Teaching your child to use a potty can sometimes seem like an exhausting and thankless Mummy Task. And when your excitable toddler just doesn’t seem to be getting it, it’s tempting to throw your wee-soaked hands up in despair and scream into the ether “I AM SO OVER THIS!”
You wouldn’t be the first mum to do that – or the last. But don’t chuck in the damp towel just yet, because we’ve found 9 reasons to be cheerful about potty training.
1. Your child gets to pick their own big pants
Don’t think that sounds like a major deal? Think again! Because while your child gets to make the exciting choice between Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol pants, you get to pocket some savings by leaving the nappies and trainer pants on the supermarket shelf. Win-win.
2. No more sniffing bottoms for a suspected evacuation
Hurrah! Although, it has to be said, it takes time for some of us mums to get over this slightly canine habit. You should be fine by the time your child goes off to secondary school, though. Fingers crossed.
3. You get to choose a fun potty together
Potties are no longer just a bit of plastic on a bathroom floor that kids could easily confuse with the dog bowl – oh no! Potties are inventive and fun. Some potties even look like a real toilet which you child make like to help them feel a bit more grown up.
4. That first wee is SO satisfying (for you and them)
Break out the Bolly! Or the Robinson’s No Added Sugar Squash! Whatever – this is a big deal and should be celebrated!
5. But that first poo is even MORE SATISFYING
Possibly more for you than for them, but, you know, they’ll realise the momentousness of this occasion one day – probably when they’re potty training their own kids).
It may not be a bundle of laughs emptying a pooey potty, but it beats wiping a bum that’s been immersed in the contents of a pooey nappy, let’s be honest. And if your star does a Number Two in the potty more than once, you’ll know for sure that you are, indeed, Supermum and you’re doing brilliantly. Result!
6. Funny stuff happens
Potty training serves up the best awkward stories and gives you an arsenal of embarrassing moments to share for teenage birthdays and meet-the-boyfriend/girlfriend dinners.
One MFM mum* had one such moment on a shopping trip. “My little girl wet herself and I had forgotten to bring fresh pants. It was a hot day and I let her run around with no pants, but turned round in a shop to see her naked bum in the air in front of a big fan ‘cooling off her bot!’”
We’re all primitive at heart – and never more so when it comes to weeing, it seems. “My son used to mark his territory. That included weeing on his dad’s shoulders once,” confesses another proud mum.
Hey! Who says dads need training when it comes to potty time? This mum, for one, when she asked her partner to quickly fetch her the potty. “He didn’t know it already had a wee in it, which was then thrown all over me!”
And the final humiliation: “My child pooped in Auntie’s brand new suitcase just as she had finished ironing clothes for a holiday she was about to embark upon”?
*All names have been completely deleted to protect the red-cheeked
7. You find out where ALL the public loos are in your area
And if they’re a bit, you know, gross (as sometimes public loos can be), you’ll find out in no time who the sympathetic hairdressers/hardware stores/banks are, who’ll let you use their facilities in an emergency, too.
There’s nothing like a little local knowledge. So say goodbye to broken, unsafe plastic baby changing tables that fold down from the wall, or, indeed, the prospect of changing your baby’s nappy on a questionably clean toilet floor… and hello to exploring and discovering your manor. I mean, who knew that chic little boutique behind the florist even existed? And with such a spic ‘n’ span, nice-smelling loo?
8. It’s a real bonding experience for you, your child and your partner
No, really. Sounds mad, but getting over such a big milestone together without losing your precarious mum-sanity is sometimes what parenting’s all about.
One way – read some potty books together. I Want My Potty! by Tony Ross is all about potty training from The Little Princess’s point of view (brilliant) and Even Princesses (and Pirates) Poo! by Sarah Creese and Stuart Lynch is guaranteed to get you both thinking how cool this potty training stuff is.
And if you want to bring your partner into the fun, try Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once And Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki.
9. And finally, it means your little one is growing up
This thought may make you gulp, well up, smile, laugh like a hyena and jump for joy in equal measure – but not necessarily in that order. So even if it’s driving you crazy now, do try to savour these potty training moments together, because it won’t be this way forever. Even if it feels like it.