I need some toddler advice. Our three-year-old son is being potty trained, but he is horrible at not making a mess. Can you help?
Dear A. Mitwell,
I have been where you are and I’m here to tell you that I survived. It all started very strangely for our little guy. When he was only two years old he started asking to sit on the potty, but we weren’t ready. We kept holding him back, and we waited until he was three and a half to start. We read some books and tried all the known tricks, like tossing Cheerios in the potty and telling him to sink the ships and write his name while going potty. It still took a while and we had our adventures for sure. I think I have shared my story before about when we were training my son. He had to go to the bathroom really bad while we were out one day, so we asked a cashier if we could use an employee-only bathroom at this quaint, little business. Before Mrs. Crabby could even get our son into the proper position, he let loose and basically sprayed the entire wall and the Missus in one fell swoop! Then another time, I was sitting in the bathroom trimming my toenails when the little guy came running in yelling that he had to go right now. For some reason, little boys seem to wait until Defcon 1 to finally head towards the potty! As I started to ask if he could wait one minute, the stream started and I received a baptism on both knees and across yet another wall! I was screaming, and he was apologizing, all the while things were getting soaked. It was not funny at the time, but now that I’m looking back, I can see the humor. He did eventually get better at aiming, but it was quite a ride for a few months there. The timing took a while too. I can still remember standing in a McDonald’s, when my son started making funny noises while looking at the play area. I asked him if he needed to go potty, but as he turned to answer me, something just came pouring out from the hem of his pants! We both stood there staring at the floor as the lake surrounding his feet continued to grow. I was speechless, and so was he. Someone walked up and handed me a single napkin! I thought, “This must be for covering my eyes so I can pretend this didn’t just happen!” I scooped him up and carried him out to the car where I, of course, did not have any other clothes for him. I stripped him down and found an old towel in the trunk to wrap around him. I told him he would have to ride it out for two more hours until I could get him cleaned up properly. How do those youngsters hold so much fluid? They store it up for the most inconvenient times and then let it go just to test us! Anyway, as for advice – I have none! Do your best, and realize it’s not an exact science. Also remember that there are very few 21-year-olds that still need your help going potty, so this won’t last forever. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.
Sincerely, Dear Crabby
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