How Do Germophobes Potty Train Their Children?
Seriously, this question flitted through my mind this morning as I was enjoying my shower. We’re in our third week of potty training, and my two-year-old son showed up at the shower curtain, which is strange only because he had to pry his eyes away from Super Why! to come upstairs. Don’t judge, I NEED those seven minutes. My cherished seven minutes of “me” time turned into a poo-tastrophy of epic proportions this morning, and I wondered how the hell germophobes ever survive potty training their children.
I am the polar opposite of the definition of germophobe. We’re a cloth diapering family, so I’m already a champion when it comes to dealing with my kiddo’s output (and we use cloth wipes, so that makes me even more badass), but seriously, potty training takes the cake. A simple Google search for “potty training” will give you WAY more information then you’ll ever know: wait until the your child is ready, all children are different, training pants, no training pants, big kid undies, train in a day, a weekend, the list goes on (and on). Not that it matters, but I chose to go commando-style with potty training, which means I’m training a future nudist.
Because my son is so young, commando-style bypasses the need for him to pull down his pants before evacuating; because there are no pants to catch his output, in three short weeks, my son has christened our home puppy-style. I’ve never owned a dog (do germophobes own dogs?), but potty training my son seems to be pretty close to puppy training. Oh, the pee and poop.
I have this vision of the stereotypical germophobe’s home, and it is ethereal, decorated in white and taupe, with each item orderly placed (and hand sanitizing stations strategically placed everywhere), and beautiful hardwood floors one could eat off of. A germophobe would not survive in our house; not even a bleach shower could wipe away a germophobe’s horror, especially after today.
My son has had his share of accidents, in the three weeks he’s been using a potty, and I’ve gotten an insane amount of exercise, chasing him around with a bottle of enzyme spray and a cloth (thank god for enzyme spray!). I just don’t understand how it’s possible to potty train without the mess from accidents. I know that some naysayers would say that accidents happen when a child isn’t ready to potty train, but trust me, both my son AND I were ready for him to potty train!
For two weeks preceding potty training, I was changing diapers á la newborn baby. There were times when no more than five minutes had passed since a diaper change, than my son was heading towards the stairs calling “Diaper change!” over his shoulder. I was tired of being ordered to change diapers, and figured that if the kid could ask for a diaper change, he could figure out how to use the training potty. Thus, we officially entered tenuous potty training territory.
The first two weeks went really well, with accidents to be expected. Then, I left for the weekend. I was confident as I drove away waving, as my son had just done his first, unprompted #1 AND #2 that morning. Now, I’m being punished for leaving, as my son has had more accidents in the two days I’ve been home than he had in the first two weeks of training; the culmination being this morning, while I was enjoying my own version of seven minutes in heaven.
I hear the pitter-patter of footsteps coming towards the bathroom and groan inwardly (little did I know what was coming). My son walks up to the bathtub, pulls the shower curtain aside and says “hello,” and proceeds to walk around; it takes a minute for me to register the fact that he has a brown streak down the FRONT of his leg (WTH?). I quickly yank his shirt off and pull him into the shower with me. Knowing that he is likely to play with the mess he initially made, I hop out of the shower (leaving it running so that I can finish shaving my legs) and head downstairs; yep, there’s a trail. And, I should add, that in order for my son to get upstairs (it’s gated) he has to climb up and over a couch (lovely, but thank god it’s leather and not upholstery!).
I headed back into the shower, my zen shower moment completely broken, and finish up with a lingering question in my mind: How the hell do germophobes potty train their children?