**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.)