Monday, 14 July 2008

Panic at the fabric shop

We've been potty training.

I say "we've been potty training" instead of "Berry's been potty training" because as any parent will attest, there's nothing like toilet training a toddler to get the whole family involved.

Once you've mopped enough floors and changed enough outfits, you're pretty keen to wash your hands of the whole deal.

"I go potty!" becomes your fire drill – not your workday fire drill where you wander around asking, "Is this a real one? What's going on? Did they tell us about this? Do we really have to go outside?" No way – at the words "I go potty" you swing into three-alarm action, running with your toddler to the bathroom and morphing into the most super-efficient right-hand-man ever.

The worst times are when we're out shopping. After the sprint to the nearest bathroom, my spiel goes something like this: "Ok ok, this one's open. Oops, no, it's yucky. Ok this one. Don't touch the door! Dirty. Don't touch the wall! Dirty, dirty. Ok, up we go. No hands on the seat, honey! Germs. Yucky. No no, no hands on the seat!"

Et cetera...

Sometimes we can avoid the public bathroom circus by using the "emergency potty" that I keep in the way-back of our Pilot (a la Jon & Kate Plus Eight). To the uninitiated, keeping a toddler-toilet in the car might seem bizarre – but yesterday it absolutely saved us.

Mum (who's visiting from Australia – more on that gloriousness later) and I took the kids with us to Hancock Fabrics to buy buttons and a zip for the dresses Mum's making for Berry. Short distance, short trip, should've been no problem.


Mum was standing at the checkout and Berry had followed me to the fabric counter near the back of the store, where I was replacing a bolt of material. I wedged it in place on the rack and turned around to see my toddler pushing her whole outfit down around her knees – tunic, shorts, the whole shebang. "What are you doing!" I gasped.

"I go potty!" she said.

Behind the fabric counter?!

I did the fastest toddler-carrying sprint ever – around startled shoppers, past the checkout, through the front doors (yeah, I pushed when it said "Pull") and out across the car park. We made it to the back of the Pilot in the nick of time. Crisis averted.

Say what you will about the potty-in-the-SUV concept... after yesterday, I think it's genius.



  1. This had me laughing so hard it brought a tear to my eye.

    We're potty training too. At first, Eleanore was ALL about the potty. She didn't quite figure out how to tell us before it was time to go, she would tell us AS she was going. But we'd still whirl her up the stairs to sit on her big girl potty, while we read her the potty book. Well, she stopped telling us, and started announcing "pee pee potty!" out of nowhere. After a few rounds of false alarms, nothing in the diaper and nothing in the potty, I realized that she just wanted me to read her potty book to her. Just when I thought we were making progress too :(

  2. Oh that is SO classic!
    Oh - while I enjoy watching Jon & Kate plus 8 - I'm glad they weren't on when my kids were small - I would have felt totally inadequate!

  3. funny stuff.....thanks for the laugh!

  4. I'm so glad those days are long over for me... I recall potty training as the most challenging marathon of motherhood.

  5. What a bittersweet tale. While I only somewhat relate to the trials of toilet training, I can totally recall my early parenting days when everything was an adventure. I'd trade in the perils of puberty for the perils of potty training in a fabric-store-hurdle minute!

  6. We did the EXACT same thing. It saved us SOOO many times! And I too made the Linebacker Run with child in hand like a football through crowds (as he giggled all the way saying "I go PEEE PEEE"). It's amazing how quickly people can get out of your way!

  7. oh you poor thing! i'm soooo dreading this phase! thomas wouldn't have a bar of toilet training this past summer so i'm going to be brave and toilet train both him and daniel in the upcoming summer! i figure daniel will be easy - because he just copies whatever his big brother does :) i'm sure i'll be blogging about the dramas when i get there :)

  8. Fantastic! That made me laugh out loud and forget about being poorly and the fact that flat is currently mainly a pile of rubble. Go supermum, I shall remember that idea.