When we started potty training KJ (our two year-old son), we were elated. I thought it was a step towards us getting at least a small part of our lives back and reallocating money to another expense in our monthly budget. Hooray!!! NO more expensive diapers!! My vision was he will not need us as much because he can climb up on the potty (using a step stool, of course) by himself and only needed us to assist with wiping.
Ha ha ha!! The joke was on me. Potty training is more time consuming then changing diapers. Instead of gaining a little bit of our time back, we are actually spending less time doing whatever you want to do and more time in the bathroom. Why may you ask? Because if a two-year old toddler says he or she must use the potty (or as my toddler would say pee or poop) you don’t finish washing the dishes or eating your dinner. NOPE!! Not at all!! You, immediately, get up and take them to the potty. In the beginning, you have to figure out their pee/poop schedule and go every 15 mins intervals and eventually increase to 30 mins to an hour until you have it down to a science. Although, you learn their schedule it can differ depending on the foods ate and the amount of liquid consumed for the day. Anyway, your entire day is spent running back and forth to the bathroom. I hope you and your significant other didn’t have any plans of running errands together. Especially if your child is anything like mine. After racing to line the nasty public toilet and gently placing him/her on the toilet in an effort to keep the lining under her/him and saying don’t touch that and don’t touch this, they won’t have to go for whatever reason.
The extra money going back into the family’s monthly budget, you can forget it. When your child makes it out of pull ups, you purchase underwear for them that are just as expensive. They do not cost $40 in one purchase; however, you will spend more to replace those cute, now, poop filled spiderman or my little pony underwear vs standing over the sink attempting to clean them out every other day. (Believe me. I’ve tried to save several pair with no avail.) I also spend more money on bleach wipes because he poops in his underwear or on the floor. Yes, you read that right. I said on the floor. By the end of the day, I am usually saying, “OMG!!! Why? Why does it have to be so complicated? No one told me I was going to be a human poop-a-scooper.”
Then, he does something so remarkable and exciting that you forget about scrubbing pooped stained underwear or Clorox bleaching the floor again. You forget about becoming a human poop-a-scooper or a toddler-holding-track-runner in the grocery store. He manages to go to the bathroom by himself without asking for help. And for that brief moment, you feel like there is hope. The hope that one day you will no longer poop scoop off the floor or haul-ass to the restroom from the other side of the grocery store. You may still be a professional wiper for a few more years but at least they can go on their own.
So although the potty training phase may seem like it will go on forever or you feel like they will never get the concept (at least with pooping), just remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it will happen. Keep your head up, Mom, and your bleach wipes close! As with everything in motherhood, you will conquer potty training too!!!