I like to think of potty training as a kind of mental boot camp for moms. On any given day, there’s singing, debating, laughter, and tears (all yours) while you sit on the floor anxiously awaiting the tell-tale pee pattering or poo plops of success. Ahhh…life as a mom is never quite as glamorous as when you’re on constant alert for signs that she needs to go to the potty or trying not to beg a 2-year-old to make up her mind about which princess she wants on her pull-up. Those of us who have been there are happy to prepare newbies for what’s coming down the pipe for them in the magical world of potty training:
1. Make your bathroom cozy and comfortable because you live there now.
2. The best tools for successful potty training are a sense of humor and one million bribes.
3. You’ve genuinely considered putting puppy pads on the floor behind the couch. And no, you don’t have a puppy.
4. It takes about five dips into the candy reward bowl for your kid to figure out how to pee in six-droplet increments in order to beat the system.
5. If you forget to put a smaller seat on the toilet, potty training is basically a failed trust fall waiting to happen.
6. Potty training can take anywhere from three days to three years. Clear your schedule accordingly.
7. Using colorful floating cereal as pee targets simply encourages your son to pee on the kitchen floor after breakfast.
8. Your new cologne is the musk of pent-up child farts mixed with foaming handsoap.
9. Your kid will announce to everyone in every public bathroom you enter whether you are “making brown” or “going peeps.”
10. Watching your kid ease in and out of her pull-up diapers all by herself is one of the most delicious tastes of freedom you’ll ever have.
11. You’re now never quite sure whether those are his reward chocolate chips on the floor or something that absolutely does not deserve a reward.
12. Before kids you insisted you’d never buy a potty, since your kid would use a toilet right away. Now you have a colorful plastic potty in every single room of the house.
13. Never ever ever ever ever sit directly in front of your son or daughter when they’re pushing on the toilet. EVER.
14. A potty training chart is a great way for moms to use stickers to portray exactly how desperate they are for this to be over with.
15. Because it was the one thing that worked, you now have to loudly sing “Let it Go” while your kid poops—no matter where you happen to be.
16. No one is more creative than a mom who needs to get herself, her newborn baby, giant diaper bag, and potty training toddler into a port-o-potty because he thinks he needs to go RIGHT NOW.
17. 87 percent of your day is spent talking about pooping.
18. You now understand why some people install TVs in their bathrooms.
19. If you can successfully calm a kid down who has accidentally sprayed herself in the face with air freshener, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
20. You never knew you could run like an NFL quarterback en route to a touchdown, yet here you are with a kid under your arm that you just caught grunting nowhere near the potty.
21. Nothing is cuter than walking into a room to find your toddler naked on the potty “reading” an upside-down book. NOTHING.