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Katy England Katy England
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Life in a toilet

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Life in a toilet Life in a toilet

Everyone has an opinion on toilet training: What year you should start; what year they should be diaper-free; what method you should use; pull-ups are of the devil; and so on. I know I had an opinion before I had kids. I never understood why people waited to potty train. After all, who doesn't want a small human who can use the bathroom without assistance? Wouldn't you be pushing for that with all of your being from the time they were born to that first blissful flush?

Of course we want that. Everyone wants that. But some of the hesitation is due to familiarity. It's better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don't. But that isn't even the whole issue: It's the in-between that is the problem. What happens between diapers and the potty is nightmarish.

Whether you're doing rewards, a weekend crash course, praise, whatever there will be accidents. What I didn't think about as a formerly child-free adult, was all the accidents in between. It isn't as though your house wasn't messy enough; adding raw sewage to the mix is horrifying. So the tendency to stick with diapers for a little longer than you had planned is incredibly tempting.

Additionally, since demonstrations are encouraged, you now have to share with (at least in my case) an audience of three people what has been a private affair for the past three decades or so. 

Our kids' upstairs and downstairs potties just arrived (and have already caused fights, because you know, potty-fights are a thing), and the kids are getting used to them being around while the diapers remain in the routine. But taking the next step down potty-training lane remains difficult.

The notion of chasing around not one, but three pantsless kids and coaxing them to pee somewhere other than the floor is not appealing. The idea of changing their sheets multiple times a week also takes a big meh' in my book.

The payoff is huge. We can all agree. But the cost involved in the transition is also immense. So if you meet someone whose kids are 3 or even 4 years old and they haven't mastered the art of the potty, cut them a little slack. After all, you're not the one dodging MRSA and pink eye during the process. And if you actually want to help, buy the poor family a bunch of chlorine wipes and alcohol. Not rubbing alcohol: beer.


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