The first time your baby gazes at you and smiles, is one of the proudest moments in parents. Another moment in you Mommy Milestones — when your child no longer needs a diaper. I'm not particularly religious, but you can bet I was singing, "hallelujah," when my son successfully went to the bathroom on the toilet. Leading up to that celebratory moment, however, are plenty of weird things that happen when you potty train your kid.
Each child is different and develops at their own pace, but I've found that all my friends with kids will agree that there is a certain love-hate relationship that comes with potty training. Of course, people are going to chime in with their opinions and well-meaning advice about the way you're teaching you're little one to use the bathroom. But that's just par for the course when it comes to parenting, in my opinion. What you don't expect are the the aspects of potty training that the parenting books conveniently forget to write about. (Rude, right?)
So, if you're curious to see where your experiences rank on the odd-o-meter, then you'll want to check out the things that happen when you potty train your child.
1. You Become More Desensitized
I thought the days of dealing with disgusting diapers were over once my partner and I started potty training our son. But, in an unexpected twist, I found myself becoming even more desensitized to the fact that I was cleaning up another human's bodily fluids while our child made the transition from diapers to underwear. Basically, you'll develop a crazy high tolerance for grossness when you toilet train your kid.
2. You Face Unexpected Set-Backs
Accidents are totally normal and to be expected, but sometimes the strangest things can result in mess. According to What To Expect, "if your child is engrossed in another activity, she may not notice the urge to go to the potty." As adults, we take for granted that we know when to go. Kids, however, typically prioritize playtime over potty time.
3. You'll Celebrate Crap
If you were to ask your pre-parent self whether or not you would be excitedly calling friends and family about using the toilet, you'd probably say no. But the first time you kid goes poop on the potty, you'll undoubtedly be over the moon — as you should be.
4. You Get A Workout
There's nothing quite like being in the middle of a store and discovering your child has to go — immediately. As The Mayo Clinic noted, "when you notice squirming or squatting respond quickly." So don't be surprised if you're burning calories as you're rushing your kid to the potty.
5. You Become A Master Of Timing
I'm not a fan of Daylight Saving Time, but I understand the concept of changing the clocks for things to function more smoothly. The same goes for potty training. According to the medical experts at the Baby Center, timing is key during potty training. From ignoring anyone else's timetable to following your child's lead, you'll develop a different sense of time when you potty train your kid.
6. Crowds Gather
Thought the bathroom was meant for just one person? Think again. As you embark on the potty training endeavor, there will likely be two or more people in the restroom at any given time. In fact, my son would sometimes call the entire family to come celebrate his bowel movements. It's weird, but get used to sharing the bathroom with multiple people.
7. You Encourage Target Practice
If I'm being completely honest, I've used Brave several times as incentive for my son, who adores Merida, to practice his aim. According to parenting and potty training expert Jamie Glowacki, aiming is one of the most common potty struggles. Don't be ashamed when you openly praise your child for making it into the toilet.
8. You'll Develop Criminal Habits
Prior to potty training, I thought only criminals (and dirty politicians) were capable of bribing others. How wrong I was. I've paid my son off with stickers, been extorted, and had deals go down in the middle of the night all in the name of potty training.
9. You See Bodily Functions As Fun
Every parent who has taught their child how to use the toilet has tried to get their kid stoked about pee and poop. According to What To Expect, turning potty time into a game is a positive way to get your child engaged in the process. Other people may not get it when you talk enthusiastically about using the toilet, but you can take comfort in the fact that your fellow parents totally understand.