Friday, August 24, 2007

Potty Odyssey

Now that Will is potty-trained, I find that a major component of my life involves visiting restrooms in public places, and discussing whether they are clean and whether clean people or dirty people use them. This stems from the fact that Will doesn't stand in front of the potty yet, but sits, and needs to know whether it is acceptable for him to put his hands on the potty (NO! YUCK!) or place them on his thighs (THANK YOU! GOOD JOB!).

I've tried to explain that we don't touch ANY potties except for those at home but Will argues that there are exceptions to this rule. This results in vigorous hand-washing, made all the more challenging by the fact I am usually propping him on my knee so he can reach the sink while balancing Sophie on my other hip.

So bonus points to those potties with a sink that isn't installed in the corner of the room, leaving poor Sophie plastered against the drying station or else me trying to vigorously wash Will's hands with my RIGHT hand. (I'm not ambidextrous. Not even close.) EXTRA bonus points to those that have a little seat for infants built in to the wall. (Unfortunately, these are very rare, and if it's not an exceptionally clean restroom, I wouldn't put my little one in there anyway.)

Going into this phase of Will's life, I had assumed that by asking "Do you need to use the potty?" before we left the house, like all good parents do, I would happily avoid the frequent use of public restrooms and thereby keep my baby's sweet little tush as germ-free as possible. There were a couple of miscalculations in this assumption:

#1 - Will LOVES to visit foreign potties. The more exotic, the better. If there is an automatic flusher, faucet or hand-dryer, the excitement level is elevated significantly (as is the chance that multiple trips will be requested).

#2 - Will plans ahead. So when I ask him, "Do you need to use the potty?" before leaving the house, he confidently answers, "Well, there's a potty at {insert destination} that I can use." I've expounded on the benefits of in-home potty use, but these seem to fall on deaf ears. Since some battles aren't worth fighting, I do want him to take ownership of the potty process and I also want to leave the house within the next half hour, we venture out anyway.

I'm now offering a potty-review service for all of you that are or will be potty-training soon.

Dirty Potties:
First convenience store off exit 96 in Bedford County. (Not recommended for anyone that has to sit to do their business. Unfortunately, it's 7 miles to the next exit.)
Taco Bell/Pizza Hut at Nipper's Corner
Lowe's on Nolensville Road
Captain D's in Brentwood

Marginal Potties:
Kohl's in Cool Springs
Las Palmas at Nipper's (I think they really try, but I am pretty discerning; these are my baby's buns we're talking about)

Clean Potties:
Publix at Nippers Corner (a real superlative since we were the first to use it since it was cleaned! Yay!)
Kroger at Nippers Corner (this barely escaped "Marginal" status because the automatic lights make it a bit gloomy at first)
Panera (thanks for bearing with us through TWO trips in the space of 20 minutes)
Kroger gas station at Concord and Nolensville (definitely an A-lister of gas station potties)
Joann Etc in Cool Springs
Snappy Tomato

If there are any others you're wondering about, just ask! Chances are, we've been there or will be there soon!

Coming soon to a potty near you!


Candice said...

I never wanted to be one of those adults with the "stuffy" house that contains absolutely nothing to play with or something to do. I also always assumed that since my best friend has two kids, that I was pretty "with it" in regards to kids. (I stole that from the Wal-Mart commercial.) I've changed a million diapers, comforted fussy children, and fed them. I am slowly realizing that I'm just experiencing the fun and games portion.

Each and every blog that you write makes me very aware of how unaware I am of what having a child is really like. Most of our friends have children. (Two more of our friends are due within a month from now.)We just have no plans of having one in the very near future. Don't get me wrong! We LOVE children and babies. We just don't want them taking up residency at our house yet.

So for every newborn baby that I get to hold and then to me wanting one of my own, your blog reminds me that I don't think that I am ready quite yet.

OR it could have something to do with some friends of our's from church. Their 7 week old baby has colic sp? and something else wrong. You could smell the fear and see it in their eyes. They haven't slept much. Plus "Having a baby has really changed our lives...drastically. We never sleep. The baby is always screaming. It's nothing like we thought it would be. You can baby-sit anytime you want!" This whole "if I had known what I know now, 9 months ago" type this is pretty scary too! Whew!

PS. Tell Andy that he's allowed to leave his own messages on my page too! I have been wanting to put some pictures on my page. I just haven't done it. You are much better at this whole game than me! I think that's funny about not reading the captions.

vergne said...

Your post is pretty hilarious. You know how to make those everyday, sometimes annoying things really funny. Which I guess is what we all have to try to do so we don't get depressed, huh? =)

Anyways, our Sophie will probably be ready to potty train soon (I hope-not sure when). We've had a couple of false starts where we thought she was ready but I've had friends tell me how hard it is to take your kids to public restrooms.

I got such a kick out of hearing about Will's love for foreign toilets, etc. I guess just remind yourself, "this too shall pass." My friend told me about a little portable folding toilet that you could easily take with you but I don't know where she got it.


Doug, Shelly, Ava and Liam said...

How funny. Will sounds like he will be a well-bathroom-traveled kiddo!

I must tell you that Doug is still hassled to this day by his family, as he was the one in the family that HAD to visit the bathroom in every restaurant his family visited... Not sure of the origins of this preoccupation. Fortunately for me, this habit isn't a "must" on his list of restaurant visit requirements any longer....

We're thinking of undertaking the potty-training thing fully over Labor Day weekend. Not too sure yet.


Candice said...

The first gas station/store at exit 97 on I-24 in Bedford county is probably one of the scariest places in the world to me. I can't believe that you: a. stopped there, b. got out of the car once there, and c. took your small children in the store and into the bathroom! You are VERY brave!!

I thought it was funny about the water too. I tried so hard not to laugh. As for the clean fridge, I think the picture paints a better picture than real life.

You should take a picture of your fridge and post it on here. It could be sort of like a blogspot version of MTV Cribs. ha I'm still not really sure what he did with the other stuff. I think he must have cleaned some stuff out. Plus we hadn't been to the grocery in over a month. (Hence, no milk in that picture.)

I know that you are making light of daily occurrences with your kids. It is VERY entertaining! It just reminds me of you telling me years ago to wait awhile. I'm trying to revel in the time that I have now. Your blogs just remind me of this.

I do really enjoy not going to the bathroom everywhere I go. Since reading the "potty odyssey", I've been taking a mental note of all the places I go and how many trips to the bathroom that would be. Whew!

Shortly after my parents began potty training my sister, we were going to Oklahoma. I can remember, stopping a million times for her. It took us over 5 hours to get to Memphis!! Everytime my mom would bring my sister back to the car, she'd tell my dad "I went Daddy! Aren't you proud of me?". Of course, she was just as proud of herself everytime but my dad slowly lost his enthusiasm. (We were stopping at practically every exit for awhile.) So I don't suggest taking any long car rides with Will for awhile! :)

Amy said...

It's still a family joke how much I loved visiting public restrooms as a child. My mother says she would be out with me and I'd say, "I wonder what color the bathroom is here." Then about 30 seconds later I would say, "I need to go potty." Very subtle.
Thanks for missing me. We've been out of town and had other things going on. I'm going to try to blog tonight.