12 Moms Reveal How Potty Training Redefined The Word “Gross”

I totally dropped the ball on potty training. There, I said it. I decided my partner and I should wait until the summer, so my son could play in the yard sans pants and "effortlessly" learn how to use the toilet. Then I went on a trip and the plan was postponed. Before I knew it my son was starting preschool, we were "on the clock," and I was sufficiently grossed out. I'm not alone, though, as made obvious when I asked moms to reveal the potty training moment that redefined the world "gross" for them, and probably every other potty training parent who has ever attempted to get their kid to use a toilet sufficiently.

It's no surprise that teaching your child to move from diapers to "big kid underwear," and "hold it" until they get to a bathroom, is going to come with a few "eww" moments. After all, you are literally dealing with pee and poop. My son is very independent and demanded privacy as soon as he started to use the bathroom properly. Adorable, right? Wrong. This meant he would try to empty his potty into the "big toilet" all by himself, and inevitably make a huge mess in the process. I really appreciated his interest in developing personal autonomy, though, so I would usually let him get on with it and clean up afterwards. It's all about picking and choosing your battles, my friends.

As a parent trying to teach your kid the basics, especially when it comes to how to properly dispose of certain bodily fluids, words are going to take on a whole new meaning. "Patience" starts to mean "superhuman strength," and "gross?" Well, gross starts to describe moments like these:


"My son was about three weeks into potty training when I took him to the park. He was having so much fun that I forgot to check if he needed to go potty. At one point he got stuck on the play structure and I had to stand underneath him to free his little leg. At that exact moment he started to pee, totally covering me in it."


"My toddler was doing so well with potty training, so we went to the grocery store without diapers. Half-way [through] the store she pooped and stuck her hands down the back of her shorts, grabbed handfuls of it, and threw it! I have never been back to that grocery store since."


"My daughter had been toilet trained for about three months when we went to a friend's house. I guess she didn't know where the toilet was, so she took a poop in their playroom and hid her underwear in their doll's house. I didn't find out until I got home to a call from my friend. So embarrassing!"


"One time my son went to the washroom and was in there so long I went to look for him. We had run out of toilet tissue, but instead of calling out he wiped his butt on my white hand towels!"


"I should have known something was about to go wrong [when] potty training was going too well. I went into the washroom and my daughter had put so much tissue down the toilet, then flushed. It was like a river of tissue and poop. So unbelievably gross!"


"My toddler was so proud when he went potty by himself that he would come and show it to us. Most of the time he just spilled pee all down the hallway."


"My son pooped in the public swimming pool, [and] it was awful. They had to evacuate the pool. I have never been that embarrassed before."


"We have a puppy and my little guy kept seeing the dog pee on trees and plants. So we went to the garden center one day, he took his pants down, [and] before I could stop him [he] peed all over some artificial flowers. I had to buy all of them."


"The worst is poop in the car seat. My son used to refuse to go potty before we left the house, then the minute he was in the car seat he would go. The smell was terrible."


"The first time my daughter went to sleep without a diaper on I woke to her laughing. I went into her room and she was rubbing poop all over the floor and walls. It was so disgusting!"


"My son peed once when I was giving him a ride on my shoulders. It was dripping off me and he thought it was hilarious. I did not."


"One time my son wiped his own butt after taking a poop, but I guess he didn't do it well. A few minutes later he was scooting all over my white sheepskin rug like a puppy. It was streaked brown and totally ruined."