I've never met a single parent who didn't dread trying to potty train their child. It's probably because of all the gross things that happen when you're potty training. I mean, really, really gross things. Like, disgusting things that I could have gone the rest of my life without experiencing. Alas, I'm a mother of two boys and diapers have yet to grow on trees, so here I am, right smack dab in the middle of some of the stickiest, smelliest, most gag-worthy months of my life while I attempt to potty train my boys.
I've googled potty training tips, and asked my friends with kids about their secrets to success; I've researched and studied and tried and failed, then tried again and failed again; I'm still trying to get my sons completely potty trained. There for a few days when I joyfully thought that my kids had conquered the commode, but it turns out that they were just punking me. Again.
I hate potty training with the fire of a thousand suns. It's so sticky and frustrating and smelly and absolutely gross and beyond frustrating. I've worked in the medical field before, so I've seen my fair share of things that would make most people vomit (including lots of vomit), but potty training is by far the most disgusting thing I've ever done, and here's why:
Urine Gets Everywhere
Never in my life did I think that I would be so thankful that I own a steamer, but I'm certain that I wouldn't survive potty training without it. My son uses a little potty that can be moved from room to room, so that he doesn't have any accidents. He's gotten the hang of using it, but he hasn't yet mastered his aim, or his hand/eye coordination when he decides that he's a big boy and he wants to empty the potty. This results in a trail of splattered pee from his potty to the bathroom and me steaming the floors to rid them of germs, usually twice a day (though it could definitely be more).
Your Kid Might Pee On The Couch
In the very beginning of our potty training journey, we decided to put my son in underwear, so he would be more aware of when he was going. It took him a while to get the hang of it. Sometimes he'd be sitting on the couch reading a book or watching TV, and he'd just pee all over the couch. At first, he neglected to tell me that he'd had an accident, so I found out the gross way, by sitting down on the couch and automatically assuming that someone simply spilled their water on it. So, naturally I put my hand in it and did the "sniff test." Bad decision. We're going to have to burn our couch now.
...Or The Carpet
Thank goodness we own our home, because if we didn't, we definitely wouldn't be getting our deposit back. Our son had peed on our carpet more than our dog has. Seriously.
You Will Clean Pee Off Of Your Walls
Maybe it's a boy thing, but I've cleaned urine off of our walls more times than I can count. I'm just thankful that we chose our paint for our walls with our kids in mind, because I'm able to wipe them down easily and without ruining the paint. It's a good thing, because they get cleaned a lot right now.
You Will Walk Around Holding A Bed Pan On A Regular Basis
The little potties some parents choose to use have a removable pan-like thing in them, so that you can easily empty them. We've got one ourselves, and sometimes I swear I'm still working at a hospital, because it seems like I'm always carrying around a bed pan of sorts.
Your Kid Might Poop On The Floor
Getting a child to pee in the potty is one thing. Getting them to poop in it, however, is an entirely different and disgusting struggle of potty training. Sometimes, kids are afraid to go #2 in the potty, so they withhold their bowels until they can no longer stand it and, sometimes, that happens in the living room floor while mom is in the kitchen cooking dinner.
...Or In The Bath Tub
You're not officially a parent until you've fished a tiny turd out of the bath tub.
You Will Definitely Have Urine On Your Hands At Some Point
While cleaning and emptying the potty, it's nearly impossible to not get pee on your hands. Also, when your child has an accident and you've got to dispose of their clothes, it's difficult to not get urine on your hands. If you're helping them sit on the toilet, it's going to happen then, too. Basically, if you're potty training, just accept the fact that there's going to be urine on your hands.
Your Child Might Wet Themselves While Sitting In Your Lap
The other day, my son was sitting in my lap while I read him a book. He was in his underwear, and had been doing pretty well getting to the bathroom before he had any accidents. I guess Dr. Seuss was just too compelling a story to pause, because instead of jumping up to run to his potty when he had to go, he just stayed there, in my lap, while he was peeing.
Lots Of Terrible Smells
Pro potty training tip: keep lots of air freshener and candles in the house constantly if you don't want it to smell like a porta potty at a music festival.
You Will Play The "Is It Poop, Or Is It Chocolate" Game More Times Than You're Comfortable With
Yes, the poop roulette that parents play while potty training is perhaps the most disgusting part of parenthood, but it is a necessary evil, unless you want your kid to be the kid that has poop on his shirt and smells like the inside of a shoe. No one wants their kid to be the smelly kid, so the sniff test is regretful, but necessary.
Your Child Will Use Their Hand To Wipe Their Back Side
I never realized how many steps going to the bathroom actually required until I started potty training my son. I also took things like not having to wipe someone else's backside for granted for most of my life. Not now, though. Now, I am vigilant in making sure that I'm the one doing the wiping until my son masters it, because he's not exactly stealthy with the toilet paper just yet, and having a kid who just put his hands on his butt, only to come put them on my face five seconds later, it basically the most disgusting thing that's ever happened to me.