There she stands. In the doorway of her home. Contemplating if she should dare brave the world today. Should she dare to step outside her home? The world can be a cruel place to someone in her position. Should she take the risk?
I’m talking about the potty training mom. Armed with a bag full of spare clothes (for the child AND her), bribery treats, wipes, and possibly a potty seat in tow, she steps outside to face an uncertain future.
I know these feelings because I’m right there with you. I’m saying the words “pee pee” and “poo poo” an ungodly amount of times a day for a 34 year old woman. I’m doing the happy dance anytime someone in our house goes to the potty. I even occasionally find myself cheering as I flush when the toddler isn’t around…sorry for the confusion of those in the public restroom with me….it’s now just a knee jerk reaction.
We’ve rolled up the area rugs, read the books, sang the songs and stayed at home for more time than I care to. So now it’s time to venture out. And I can’t lie, it’s a tad scary. Potty training kiddos in public is like walking around with tiny time bombs. You never know when they’ll need to go! And where will you be when they DO need to go?! So this one goes out to you, the potty training mom, we are in this together and I see you for your bravery and recognize the special talents you possess as you face this world with your precious potty training side kick!
The potty training mom is skilled in reading facial cues and body movements.
She can spot that raised brow, blank stare, turned in knee, or tiny little dance and spring at a moment’s notice to whisk her child away to the little potty. The slightest utterance or noise from her child is easily detectable to her and she KNOWS what it means. Sharper than a computer, more precise than a robot, that mom has got some talent!
The potty training mom is a super navigator.
In public she is constantly aware of the nearest toilet and can quickly scan an outdoor area to find the perfect hidden spot in case a behind-the-tree-session is necessary. She can exit a crowded room like a ninja holding a 30 pound wriggling person away from her body until within the safety zone of a bathroom. In case of an accident, she can change an outfit and clean up a mess with a smile on her face and a positive attitude in her voice.
The potty training mom is an expert negotiator.
She knows the right words to say to encourage a stubborn tyrant to “please just try one time” before we leave the house. She knows the difference in rewards and bribes. She can make a sticker chart and set a goal and help keep that little wee one accountable by instilling autonomy without being overbearing.
The potty training mom is a team player.
She may feel defeated at the end of the day with some bodily fluid stains on her shirt. But she gets back up. She keeps going because she knows that one bad day is a step towards a new skill learned in her little one’s life. Practice and perseverance will pay off in the end, and she knows it. So she Chumbawamba’s her way into the next day getting right back up when she gets knocked down, no one’s ever gonna keep her down!
The potty training mom knows how to truly celebrate the little things.
Oh sure some sports team won some big tournament and some politician won some election, but her kid kept their undies dry all morning and THAT is something to celebrate! She knows the little milestones to her are really a big deal to a child. What seems second nature to her is a huge life skill for a wee one, so rejoicing whole heartedly and feeling pride for a pee pee in the potty IS something to dance and clap about. She holds the gold medal for championing her child to victory!
So don’t get down on yourself if today was a rough day. I hope you see the skills you possess as a mom in the trenches of teaching an important life skill and recognize that you both will have reason to celebrate soon enough! There may not be trophies for the work you do but for those of us in this life stage with you, we get it and we would totally get you a gold medal and dump a Gatorade container over your head if we weren’t busy wiping bottoms and flushing little potties!