Ah, potty training.
If you’re reading this as a parent who hasn’t yet reached this stage in your child’s development – good luck.
If, like me, you’re a partent currently going through this wonderous process, I hope you can empathise if not sympathise.
Our eldest, ‘B’, has been cracking on with potty training for the best part of a couple of months now. I shouldn’t say “training” any more as he has, bless him, pretty much cracked it.
Pretty much. There’s the odd accident but even with my sketchy memory of my childhood I can remember ‘accidents’ occuring when I was five-years-old – perhaps even older.
B’s doing brilliantly. But you don’t want to hear about my (and his) triumphs. Be honest, that’s not why you read this.
Lots of our friends are struggling with potty training their kids – we just got lucky. We timed it right, B was ready and we absolutely showered him with praise when he so much as looked at the potty.
If he actually did a wee or poo on the potty you’d have thought from the crazy celebrations we went through that he’d landed a rocket on the Moon, or scored the winner in the Cup Final.
He loves it. We even developed a ‘wee-wee-on-the-potty’ dance.
This made potty training a lot less stressful for all concerned. Of course, it has it’s draw backs.
B is now so chuffed with himself when he produces the merest dribble on the potty that he cannot wait to tell whichever parent wasn’t in attendance to witness this stellar event.
The minute the last drips of urine emerge he’s off. “I’m going to tell Mummy!” he shouts as he heads for the stairs. With pants and trousers around his ankles he cranes around the bannister to annouce at the top of his voice: “Mummy! I did a great wee-wee!” – all wee-wees are “great” in B’s world irrespective of size or the trauma induced to get him to actually do it in the first place.
This was fine – it was quite endearing in fact. We certainly weren’t going to discourage him – rather he was pleased as punch with using the potty than not using it at all.
That was until we went on a Trans-Atlantic flight.
Toilets on planes are tiny!
I’ll be honest, I was dreading it. Two kids (one toddler and one babe in arms); crammed into a flying tube with no escape, limited toys and death stares from a couple of hundred other passengers everytime one of them made so much as a peep. Using a toilet on a plane, with a toddler hadn’t even crossed my mind – perhaps my mind was protecting me from exposure to this idea.
Then it happened. After several hours on the flight and many apple juices downed B must need the toilet now we thought. Bracing myself to ride out all his protests (better that than all of us sitting there around his wee-wet seat) I took him to the toilet.
Good grief plane toilets are small. You knew that – but they’re even smaller when you have to fit a toddler and a potty in too. But we managed it. With me perching half on the toilet and half in the sink I found a space on the floor for B’s potty (I daren’t risk the actual loo – those things are scary enough for grown-ups!).
B was magnificent. Not only did a wee emerge but after a spell of slightly purple faced pushing so did a poo which, I think, surprised both of us. The usual effusive shower of praise ensued. High fives all-round for this mid-air miracle.
We were both looking very pleased with ourselves as we trotted back to our seats. It was then that B saw his Mummy and the inevitable happened. “Mummy! I did a great wee-wee and a great poo-poo!” he bellowed at maximum volume.
Mummy was, of course, as delighted as I was. The many passengers within earshot, probably less so.