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Potty training is a scam

November 24, 2015 The Wine Time Dad 2 Comments Category : , , , , , ,

Have you tried it? Let me tell you, it is. Think of the process you undertook when you first tried to train your wee one to use a diaper properly… I sure remember those diarrhea volcanoes and unending torrents that escaped in between changes, don't you?

Now, recall that process again, but transitioning out of that comfortable toddler ‘nanny’ (by nanny, I mean the diaper). Accidents, here and there, and several weeks, maybe months, of screaming bloody murder when you wake the toddler up to go in the middle of night, are nothing. And, reasoning with a fairly diaper-friendly toddler, who doesn’t understand that pee and poop always go in the potty, isn't too… tedious. Hell, getting them to understand that you wash hands after each use never requires more than one reminder.

However, some toddlers don't yet know that, for the initiated, accidents are only supposed to happen in the direst of circumstances. Never when you’ve stepped out from a party, on the other side of the world, to take a phone call, and, while wondering as you talk, you realize you’ve walked too far away from the party to make it back in-time… These situations almost never happen. Never. And, if they did happen, don't tell the toddler. Or, anyone else.

In any case, your toddler wants to use the potty, but they only want to use it because it’s something you use. Trust me, their interest in using the potty will wane, and then so will their desire to use it on time. 

Imagine cleaning up a volcanoin public. Or, a torrent… Let alone the latter! At least numero uno is the easier one to handle, right? 


It is, but the place can determine its level of difficulty. Without a crowd watching, it’s not so bad. In certain places, like the outdoors, you may be able to walk away. With a crowd and in a confined space, where you can't escape, however, it’s not so easy to just walk away. Let’s just hope you can just make a good show of cleaning up until you can escape.

Or course the toddler senses none of this. In fact, they’ll use any social setting against you, just to make you suffer.

I be like, “Do you… child, need to use the restroom?”

“Nooo.. I don wan to go poddy,” she articulates in dejected mumbles.

“Are you sure?” Double thumbs-up indicates that the parental thinks this is an awesome idea.

“Nooo,” reconfirms the toddler, “I jus wanna snack.”

“No potty?” maniacal grin, now, with continued double thumbs-up.

“No! I don WANNA go to the POTTY!” Asserts the tyrant.

“Potty!” Double thumbs-up, sad face.

“No!” Fish squirm engaged, eardrums sufficiently pierced by shriek-scream. I give up. Sometimes a wild animal is, indeed, a wild animal.

“Okay,” say I, “let’s go to the train!” Double thumbs-up, smile reengaged.

“I jus wan my snaack.” Calm settling back in.


Now in the metro, waiting for the train, the toddler is starting to get agitated because someone had the audacity to sit on one of the benches (yeah, it’s a thing sometimes: elevators, public benches, and seats on the train are hers. The fucking train is hers). It’s hot enough in the station that the area between my butt and balls is leaking profusely. I’m counting the minutes as I now have to use the potty, too.

The train finally comes.

“Ah, fuckin’ A,” I mutter under my breath, “it’s fucking here.”

“Why’s the train fugging here, daddy?” Did she just say what I think she said? Couldn’t of- this must be one of those recall exaggerations.

Anyways, we get on the train and it takes longer than usual to get home. Track work, another train in front of us- it doesn’t matter. Same shit, different day.

After staring ahead and not trying to make eye contact with my squirmy, agitated toddler she announces, “I peed!” I look down and confirm that she has peed.

“It’s wet. It’s wet.” She repeats louder and louder.

“Oh, baby, it’s just a little. Can you hold the rest until we get home?” I ask.

“Yes,” she says. Like she really knows what holding it means.

I look around. It doesn’t seem that anyone really noticed. Whatever- I’ll make a show of cleaning up. I find some wet wipes and dab around. It’s all good. We pull into our station and I maneuver the stroller out of the way and then notice her pee is dripping off the seat and onto the floor. There was no carpet on this train, so the pee had traveled around a bit. A nice big puddle. I guess she didn't hold it. 

The train stopped and door sound beeped. I looked once more at the spreading puddle and then looked up. The woman sitting behind me was staring at me but I looked away quickly. I threw the toddler in the stroller and backed quickly out of the metro. As I backed out, another woman sitting facing me, whom I didn’t notice before, was shaking her head at me with her mouth open. I could see the accusation in her eyes, you ain’t gonna clean that shit up? Her eyes said to me.

No, I’m not gonna clean that shit up because this is my stop and this is where we get off. I smiled at her as the doors closed. It was as if I’d just flipped her the bird.

Truly, there was nothing I could do. And, let’s be honest, if you’re a city person, it’s probably not the worst thing you could see on the public transit system.

I don’t highlight this story because it’s especially pertinent or even enlightening, in some way. It isn’t; it’s just a run of the mill public “accident” story. Yet, I highlight this story because I want to explain to you that potty training is a scam. Don’t believe the hype of early potty training, or any kind of potty training. Continue to spend exorbitant amounts of cash on diapers and let that toddler use them as its toilet until it’s old enough to understand human communication. Sure you’re 3-5 years toddler may be the oldest kid in diapers, but at least your won’t horrify public transit riders with your irresponsible parenting.



  1. This is a realization I'm reminded of daily. Hopefully my acknowledgement fuels your laughter.