DEPENDING on who you ask, potty-training experiences will differ. But what is true of this part of parenting, for most, is that it can feel like an adventure. Navigating the tricky journey to being diaper-free will bring with it plenty of laughter, even on days when it gets challenging. But what most parents are usually less prepared for are the traumatising experiences.
We asked a few parents who have experienced some tough days to relive and share some of their most horrific potty-training memories.
Jenelle, PR practitioner, 35:
I knew my son was ready for potty-training but he was just too comfortable going in his diapers to bother with the potty, so I tried to use the bootcamp-style potty-training where you just let them roam around naked and rush them to the potty if you see something happening. Listen, the kid peed in my work shoes, on my pillows, in a dresser drawer, on my lap, and basically everywhere except the potty. And just when I thought it couldn't get worse, I smelled something funny but couldn't find it. Lo and behold, behind the curtain was a big number two.
Simone, insurance agent, 30:
Last week I was on a coaster bus from Spanish Town to Cross Roads and my three-year-old decided that he wanted to pee when we were out on the highway. I'd asked him before we left the house if he wanted to go and he'd said no. I begged him to hold it until we got off, but he started crying and that got the conductor's attention, so he allowed me to get out at the stoplight to let him go. Turns out the little man was holding it all day. I don't know how his little bladder could hold so much urine. The light changed, people started fussing, the bus started driving away, but he was still going. Luckily I didn't pay my fare yet so they didn't leave us there.
Michelle, quality control officer, 38:
I was tired of buying diapers so I decided to just go for it and potty-train my daughter one weekend. By Sunday evening she seemed to be getting the concept and was telling me when she wanted to go, so I let her roam around the house naked until bedtime. The Monday morning after I dropped her at school my new boyfriend came by to say hello before work and I invited him in and told him he could take a drink from the fridge, not knowing that my daughter had made a mess beside the fridge. He pointed it out to me and I explained the situation but he didn't bother taking the water, and to this day I'm still embarrassed.
Denise, teacher, 32:
My 24-month-old and I went into the supermarket and I let go of her to pick up a few items. I was checking the ingredients and expiration date on an item when I smelled something foul and looked down, only to see my daughter pooping in a basin the people had on the lower-level shelf. Thankfully, it was not a busy day and no customers were nearby, but I had to grab her up, apologise to the staff, and pay for the pan and two other ones that were inside of it. They were very nice about it but I still felt embarrassed.
Natoya, nurse, 29:
I was on vacation overseas in December with my three-year-old and we went to her paternal grandparents' house on one of the weekends. While there she was playing hide and seek with her cousins until they couldn't find her and she wouldn't respond (she doesn't talk when she poops). In a panic I rushed to help but by the time we got to the upstairs bathroom she shouted, “peek-a-boo!” and ran out so we caught her and allowed her to continue playing. She didn't smell so I never thought much of it until I heard her little cousin screaming and calling out, “Grandma, Alana pooped in the bathtub”. I was horrified, and the fact that her grandmother can be a little judgy made me feel worse. To make matters worse, when I went up there to clean things up her grandmother was there and my daughter decided to say, “Throw it to King (her grandmother's dog), he can have it for a snack. He might like it because Kayla's dog loves to eat poop.” I don't know if I can face them ever again.