Me, Mommy

Hold the Flush


Let’s talk potty training and automatic flushing toilets. First of all, my hatred for public bathrooms goes way back. It’s one of those things that will forever haunt my mind and dreams. For years I had recurring toilet dreams. The stall door was too short, the toilet overflowed while I was on it, the walls were actually see-through, the seat was too tall to sit on. No need to tell me, I already know it’s an issue.

I typically take time to strategically place toilet paper on the seat, give myself a pep talk consisting of, “Girl you got this. It’s either toilet seat or wet pants. Let’s do this.” I hope I’ve never actually said it out loud.

We’re finally in the home stretch of potty training our last kid. That’s exciting. I don’t even want to calculate how much poop I’ve wiped and rolled up in a diaper. It wasn’t even a thing to me anymore. I might as well be putting on socks. I could wipe a bottom, plan a grocery list, pick up legos with my toes and blow dry my hair simultaneously.

I am sad and glad this time is ending. The whole growing up part and all. I was beginning to think it would never happen with this one. Our first practically trained himself. One day he just said I’m going pee in the potty and never looked back. This one has been bribes, sticker charts, candy, pleading and I was just about to give up. Then, she just started putting on underwear and going. Just like that.

Until today. We were therapy shopping at Target. Well, I actually had several gifts to buy, but it’s still therapeutic walking through the doors. We stopped off to potty first. I didn’t want clean up on aisle 6. She looked at the toilet. She inspects all toilets throughly each time. I swear I didn’t teach her this, but my mind is screaming, “That’s my girl!”

I guess potty paranoia is hereditary. Who knew?

Sometimes she thinks they’re too tall, sometimes they’re just plain gross, sometimes they are auto flushers. Those are the worst. She spotted the flush sensor and hesitated. I assured her it wouldn’t flush until she got up. Nope. A few seconds after she sat down the overzealous light started flashing as she innocently watched her feet swing and tried to go potty.

I was paralyzed. I knew if it flushed with her sitting there she’d flip out. I knew if I moved her first she’d flip out and I’d never get her back on…and I ran the risk of pee on my shoes. Before I could decide which terrible option was better, the dumb thing flushed. It was so loud I even jumped and it sprayed her with toilet water.

I’ll die about that later.

She jumped ten feet off the seat and let out a shriek. I tried to assure her it was ok, but the terrified screaming continued. While I obviously consoled her, I had a huge laugh bubble building up. The entire scene was just too much. I convinced her to go into another stall. I even went potty, as she continued to sob, to show her it was ok. Mommy’s butt got sprayed too. I’m not sure what type of toilets they installed, but they definitely have a premature flushing disorder.

We quietly washed our hands trying to process what had just occurred. I contemplated also scrubbing our rears in the sink, but ultimately decided we had caused enough of a bathroom scene for one day. The rest of the shopping trip just wasn’t as enjoyable as usual and I had to wash a wet car seat when we got home.

We may be back to square one on this potty training thing, for both of us.

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