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Potty Training: The Least Fun You’ll Have as a Parent

potty training toilet

Potty training tips to make this miserable stage more fun. Credit: surlygirl

So, potty training. Contrary to what you’ve probably been told, it’s not the most fun you’ve ever had as a parent. If you have a baby and think you’ve been fairly friendly with the movement of bowels and urine, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Nothing will get you up close and personal with poop and pee quite like potty training.

Potty training has been going on for a long time in our house. We took it pretty easy at first and introduced the potty as a fun idea a long time ago. So our 32-month old has been peeing well in the pot, just has never taken the initiative to go on her own. She’s gone through spells where the last thing in the world she wanted to do was cooperate with anyone, so the times when she’d pitch a fit at the mere suggestion of the potty? We’d table the potty talk for weeks at a time. So it seems like this process has been going on for an eternity, and it really has been. But recently I decided that I was ready to step things up, that she was really going for longer periods of time dry, and that we needed to bite the bullet.

So I ditched the training diapers. No more Pull-Ups. No more Easy-Ups. We’re going full-on underwear or naked-baby approach. And it’s been an adventure. I’m back to the days of packing an extra outfit in my bag, just in case. I’m scouting out restrooms as soon as we enter an establishment. I’m learning tricks of the potty training trade and navigating automatic flushing toilets.

The most fun has been dealing with trips to bathrooms with my son also in tow. He’s 14 months, not standing on his own, and wanting to put everything in his mouth. That combination is not friendly in the bathroom. If he’s in the stroller, things are great. If not, I’m trying to get him to grab onto something relatively clean-looking and avoid licking things while I assist my daughter on a big potty, while trying to prevent the toilet from scaring the poop out of her (ha). The other day, my daughter was wiping dry, managed to dip the TP in the toilet and fling it back out at me. I cringe. And hope to avoid crazy diseases.

Not to mention that those damn automatic sinks that are supposed to be the height of sanitation and convenience? I can never get them to activate for more than one cycle. So I’m holding my daughter up, switching from one sink to the next to get our hands washed, while my son clings to my legs as I move. It’s so glamorous. I obviously don’t quite have it figured out yet, but tomorrow I will share a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

Did you just love potty training like I do? Any tips on potty training kid No. 1 while a younger one wreaks havoc? —Erin

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