“Mommy, I need to go POOP!” This is a very familiar sentence that I hear almost every day of the week. The chain of events following this statement usually progresses in the same manner. My kid announces this to me, and then he starts running for the bathroom holding his bum like a volcano that is about to erupt. I quickly follow him, grab the Disney Cars potty seat and slap it onto the commode, and all the while he is yelling, “MOMMY!!! Hurry UP before I POOP MY PANTS!!!” I am slightly out of breath at this point since I’m in such awesome shape these days, and I grab him and sit him down on the seat. I intend to stand there and wait for the eruption, at which point he sternly says to me, “Mommy, get out of here! Give me some privacy please! SHUT THE DOOR!” If only my loving child would bestow this same courtesy upon me once in a while. Yeah, RIGHT!! The word privacy doesn’t exist in my vocabulary anymore.
I waited outside the door for my little man to finish and asked him every few seconds, “Are you done honey??” I kept hearing, “N-O-TTT Y-E-TTTTT accompanied by groaning and grunting. Ain’t that just like a man? Anyway, I stood in the hallway like a patient Mom, and then I heard an unexpected and very unwelcome phrase come from the other side of the door. “Mommy! My hands smell of POOP!” I couldn’t help but laugh as I entered the half bath and found my son sitting on that potty with his two little hands up, covered in the brown stuff. You see, he is getting way more independent these days and likes to wipe (or try to wipe) his own tush. He usually does okay, but this time something just didn’t go as planned. I told him to keep his hands up and not to touch anything, and to STOP putting his fingers up to his nose to SNIFF!! Oh my GOD! I am lucky I didn’t faint. Visions of Ecoli and other parasitic bacteria danced in my head. I tried to let my horrific thoughts go and got back to the task at hand. I leaned him over a bit, and there was the toilet paper completely stuck to his rear end and caked with poop. I’m still not sure exactly what went wrong in the wiping department, but I successfully cleaned him up and then immediately lifted him off the pot, hands still in the air, placed him on his little green stepstool, then LATHERED him in green Kandoo soap and made that poor little boy scrub his hands like it was his job. After his hands were sparkly shiny and completely free of any sort of brown residue, I gave myself a huge pat on the back for avoiding a potential bacteria crisis.
This latest poop incident made me stop and think about whether I like the fact that my son is potty trained, or if I really miss the days of diapers when at least I knew exactly where the poop would wind up, and it was never on my son’s hands. I made a list of pros and cons in my head and tried to compare the two.
Don’t get me wrong, diapers can be kind of gross, but I really had to give props to the convenience factor. When my son was in diapers, I never had to worry about pulling the car over on the side of the highway so he didn’t completely pee himself and his car seat and we didn’t have to spend the rest of the ride with the car completely smelling like pee. I also never had to worry about him having to poop on an airplane. We fly several times a year, and it never fails…every time the plane takes off and the fasten seat belt sign is still on, that kid has to take a dump.
I remember one incident when we were flying from Washington National Airport to Jacksonville. I am Silver Preferred on USAirways, and me and my little barely 2-year old had been upgraded to First Class that day. We got out on the tarmac, he looked at me…then got up and stood on his two little feet, got into a squatting position, and proceeded to start making those groaning and grunting noises, and said with a reddish purple color on his face, “Mommmmyyyy I’m pooooping!” Don’t worry, he’s little and those First Class seats are big, so the seat belt was around him the whole time. He was in the window seat and I was in the aisle, so I was leaned over towards him trying to block him with my body in the hopes that none of the other First Class patrons would realize the events that were taking place in 3D and 3F. Right around this time, the pilot came on and announced that they were changing the direction of traffic taking off from North to South, so it would be a good 20 minutes before we were airborne. I was screaming inside my head. Everyone knows that you cannot get out of your seat while on a live runway, so my poor little man was going to have to sit in his own poop until that plane got up in the air. The anxiety was really starting to build at this point, because all I could think about was that First Class cabin reeking of my son’s crap. The next thing I knew, I looked over, and little man was fast asleep, diaper full of poop, looking like an angel. A sleeping baby for the whole flight? Free drinks in First Class for me? I did what any good mother would do. I put a blanket over him, gave him a “sniff check”, decided that I didn’t smell a thing, and proceeded to get out my book, order a vodka and take one for the team. Now WHAT on EARTH would I have done if that kid hadn’t had a diaper on and wasn’t allowed to get up and use the airplane lavatory? I shudder at the thought.
Back to the potty-trained kid. Sure, it takes a little effort, but any parent can’t help but feel a huge sense of accomplishment once you get your kid(s) potty trained. It brings about a whole new sense of freedom. Gone are the days of your garage smelling like an overflowing toilet from rotting diapers. Gone are the days of going to change your baby’s poopy diaper only to realize that the poop is halfway up his back. At least now it winds up in the toilet…well, at least on most days it does. A potty-trained kid is generally just much happier, definitely much cleaner, and is starting to turn into an independent child…not a baby anymore! Of course, now that my son is potty-trained, I’ve seen the inside of every single public bathroom in the Hartford area and anywhere we’ve traveled. A lot of them I’ve seen more than once. What is it about a public restroom that is so darn exciting to a kid? And don’t even get me started on the port-a-pottys that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting with him. I could write a whole separate entry about that experience!
I think that when it’s all said and done, the potty-trained kid absolutely wins. The pros really do outweigh the cons on this one. If this is true, then howcome every time that my nice hot meal arrives at the table when we go out to eat and my child looks at me and says, “Mommy, I need to go pee-pee!”, do I dream of the days when I could just look at him and say, “Just go in your pants!”, and then proceed to stuff my face with whatever delicacy is in front of me.
The Mommyologist’s Last Word: Let’s face it, women are just NEVER satisfied!