Look kid, here’s the deal: You’re the last one — the baby of the bunch. Forever and always you will be too young, or not big enough, or so perfectly precious that we don’t want you to grow up yet.
We will encourage you to mispronounce things because it is adorable.
We will make up new code words for things because we don’t want you to know that when we call something spicy it really means it’s a dessert that we don’t want to share. We will foist babyish toys and adventures on you because we aren’t ready to let go of these cherubic years.
But those are not the reasons I’m refusing to potty train you.
Here’s the thing, sweets: I’ve paid my dues. Your sister and two brothers, they put me through the wringer.
1. The struggle to keep on underwear
2. The insanity of trying to get those boys to keep their hands off their mini-man bits
3. The constant checking of drawers to see if that was a fart, a poop, or something in-between
4. The pee dribbles everywhere
5. The stained mattresses
6. The never-ending pile of dirty sheets
7. The splatter marks on the walls by the toilet
8. The smell of urine in all of the bathrooms, because each toilet had to be tried several times a day except for at the precise moment the faucet was turned on
9. The hand-washing over and over and over, because big mama hands and tiny toddler butts mean lots of inadvertent skin touching
10. The mess from washing hands because, of course, the toddlers had to clean themselves up, too
11. The fights over how much could be had to drink before bed
12. The middle of the night wake-ups when even a tiny sip led to a full-fledged urinary midnight assault
13. The screams of terror about public restroom toilets
14. The wet car seats
15. The constant need to be on high potty alert
Oh, I’ll help you wipe and take you to the toilet if you ask. But I have better things to do with my time than ask you if you need to tinkle every 10 minutes just so I don’t have to worry about pee getting all over the carpet.
The diaper bag is for diapers, and then it gets retired.
There will be no in-between use as an emergency change of clothes bag because I was too eager to get you out of Pull-Ups. That sucker is old. It’s worn down, and if it’s anything like me, it’s tired beyond belief. It deserves a gentle respite in the backseat of the car where it is used maybe once a week before it gets shuffled off to the big donation bin in the sky.
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The truth is, I’ve embraced a lazy method of parenting that potty training really doesn’t mesh with right now. If you need to potty and can’t pull down your own pants, just go in the diaper, kid. You’re 2 years old — it’s a bit early to start dancing on the porcelain throne anyway.
My to-do list is long enough without having to take collective hours out of my day to stand and watch you dribble a teaspoon of liquid into the toilet, stop you from attempting to wipe your tiny cheeks with half a roll of toilet paper, wind the paper back onto the roll, then chase you down so we can wash your hands and put undies back on you, just to repeat the process in 15 minutes and find a pile of dookie behind the cookstove hours later.
So I wash my hands of this one. You’ll get there before kindergarten, I’m sure. And if not, well… maybe your dad will take care of the potty training for me
Jessica Cobb is an aspiring novelist who writes about parenting and relationships.
This article was originally published at Scary Mommy. Reprinted with permission from the author.