Author's Note: Benjamin had a major set back and didn't pick up the potty training thing again until he turned 3. I don't miss the diapers - at all. Never did get a pottymoon.
Why is it that children get all the praise when potty training?
Why is it that children get all the praise when potty training? New toys are awarded by grandparents for potty prowess. Spontaneous outbursts of cheers can be heard in bathrooms across America when a toddler relieves themselves on the toilet. High fives are handed out like they are going out of style when number two is found in the potty and not in the diaper. Admiration is constantly bestowed on the potty goer but what about the actual trainer? When do I get my share of the praise? When will someone tell me "good job"?
Don't get me wrong. My son is doing a stellar job at this potty-thing, but how do you think he got to be so good? It wasn't like a potty training fairy came down from above and with one wave of her magic toilet bowl brush my child was diaper free. While that fantasy would have been nice, very nice actually, it is just that -- a fantasy. Nor did my son just wake up one day and say, "hey, Mom and Dad these diapers are so pedestrian, so beneath me. Next time, you are at the store pick me up some big boy underwear - I am so over diapers," and with that turned on his heel headed to the bathroom with a copy of War and Peace. No, not that either. How my son got to his mighty throne is from the blood, sweat and tears my husband and I have put in to make him the Potty King. While I am not looking for a shiny, new toy truck for my hard work, I am looking for a little acknowledgment when I am cleaning the poop up from the bathroom floor that has missed the toilet completely. I think I at least deserve a pat on the back after that humbling task.
Thinking about it now. In my opinion, there should be a section in Hallmark dedicated to just this very thing. Never mind congratulating Little Johnny for not peeing on the floor. Big deal! What about, "Congratulations You Taught Your Child How To Aim High!"? After having gone through this and still not having completely finished the mission, I would love to send a friend in the same predicament words of praise and encouragement like, "I realize you are having a hard time with the training, but know that I am here for you in your time of need." Receiving a card like that would at least give me the strength to face another day in the trenches of training. Or what about a card from my son that says, "Thanks for the wipe, Mom. You always make my bottom feel fresh as a daisy."
How about a Pottymoon? There are honeymoons for celebrating a marriage and babymoons for celebrating the upcoming birth of child but what about a celebration for parents who successfully complete potty training? Maybe that is going too far but if you have ever stepped in a puddle of pee on multiple occasions a vacation is what you deserve!
Maybe my dreams of a Hallmark card or Pottymoon will not be realized in this lifetime, but I don't think it is asking too much to give a small kudos, a "way to go" to the Mom or Dad whose kids went on the potty for the first time. Is it? Being a potty trainer is, for the most part, a dirty, thankless job. Even with hours spent on training a little nugget from time-to-time sneaks into my son's underwear leaving me perplexed, angry, frustrated, defeated and just plain exhausted. However, even if I am not being praised or consoled for my efforts, I can take comfort in the fact that diapers will soon be out of my life forever and that beats a million celebrations, congratulations, words of acknowledgment any day of the week (though a shiny new toy for Mommy wouldn't hurt)!
This is an original post for NJ Moms Blog. To hear more potty talk from Jennifer K, visit The Kamienski Chronicles.
Goodbye, Aunt Fran
3 weeks ago