Warning: This post is not for the weak of stomach or the faint of heart. Or for those eating breakfast. Especially if you're eating Cocoa Puffs.
Connor, my three-year-old, is currently potty-training. He's not all that thrilled about it, since he's just fine with diapers -- even if they are sagging to his knees. And it seems like whole lot of aggravation to him to stop playing just so he can go into the bathroom and do something he used to do while playing. But he's mildly excited about his new "big-boy" Diego underwear, and he likes putting yellow stars on his Potty Chart. And he's already met all the signs of potty training readiness. So -- onward and upward.
But, as I've come to understand, potty training a child is also potty training a Mom. (Can I get an Amen?!?) It means Mom now has to stop what she's doing and attend to a child who's wearing Pull-Ups or (help us Lord) "big-boy" underwear even though he isn't tuned in to the siren call of the nether-regions.
Which brings us to the moment last week, when my husband and I were lounging at the table after dinner. (Lounging is not common in our house, so when the moment presents itself, we wallow in it.) The kids were busy in the bathroom -- Natalie was splashing in the tub, and Connor was playing with some bath toys in the sink.
After five minutes of blissful adult conversation, Connor peaked around a corner of our kitchen, and caught my eye. I smiled. He smiled back. And then -- OH MY WORD! The odor. The nose-scalding, fumigatious odor! I practically knocked the chair over in my haste to get up. "Connor's got a really stinky diaper," I said to my husband in my never-ending quest to state the obvious. "It's bad!"
Connor heard me utter the words "stinky diaper" -- which is code for "get the heck out of here" in the Official Toddler Handbook -- and took off running. I rounded the corner to chase him and stopped dead because I found -- to my horror -- that there were little dots of what Natalie delicately calls "pew-pew" every few inches stretching the 15 feet from the kitchen to the bathroom. Connor, still fleeing, was wearing a Pull-Up that was mostly Pulled-Down from the weight of the load he was carrying. Seems someone hadn't remembered soon enough that Pull-Ups don't hold the amount of bodily fluids that diapers do.
Thankfully, I'm good in a crisis. "STOP!" I screamed at Connor. "STAY!" (Did I mention we used to have two dogs?) I grabbed a beach towel, wrapped up the boy and disintegrating Pull-Up and hauled the whole thing to his bedroom for a change that involved two adults, 58 diaper wipes and about a dozen dry heaves from Mom thanks to the unholy smell.
And the carpet? Let's not talk about it.
I've learned my lesson: Pull-Ups and other such potty-training paraphernalia should only be used under adult supervision. And by adult, I mean someone who's actually paying attention.
If my pain can help someone else avoid this misery, it will have all been worth it.
This public service announcement was originally published on Kelly's blog, Love Well, in March 2007. Thankfully, Connor finished potty training just in time for his little sister to be born in January. Thus, Kelly continues to be up to her elbows in pew-pew daily.