When I would talk about potty training Mr. C, I would hear many comments like these: “It’s hard now, but it’ll be wonderful once you’re all done potty training him” and “Just think–you’ll be finished with changing his diapers!” I’m sorry, but although I tend to think of myself as more of an optimist, I fail to see the glory of the potty trained 3 year old.
Don’t get me wrong! I am very thankful to be done with the potty training process itself: the everyday task of scraping poop out of underwear; wiping pee off the floor and walls; carrying Mr. C’s sodden pants, underwear, socks, and even shoes to the laundry room; carrying my own sodden clothes to the laundry room; spending way too much time in the least pleasant room in the house; and later in the process, trying to calm down a screaming, crying child who is dancing around refusing to go poop. Yes, I am glad that Mr. C is potty trained.
But I can’t help but look back to “the good old days” with a wistful look–when I didn’t have to drop everything or abandon a half-full grocery cart whenever he says those dreaded words, “Mama, I have to go potty.” Because he doesn’t say those words until he really means it. I remember when I didn’t have to take my son and daughter into a myriad of public restrooms, where they each proceed (without really even meaning to–it’s just an inborn talent) to put their hands on every disgusting surface they can reach, and then start doing something like sucking their thumbs or placing their hands on my face or in my mouth before I can wash their hands. I remember when I didn’t have to set my precious child’s bare legs on a public toilet that could very well be infested with pinworms (oh, the fun it’ll be if he gets those). Believe me, I line the seat with toilet paper, but you know the moment I put that child on the seat, the toilet paper moves itself out of his way (for you Californians wondering, for some reason it is extremely rare to find a toilet seat cover in Tennessee). I also know that some children still have accidents even into elementary school (I did teach there one year, so I know from experience). All of this besides the fact that I just read in Parents magazine that a child won’t be able to wipe himself well until five years of age!
Maybe I should just keep Little E in diapers until she grows out of them and then graduate her to adult diapers!