Potty Training Woes (a flashback)



A few months ago, (ok, more like a year) I had somewhat of a situation on my hands. I wrote a post on potty training and I told you I’d share it but I needed time to heal emotionally first. 

It was 2015. Carthage college was hosting it’s homecoming soccer game and we decided to go support coach daddy. It was an hour away and the weather was yucky, so the Athletic Director let us watch the game from a press box. 

They brought us some sandwiches, a veggie and hummus plate and even some pizza. It was such a treat. We were having so much fun, I forgot to pay much attention to newly potty trained Daniel. Lisa said, “Darla, he doesn’t look so good.”  That’s when I turned to him and saw it. His “I pooped” face.

I rushed to his side and groped him and smelled him to confirm  unfortunately it was so. He shat his pants. 

I asked Maggie to come with me for moral support and we went down to the bathroom to asses the situation. At this point, the bathroom was empty and so we took the handicapped stall on the far end. Poop situations make me claustrophobic and give me hot flashes. I needed all the space I could get. 

I pull down his pants and my heart sinks. 

This is not just a take-the-undies-off-and-have-him-go-commando situation. This is a-throw-the-pants-and-undies-away-and-light-them-on-fire-situation. Full coverage.

Another problem: I brought nothing. Not a thing. No thing. No extra pants, no undies, no wipes, no pull-ups, no blanket. Nothing. He wasn’t wearing diapers anymore. Why bring a diaper bag? Major Mommy fail. 

Another problem: Now it’s half time. There is a line out the door of college girls. 

I begin to toilet paper the situation as much as possible but with each fraying swipe of the cheap single ply tissue, I realize more and more that this is going to need some water.  I have Maggie toss the soiled clothes in the garbage can at the beginning of the growing line and get me some wet paper towels. Now I’m just spreading it. Daniel looks so embarrassed and sad and the situation shows no hope of improvement. 

I know what I have to do. 

I leave the anonymity and safety of my handicapped stall and bring him to the row of sinks in front of the giant and brightly lit mirror and stick my half naked, shoeless baby in there. 20 something’s are coming and going to wash their beautifully manicured hands and I’m here poking yesterday’s black beans down the drain one by one wishing to no avail that I was invisible and they would all just leave. 

Now I have a “clean” wet baby, a sister in law who has now sworn never to have children and a line full of college girls who’s faces read, “Like, ew. When I have babies, they will, like, never poop. Gross.” (They’ll get theirs)

I pick up my boy, who will be a man someday, and put him on the bathroom floor in front of the paper towels and one foot away from the growing line as I tell him, “It’s ok man, ain’t no shame to your game. You stand proud, son.” As his mommy wipes him dry. 

Next, I take off my lightweight hoodie, put him through the bottom, put his legs through the sleeves and tie the hood to the extra fabric to fashion him some Bieber drop crotch style pants. He is looking somewhat stylish and I’m in my ratty stretched out tank top that I did not plan on wearing openly in public. I check the bathroom to see if there are any shreds of my dignity to scrape up off of the floor and bring with me, but it seems as though I lost every bit of it and resigned to just leave. I scanned the faces of the bathroom patrons as I left. No knowing smiles, no compassion or even eye contact to send me on my humble way. 

Now, what to tell Jordan. Hadn’t I suffered enough? Must I tell him my big stupid rookie mistake? Do I really need to hear his lecture on being prepared for anything when packing to leave? No, I decided. I’ll just keep it from him and tell him tomorrow after this whole mess is behind us. 

The game ended, I don’t know who won, but I definitely felt defeated. We walked out to meet him, Daniel in my arms; his new fashion forward “pants” covered by a blanket my Mother in law brought (because she is a grown up and knows to be prepared). Jordan offered to take him for me and I said, “No, he’s had a rough night, let’s just get him to the car.”

Lisa, Dale and Maggie all distracted Jordan while I buckled Daniel in and when we got home, I quickly brought him upstairs and put him to bed. 

At breakfast the next morning, I casually mentioned, “Oh yeah, Daniel had a major poop explosion last night and I didn’t have any change of clothes with me so he wore my shirt as pants.” I peeked up from my plate to feel for his reaction. He took a deep breath, raised his eyebrows and said, “Nice.” and we didn’t discuss it again. 

So, I learned a tough lesson. From that point on, I brought an extra pair of pants and underwear no matter how small the trip. Heck, I brought a pair when I went to check the mailbox that is attached to the front of our house. If I could help it, I wouldn’t be caught with his pants down again. 😜


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