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8 Fights Every Couple Has When They're Potty Training Their Toddler

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Two nights ago, my son — who's been potty-training — left me a lovely surprise in the bathroom. No, not that kind of surprise. As my daughter lifted the toilet lid, we were greeted by an abundance of wadded-up toilet paper. Every inch was sopping up toilet water (that hadn't been flushed). It was gross and, to be honest, I still haven't recovered. While this didn't directly cause a skirmish, it did afterwards. There are inevitable fights every couple has when they're potty training their toddler because, yeah, the aforementioned happens pretty often.

For the most part, my kids have done a great job at learning how not to pee their pants, but the occasional accident still happens with our youngest. At the tender age of 5, he has the basic rules down, stays dry all day, and goes as needed, but that doesn't count all the times something, err, goes wrong. Plus, potty training is stressful. There's a whole timing issue, making sure things are wiped properly, and don't even get me started on the reward system for when he's successful. It's complicated.

With all of this, there's bound to be arguments between my partner and I. Even when we're on the same page, sometimes we have different approaches and it causes friction. In the end, we're just navigating the best we know how, stupid disagreements and all. As long as the end result is a child who knows how to do this thing, we'll be good. Eventually.

The "He Didn't Wash His Hands" Fight

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Gross. Gross. Gross. I knew growing up with a younger brother that some boys just don't care about germs or dirt or whatever. My partner is the same. No matter how many fancy bottle of soap I buy, they're often neglected, even after the dirtiest of bathroom visits and when he's helping our son in the bathroom and I ask, "Did you wash your hands?" and the response is, "Daddy didn't make me." Nope. I can't even write about it without getting fired up, because ew.

The "Who's Turn Is It To Wipe?" Fight

More arguments have been had in the passing of the baton than I can count. No one wants to be the butt-wiper and, still, someone's gotta do it. (But I did it last time, so it's definitely someone else's freakin' turn.)

The "The Toilet Paper Roll Is On Wrong" Fight

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There's a long running debate over which way the toilet paper roll should be placed on the holder. Some people think you should grab the tissue from underneath, and those people are wrong.

The "I'm Doing Way More Work Than My Partner" Fight

Since I work-from-home, and my partner works (long) second shifts, I'm the usual bathroom caretaker whether I feel like it or not. It often feels like I'm doing way more than my share (because I am). This is definitely the start of many arguments, because potty training is gross and I don't wanna.

The "Why Didn't Anyone Wash The Sheets?" Fight

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When I say "anyone," I obviously mean me because my partner apparently doesn't know how to use the washer and dryer. Kidding. Mostly. Luckily our son has only had a couple nap time accidents. But we're right on the verge of the whole nighttime situation (no pull-up) and I'll be sure to have my debate polished and ready.

The "My Partner Didn't Replace The Roll At All" Fight

You know that feeling of reaching for the toilet paper only to find a single square left and the other rolls are across the room (or across town at the grocery store)? Yeah, it's the worst. So imagine my little boy after doing his business, reaching for the very same and it's empty. I don't mind running in to replace it (unless my partner was literally just in there).

The "The Potty Candy Drawer Is Empty" Fight

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Our reward system used to be quite intricate, but it worked in getting our son out of his daytime pull-up. One thing we've stayed vigilant on, however, is the candy drawer. I get that my son understands how to "go potty" now, but he's still welcome to take a small piece whenever he goes. It's a celebration that I want him to be excited about.

If this drawer goes unnoticed and it's empty the next time he checks, I feel terrible. It's a stupid thing to get mad about but, last time I checked, there was candy in there. If it's empty, put it on the damn grocery list (just as I would).

The "I'm Not Cleaning That Mess" Fight

With potty training comes the disgusting messes. We live in an old house with bad plumbing so I've had my share of toilet overflows to clean up. It never gets easier or less nauseating, and I hate asking my partner to be the one to do it (because, for the record, I can damn well do it on my own). But it'd be cool if, while living together, we shared these responsibilities. So, you know, I'm not the only one always covered in sh*t.