Last month, my younger daughter tried to start a nudist colony inside our four-bedroom, two-bath home. It wasn’t a cult. She’s two. We were potty training. As soon as I had her ditch her diapers, she refused to wear clothing. Her older sister also began streaking through the house. But that wasn’t all.
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The morning it started, I removed my younger daughter’s diaper and told her we were out of them. At first, she was excited and that gave me hope. I didn’t know that meant she had a plan. My husband is an essential worker and I work from home. In the middle of wrangling statistics for a PowerPoint presentation, I heard my daughter call: “Mama, I’m done!” I hurried down the hallway to the bathroom where she stood proudly in front of the wall she had painted with poop. At least it was hers, and not the dog’s.
It’s possible that all of this gives me a certain edge of expertise I can now offer to other parents who decide to potty train during quarantine.
1. Toddlers in potty training will shred your precious supply of toilet paper—or toss entire rolls in the toilet, fish the roll out, and leave it sopping on the counter. Try locking away spares somewhere.
2. If you have a pet, you will soon realize the location of their poop is more predictable.
3. When your eldest daughter yells, “Something stinks!” Put your laptop aside and lock your eyes to your feet, watching where you step at all times.
4. Clean up pee stain might be on your top action item for the day.
5. Your child may fall forward while wiping themselves during your most important meeting of the day.
6. You cannot control your child’s bladder during your conference calls. Pee will come.
7. Hover over the mute button. A naked two-year-old might run into your home office yelling, “Where is my underwears?”
8. You may walk outside and discover your 5-year-old teaching her two-year-old sister how to pee like the family dog.
9. Listen for the distant splash of water after your child uses the toilet. They may be doing tricep dips into their pee water.
If you’re stuck trying to potty train your little ones during quarantine, don’t give in to a diaper or the nudist’s colony. Capture your kid’s poopy antics. You’ll laugh about it later. I promise.