Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I LOVE automatic flush toilets and so does my toddler!! Yeah, right.

I thought it might be interesting to share how our potty training has been going. It only took Jack about a week to really catch on and he was even starting to tell us when he needed to go by the middle of the second week.


Being cautious, I was skeptical that this would really stick so quickly, so…well…easily. But he has really been doing great. Yes, we do have accidents but he is at about 85-90% accuracy and almost always lets someone know when he needs to go. We have to closely monitor Yo Gabba Gabba time because frankly, he would rather pee himself than pause it for two minutes to use the potty. But can you blame him?


So things were going great after the first two weeks. He was even using public toilets like a champ!


And then we went into a bathroom at the mall, armed with a cushy fold up potty seat, and dared my happily-peeing-in-public-potties toddler to get through two rather harrowing experiences. The first was incidental. The second was entirely my fault.


See, there was a young mother in there changing her tiny daughter's diaper. On the counter, obviously, because there was no changing table. She had, of course, every possibly piece of baby gear with her and since the bathroom was small, it took up most of the room and blocked us in. I watched in horror as she not only changed the baby without a changing pad under her, but also piled up used wipes on the counter. All the while, she apologized and told us indignantly that, "there's no changing table! So I had no choice," and not moving a muscle. I admire her commitment to changing that diaper in a timely fashion, but that's about it.


Now, new mommas out there, I GET IT. I have been there. I have needed to change a poopie diaper and been unable to locate a bathroom with a changing table. In such cases, I have:

  1. Gone back out to our car and changed him on the seat.
  2. Continued to look for a family restroom (which, by the way, was only about a two minute walk away from this one).
  3. Used the stroller, though this is awkward.

So I implore, please consider these options first. Now, I digress. Back to my story.


So while we tentatively waited for New Mommy to make some kind of attempt to move something out of the way, Jack backed up and stood under the automatic hand dryer.


Yes, the automatic hand dryer.


Those of you with toddlers know what happened next, but I'll indulge those without. The dryer turned itself on and scared the bejeezus out of my son, who all but leapt out of his pants. After seemingly soothing my little guy, I quickly told New Mommy that my son needs the potty, can I move her things? She suddenly seemed to realize that we had come into the bathroom in order to use it's facilities, rather than in search of an adorable little 10 week old baby girl to oogle. Though, admittedly, she was pretty cute. But what baby isn't? She said something along the lines of, "omg, of course!"


So I shoved her stroller, topped with an infant seat and with at least one shopping bag from every store in the mall strapped, tied, and piled on top of it out of our way. Immediately upon entering the stall, I noticed (as any over-read mother would) that the toilet had an automatic flush. I deftly placed the fold up seat on the potty, pulled down my son's now-too-big pants and undies, scooped him up, and threw one hand over the sensor while placing him delicately on his throne, where he kicked his feet around contentedly and wondered why I had responded to his repeatedly saying, "potty? Momma, potty?" by taking him to a potty. Silly Momma.


Before I continue (and, again, at least the novice moms out there know where this is going), I should mention that only the day before I had purchased, for this very occasion, a roll of black electric tape. I, over-read that I clearly am on relevant parenting topics and most recently on potty training, knew that savvy mommas carry a roll in their diaper bag to cover the sensor so the automatic toilet does not flush and scare the living poopie out of their skeptical-about-public-potties-already toddlers. But you see, my toddler was already using public toilets like a pro, #1, #2, whatever. He was golden. So I figured, since my own mom was there wielding the somehow heavier diaper bag, that I should go ahead and have her dig out the tape for me so I can tempt fate a little and free my numb finger from its rather uncomfortable and weird angle. Because, you see, that's what I was supposed to do.


While reciting, by heart, "Hippos go berserk!" to keep my son entertained, I used my teeth and free left (aka useless) hand to rip off a piece of electrical tape, which I then slipped in place, sliding my finger out of the way.


Oops. Turns out I'm not so deft. It flushed, Jack cried out and flew off the potty. And he has not used a public toilet since.


Okay, so it's only been a few weeks. But I should mention that, again, being waay over-read, I knew that some savvy moms also keep a spare potty in their car and just let their kids use the potty before going in the store or before getting buckled back in. I have no idea where I read this, but some clever mom out there paved the way and now I barely even look around to see if anyone is watching before I dump pee on the parking lot and sing our new favourite song, "Pee Pee in the Potty," which literally goes:

Pee Pee in the Potty!

Pee Pee in the Potty!

Pee Pee in the Potty!


So I didn't exactly invent the wheel there, but since I'm not a fan of pre-sliced bread, I will go ahead and pat myself on the back for my potty training prowess and pretend that whole ugly mall incident wasn't my fault.

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