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Children / Humor / Potty Training

Preoccupation Pottyitis and an Accidental Foray Over to The Dark Side

potty training

We all pray for the day – the day when our little angels can use the potty all by themselves. We all expect it to happen in one day just like Dr. Phil said it would if we followed his potty party in a day philosophy. Well, I can tell you folks, it ain’t always that simple. For us, the day was more like two months but once she got it, she got it. No more pull-ups, no night-time accidents and hallelujah, no more diaper bag. Well, hold on there, almost.

We still deal with what I am terming “preoccupation pottyitis.” P-squared for short. This is a self-inflicted illness that commonly occurs in toddlers and small children in which playtime or some other mind-inhibiting activity causes the child to wait until the very last second to rush to the potty in hopes that he or she will make it. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. It typically occurs following an hour of an adult asking the child every 30 seconds if she or he needs to use the potty.

Preoccupation pottyitis struck us last week. We were in the mall play area and my daughter looks up with that panicked look mouthing the words, “I’ve got to go potty.” You would have thought that Nieman Marcus was giving away free Chanel bags if you had seen me grab her hand and tear through the mall at speeds unheard of in the posh Cherry Creek Mall. We rounded the corner where the sign points to the restroom and the big W comes into view. I crash through the door without a glance in either direction with my eyes like laser pointers to the first stall door I could find.

I knew time was of the essence so I pulled down her pants and placed her on the potty. Whew, we had made it. However, as is typical of our visits to public potties, a conversation ensued between us about avoiding germs, not touching anything, etc. Once we were finally put back together, our exit took place in a much calmer manner. I slowly opened the door with my eyes ready to take in the environment for the first time and what the heck???? What’s that guy doing standing in the ladies’ room? A quick glance to the left. Urinals. What? In the ladies room? A slow realization came over me. OH. MY. GOSH. The race was on again. I grabbed Eva’s hand and she was practically flying as we sprinted out of the MEN’S ROOM.

As we exited, the shoe shine gentleman looked our way. I almost burst out laughing but figured I would try a dignified approach. “Um, I think we went in the men’s room by mistake.” He started laughing. “Yeah, I kept thinking I was hearing women’s voices echoing out through the door.” It was at that point that I became oriented with the TWO doors that seemed to be located under the W sign. Had I looked more closely I would have, of course, seen the M that was more prominently placed near the door we had entered, but hey, I had a full blown case of preoccupation pottyitis on my hands.

We did go into the ladies room to wash our hands. It was lovely in there. Mommies and children talking potty. Plenty of nice scented soap and towels. And, it was pink. Hmmmm..I think.

As we exited again, all three men sitting in the shoe shine seats stared and chuckled as we made our way past. In my 20s, I would have been horrified. 30s would have brought embarrassment. 40 – what the heck. It isn’t every day you get to see the inside of the men’s room.

Guest blogger Hilary is a Stapleton mom who chronicles her daily happenings with a little bit of humor and mischief into otherwise mundane (or not) occurrences.

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  1. This was so funny in more ways than one. My daughter literally took two years to potty train so we had many painful episodes like this!

  2. P.S. I feel the same about the Men’s Room, too. 🙂

  3. Hillary – This is a great and funny post which took me long time ago to potty train stage of my 4 kids – it seems that all over the worlds potty train is a reall challange for us the mothers.

  4. This is a great post! (Sorry I’m late to the comment party…better late to that than the potty party, I guess!)

    When you gotta go, you gotta go! At least you made it to the potty in time!

  5. Have done that a time or two. And they’ve got the “family bathrooms” at Southwest Plaza. I thought it was great to have this big open air room with TWO — yup, count’em two potties where I could pop-a-squat with my 3 yr old daughter!!!

  6. I wish I was with you because we would have been laughing even harder. What an awesome story! we would have been laughing right now , kinda like with “little butt.”

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