Scenes from the potty

My son is at this point completely potty-trained; he just can’t be bothered to go to the toilet all the time. As a result, he gave himself diaper rash. He’s never had diaper rash a day in his life, so I thought he had some sort of disease. Took him to the doctor; she gave me Desitin and looked at me like I was a hypochondriac mom.

He hates the cream. He dug through the first aid drawer, found the tube, and threw it away while cackling gleefully. He also hates being wiped with wet wipes, because they are wet and he doesn’t want his butt to be wet. (But sitting in a sack of his own urine and feces is apparently a-OK.) So he tries to hide the fact that he’s pooped his pants. When found out (I have an extremely sensitive nose; I can smell poop from across the house), he screams and punches and pleads. It’s a two-person struggle to clean this child’s tush. So I’ve stopped letting him wear pull-ups during the day, in the hope that he will start using the potty with more regularity.

This is a punishment for me, not him. He still craps his pants. Only this time, I can’t just throw them away; I have to scrub and wash them. This is the child I nicknamed Mr. Fastidious; never have I cleaned up after him so much as I am now.

The following scenes took place in a span of roughly 18 hours.

Scene 1. A public restroom.
He’s told me he needs to potty, so the kids and I pile into a stall in a fast-food restaurant. Kai, for some reason, stands beside the toilet instead of in front of it. It’s one of those oval-shaped toilets, which means he has to really lean to get the angle right. He’s a little guy yet, and not used to standing and peeing, so this is an even bigger challenge.

Once he relaxes, awkward angle and two-person audience notwithstanding, he overshoots and hits the floor on the other side of the toilet. We all laugh. His sunglasses fall into the toilet. He pees on them.

Scene 2. His bathroom.
He’s about to go outside to play when I notice him tugging on the crotch of his shorts. I tell him to go pee first. I leave the room to get a beverage to take outside. When I return, he is mopping up a puddle on the bathroom floor.

“Didn’t make it?” I ask.

“No,” he replies.

“That’s okay,” I tell him, and give him some more paper towels to clean up the mess. “I’ll go get you some dry underpants.”

He is flushing the toilet when I return. “Toilet broke,” he says.

“Oh, no — did you flush the paper towels?” I ask. “You’re not supposed to…”


“Well, I needed to mop the floor anyway.”

Scene 3. Our living room.

After three days of carrying it around, I finally get the chance to crack open my new book. I’m on page two when I start smelling poop and pee.

“Are you wet? Did you poop?”


I check his pants. He is not lying. I go back to my book.

The smells persist. I check again. Nothing.

“Please go use the potty.”

“I no hafta go!”

“Can you at least try?”


I could continue to argue with him, but it’s been a long day, and to be honest I’m kind of tired of fighting about this. I go back to my book.

Just as I finish the first chapter, the poop smell gets really strong. He has either pooped already or will soon. I go get the wipes. When I return, I see him digging at his butt. Which smears the mess from inside his underwear through to the outside of his shorts. I clean up said mess, start the washer, clean the sink.

I sit back down with my book. A few pages later, I realize I still smell pee. I run my foot over the carpet in front of the couch and find a wet spot. Sniff. Yep. Get the stain remover and a rag, scrub the spot, throw the rag in the wash, and sit down to read again. Just as Daddy and Anya return from Girl Scouts.

I never did get to finish that chapter.

4 thoughts on “Scenes from the potty

  1. You are patient beyond words! Oh, I do not miss those days. My boys were all the way 4 and it was just a battle of wills, because they knew what they were doing or not doing. Also, they were old enough that I made them clean themselves up, standing in the deep sink. I’m sure that’ll be great fodder for their psychiatry appointments some day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I posted this too soon, I think. I missed the story of taking him to the movies: Having to go to the restroom 5 times because the novelty has not worn off and movies are long. Taking 5 minutes to pee each time because I made the mistake of showing him the little flap on the front of his briefs and now he refuses to simply pull them down. He hasn’t had an accident while we are out, so that’s something. Knock wood.

      Liked by 1 person

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