As recently as 2009, I was disgusted by the itty-bitty crappers people use catch their toddler mess. We'd get an invite over to a friend's home for dinner and then, sitting there beside the crudites next to the coffee table would be this teeny-tiny port-o-john. Usually it would go unused, but some nights you'd get lucky and actually get to see the kid in question pinch one off before dessert. Why can't the kid sit on the toilet, I wondered, or at least have his port-o-pot in the bathroom? Why does it have to be in the living room for all to observe?
When she first started showing an interest in the toilet a month ago, I bought Violet one of those kiddie donut seats that sits on top of the full-sized john. I figured she could learn using that and we'd never have to go the port-o-tot route. Then, like many of the other parenting decisions I've made in the last 21 months, reason and laziness trumped disgust and I saw why so many parents have chosen to let their kid wee-wee in bucket on the floor.
They can reach it.
Potty Chair, I believe, is the proper mommy term, but they are really not much more than a molded plastic bowl that the kid sits on to take care of business. Obviously, there's no running water attached, so a parent has to clean out the trough after the baby is through. And actually, for me, wiping down a plastic bowl after dunking umpteen cloth diapers in the toilet will be like being a zookeeper transferred from the elephant exhibit to the gazelle run. Still scooping shit, but a vast improvement.
So, a co-worker gave me two tiny potty chairs and they have taken up residence in our bathrooms. However, if Violet agreed to shit exclusively in a training toilet from now on, never again soiling a diaper for me to change, I would let her go about her business perched like a grunting centerpiece on the dining room table if she so wished. I might move her to the floor if we had guests or a piping hot dish on the table, but otherwise, I wouldn't let it get to me. Again, laziness trumping disgust.
Part of me feels like this is premature. She is only 21 months old, after all, and I've watched lots of bright kids who don't potty train until over age 3. But she showed and interest, so I figured, let the kid have a chance to choose not to wear crappy pants. Seems like a basic human right.
I don't know if it was the novelty of the the potty, the glitz of the toilet paper, or just dumb luck, but the morning after we introduced the new potty chairs, I let her have a sit down and discovered this at the end of her turn:
That, next to the penny (which I added as a point of reference on size), is a teeny-tiny turd. I was overwhelmed with pride and disbelief.
Less than 30 minutes after this photo was taken, I was dunking into my toilet a diaper filled with 70 times the volume of crap as is shown in this photo; but still, my little girl made ca-ca. In a potty. And I took a photo. And posted it on the Internet.
This is why childless people don't read mommy blogs.