You might think life will be groovy once your kid is potty-trained, but I'm here to tell you the ugly truth. It still sucks. Only in new, grosser ways.
Humor Parenting

The Dirty Underbelly of Having a Potty-Trained Child (in Public)

You might think life will be groovy once your kid is potty-trained, but I'm here to tell you the ugly truth. It still sucks. Only in new, grosser ways.

Sure, having a child who doesn’t defecate into their pantaloons sounds somewhat charming. From a smell perspective, it seems better to not have solid waste sloshing around while your toddler follows you to a diaper-changing station. From a laundry perspective, it seems like it will cut down on loads (pun is totally intended). Visually, it’s just more appealing not to see that huge diaper and feel the familiar chill of horrible anticipation at what will be found inside. However, there are downsides, too. Oh, yes, plenty of downsides. I shall recount them now for your consideration.

How Many Years Until Sitting Through A Restaurant Meal Is An Option?

From my perspective, we are going on 5 years. That is 5 years of going to the bathroom whenever the children (we have daughters) are bored. This boredom can hit (or does hit) at several key points during dinner. First, during the waiting-for-food-arrival part of the dinner. That’s anywhere between just arriving to the restaurant to after placing the order and awaiting its service to the table.

The second point is after the food has freshly arrived to the table. Near as I can tell, little humans like their food to be ice cold and believe that the rest of the world also prefers this delicacy. They are wrong.

The third and last inopportune time to go is when they are finished eating (of course, they barely touched their food because who wants to feel good about spending money on a family night out?) while you are not quite done with your meal, thus leaving your significant other to fend the waiter off from your food while you are away. Stay back, good sir, she is not done with the last bites of food. She will single handedly make up for the loss in money from the children’s meal by overstuffing on her own meal. Leave her plate or prepare to suffer.

When Did This Kid Decide To Turn This Into A Hostage Situation?

Eventually, this game of potty mouse and cat will turn into a hostage situation. You might be thinking I am going a bit far here. Let me explain. When I took my youngest to the bathroom the last time, I received a 10-minute lecture about how she was dropping her poops off to swim in the toilet and her tummy was going to feel so much better. Yadda, yadda, yadda. There is no way out of this.

I said many times to her: let’s just focus on getting that all worked out and quiet our mouths. I, of course, was thinking: so I can try to retain some appetite, but I didn’t tell her that. She didn’t care to follow my advice. Instead, her talking continued on and my meal got further and further from my mind. She explored her school day and her hopes and dreams along with her future occupation. It was a princess. It had to be a princess because don’t you see? She was already on a throne.

When Did The Stalls Get So Gross?

There is a hyper-awareness that comes when you become a parent. You learn to sniff out the danger. Thus, it goes against everything you feel in your bones to bring them to this room of pots to piss/poo where strangers do. There is so much that isn’t right about this area. There is toilet paper on the floor. Did the person use it and miss the toilet? Did they get the toilet paper and then toss it over their shoulder, thinking it was streamers? Did they grab more toilet paper and make sure they were clean? How long has that gum been on that spot of the floor? Dear God, why don’t people check and wipe off the pee from the seat? It’s courtesy. When did that light bulb go out? Why is that air freshener empty?  

Have The Acoustics Always Magnified Sound So Much?

Why can I hear every sound made in the bathrooms? Must my child’s groans echo and vibrate through the bathroom stalls? Should the lady next door to us really have to hear my daughter complain about how bad the smell is in the bathroom? I don’t know if the lady caused it or the stench was there previously. What I do know is that my little tyke sure ain’t doing anything to improve the smell at this point. Can we all agree to turn music on in public bathrooms? I don’t care if it’s Barry Manilow or Sugar Ray. Just something. I don’t want to hear how strong of a stream you have when you urinate. Unless it’s a health concern you have, and then I’ll give my opinion. We should probably be friends before that, though.

Did I Just Dunk My Hand In The Toilet While Trying To Wipe The Little Tush?

God, help me. Where is the fire? Someone set this hand on fire. It cannot be cleaned. There is no getting around it. As unappealing as it might be to have your toddler on a changing station, wiping down their nether regions, there is something working on your side. It’s called gravity. There is no bending and hee-hawing around to try to get the squirmy butt clean. And if there is some kind of weird shimmying that occurs, you will not end up with your hand in a public toilet. You will, therefore, avoid whatever plague this century’s most vogue rats will be carrying.

I guess what I’m saying is the grass is always greener on the other side. Don’t be too sad if your little champ isn’t quite potty trained like a yet. It could be worse. They could be trained and making your life a smelly, dank, loud series of bathroom trips.

Nobody sees the tears of the clown as the Potty Time Sticker Chart is filled to the brim. In that analogy, the clown is going to be you. The tears are going to be the flakes of skin that are coming off your hands from trying to wash the germs off. Or maybe it’s real tears for the last three bites of a baked potato that the waitress took away while you were on the last potty break.

I wasn’t done, you monster!