “good example” and show off his toilet skills as if it were something he’d been doing all his life (rather than a mere two years). Oh, no doubt about it, as soon as C. saw all the self-made fountain fun, he wanted in on that. “I big boy, I do dat.” And so it began.

Now I should really give C. some props. T. wanted zero to do with a bathroom until he was well into his third year. *Really* well into it (a quick shout out of thanks to his wonderfully patient preschool teacher, Ms. Lori). Why bother putting it somewhere when he had a traveling sani-can attached to his under carraige? How convieeeniant. So the fact that C. is ready this early is something to be proud of.

But this post isn’t about pride for my children. Its about urine. Lots of it. Whether its dried up and crusted to the sides of the potty or in a warm puddle on the floor. And poop. Smeared, stuck, smooshed, and skidded. And yes, are you ready for it? Even under the finger nails – his AND mine. (Shudder.)

To be ready for potty training, you really must be prepared for the fallout of human waste. Pee and poop could be around any corner, at any time. And while your instinct is to rear back in horror, you should be ready with the canned response: “Oops! No big deal, accidents happen!” – paired with an encouraging smile – if and when you find misplaced bodily functions in your household. When they miss the potty. Or leave a puddle on the floor. Or if (of all that’s good in this world, why this) they decide to “finger-paint”, you must always KEEP YOUR COOL.

When a good friend and mother of 3 heard C. had done some poop playing, she said “Oh! That’s wonderful news! That means he’s ready to potty train!” Blink. “Wonderful” wouldn’t the term I would exactly use. Because here’s the bottom line. That poop? When you potty train, it is impossible to truly contain any of it. Impossible, I tell you. He has come to me on many occasions “Hands messy mommy. Poop dirty.” Yes, indeed. Oh my. Where have you been? Since you found your way into your own diaper, which buttons, handles, couch pillows, refrig doors, sippy cups, crackers… ahhhh… have you touched since, child??!!!!!

(Shudder, sob, I am just not strong enough for this dammit…)

But lets get back to the bathroom, because – while on hands and knees with my trusty cleaners, mumbling the usual explatives – that is where the idea for this post was truly inspired. 

My boys’ bathroom is an atrocity. Luckily, the accidents outside the bathroom – even the poop playing – have been to a minimum. But the human waste “free for alls” within the confines of the boys bathroom have not. Like some re-enactment of the famous fountain show in front of the Bellagio in Vegas, that bathroom stages a jaw dropping circus of bodily functions. The greatest show on earth: come one, come all. I know you are all on edge of your seats now…

If both of my boys are sitting on their respective toilets (adult sized for T., small plastic potty for C.) at the same time, all bets are off. While T. goes, C. is either watching all the action with his nose about an inch from T.’s business – or C. is his mirror image, grunting and pushing with pride and anticipation on his own little plastic pot.

And where is my concern? C. does not aim well. Things don’t get tucked below. I tryto help but am verbally beaten back with an “I DO IT!! I DO IT!!!!” Naturally, 9 times out of 10, the fountain show begins. It is then, of course, when I muster up the stock: “Oops! No big deal, accidents happen!” response. With a nekked C. at my side “helping out”, wads of TP bunched in his sticky fists, we both try and wipe up his mess.

Finally, once tucked correctly, we usually have some sort of accurately aimed, potty success. Thrilled with himself, C. will jump off and present his few drops to me. Then, no matter where poor T. is in his bathroom process, C. shoves T. off the can to pour said drops into the big toilet. However, luck is only with me *IF* those few drops even *MAKE IT* into the toilet…. CAREFUL! Watch out! (Insert sing songy voice.) “Oops! No big deal, accidents happen!”

That bathroom. Really. If I am not in there hosing the place down with hazmat cleaners on an hourly basis, that bathroom smells like a truck stop stall on a hot summer’s day. And the poor little bathmats are sadly faded – deteriorating after so many washes. The shower curtain happens to be a convenient shade of yellow – but I always wonder if it is the “clean” kind of yellow. You’ll find kandoo wipes open, rolled and unrolled bits of toilet paper, various books for reading thrown about haphazardly, or possibly a discarded pair of underpants or pull ups. Cleaners are lined up behind the toilet like tired soldiers – with the clorox wipes leading the pack. Nothing looks nice. Nothing looks presentable. Everything just seems a bit too dribbled on to me.

And …(sob)… I just smell pee, now matter how much I scrub.

So will it ever change? Maybe they will grow up and aim better. Maybe they will actually get the toilet paper into the toilet. Maybe they will wipe their own toilet seats someday. But I remain skeptical. I need to prepare myself. For crying out loud, I have two boys. I have to face the reality: I don’t think the novelty of self-made, Bellagio style, fountain fun ever really wears off. I’ll bet my clorox wipes on it.

(Does anyone have directions for a DIY outhouse? Don’t think I haven’t thought about it.)



Filed under Boys, Parenting, Potty Training, Teaching kids

10 responses to “Shades of Yellow: A Tale of Potty Training.

  1. Let me know when you figure out the aim thing. Most adult men still have bad aim. I say sit down dammit! I keep a Swiffer near the bathroom since I am always cleaning up drips and drops. Luckily my boys have never poop painted. I shudder at the thought of it. Just wait til they visit their cousins where it snows and they learn to “write” in pee. Good times.

  2. Aly

    You are not getting me all riled up to potty train my little one any time soon! He’s not even 2 yet but I’m so tired of being asked, “Is he potty trained YET?”

    I am a complete germaphobe and I try to hold it until I can get home so I don’t have to use the dreaded public restrooms. Yeah, I know I’m going to get real familiar with the inside of a public toilet stall when he starts potty training.

    I have no advice and I’m sorry about that. “Hang in there” just doesn’t seem like it will do the trick.

    Good luck. I’ll be watching your progress…

  3. Karen

    Try potty training rewards. It worked great for our son. He loved pushing the audio push button hearing he is a Big Boy and opening a door to find a chocolate surprise. He really became involved. He was peeing and pooping in his potty within a week. I know every child is different, but have a look and see if this would work for you.

  4. Ohhhhh….that was SO MY LIFE a few years ago.

  5. The aim thing does NOT get better as they get older LOL They get lazier, scratch their bellies while going in the morning, and they miss *grumble*

    I will say, as far as potty training, you can make it a game as far as the pee. Throw in a cheerio and have them aim for it. They LOVE it!

  6. Your Hot SIL (not Meryl, you doofus)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I can now resume referring to your home as the “House of Primates!”

    (Please know that my mockery is firmly rooted in the fact that my own home is awash in preteen girl hormones. It’s the other side of avoiding a little boy bathroom)

  7. Ew. You know, I was actually eager to try potty training my boy (25 months) until I read this post. I never considered finger painting … you know. Or the constant smell of misguided urine. Oh, boy.

    An outhouse sounds like a perfect idea!

  8. azhita

    Ugh, girl you KNOW I empathize with you on this one. And it seems that when you clean it up, they turn into freshly bathed dogs that must find an icky scent to roll in. I swear the MINUTE after I finish cleaning, S. needs to make a big pee puddle on the floor. *SOB* is right.

  9. Ha! I refer to my bathrooms as “latrines.”

    My 5 y o son is pretty good about aiming, but my 2.5 y o (who potty trained at 2 y) is horrible. I scrub daily — not because I’m a germaphobe, but because pee is EVERYWHERE!


    Nice to meetcha, btw!

  10. AnimalLuvr

    HAHA – a traveling sani-can. That is hilarious. This was a really funny post and boy do I know how you feel!

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