Monday, February 27, 2012

Why I Don't Want to Potty Train My Daughter

If I were to write an essay called, “Why I Love Diapers,” it would be the shortest essay in history because I can sum up my reasons in one word: convenience. If the essay were titled, “Why I Don’t Want to Potty Train My Daughter,” that would be different. I’d need to include categories. Things like laziness. Fear. Pressure.

I’ll start with the laziness.

It’s not that I “enjoy” changing diapers. It’s just that, gross as a diaper might be, it’s easy to do. It can be done anywhere, anytime. In the car and your kid pees out the entire juice box you gave her? Pull over. Just entered Ikea and you can smell something funky already? Find the bathroom. Out for a walk? That stroller doesn’t lay back for nothing. And once the diaper has been changed, you (usually) don't have to worry about it again for at least a couple of hours, as opposed to every 15 minutes or every time your child takes a sip of water. The key with diapers is that you don’t have to think about your child’s bodily functions until after they’ve happened. Once you get to potty training, you are not only thinking about them as they happen, but you’re trying to anticipate them all freaking day long. That's exhausting and inconvenient. 

And that brings me to the fear. In addition to being passive aggressive, emotionally sensitive, and hot-tempered, I’m also a worrier and I fear what having to constantly think about whether my daughter has to, is about to, or has just dropped a deuce will do to my psyche. I already hover around Thumper; I can only imagine how this will intensify during potty training. If she says no when I ask if she has to pee, I probably won’t believe her and will be left to neurotically debate in my mind whether I should make her sit on the potty anyway, if I just made her pee her pants by bringing it up, or if I think making her sit on the potty when she doesn’t have to go will make her hate the potty and ruin what little progress we may have made. I’m getting a headache just thinking about having to think about it.

Finally, there’s the pressure. Sometimes it feels like everyone I know is asking if Thumper is potty trained, and why she isn’t in pull ups or underwear. It makes me to want to not potty train even more because, well I guess because I’m stubborn like that, but also because she’s barely two and a half. Who the hell cares if she is still in diapers? If I’m the one changing them and I don’t care, why do the people who don’t have to change them? It also feels like suddenly every child we know who is even remotely close to Thumper’s age is potty training or trained. This doesn’t faze me so much, but it did make Dawson promptly take Thumper to Wal-Mart in search of princess underwear. I guess he forgot that he goes to work every day and I’m the one who stays home, and that just because he’s ready for Thumper to be in big girl undies doesn’t mean that Thumper and I are.

I’m just not excited about having to make sure I know where all the bathrooms are in any given building that I may enter. I’m also not excited about the fact that even after Thumper is “potty trained,” I’ll still be wiping her butt, on constant did-you-wash-your-hands duty, and probably finding poop on my floor at random for years to come.

I know that potty training is inevitable. I know that it’s coming, and probably soon. Just...not yet. Please.


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