Potty Training: The Days of Poopy Fingers and Grateful Hearts

Well, here I am in the throes of potty training.

And not by choice, I might add. As soon as he turned two, my son apparently decided that he wanted to start using his potty. Which was cool and all, except for the fact this mom had absolutely no idea what she was doing.

Because all the other moms lied to me. Right to my face. “Oh, he won’t potty train until he’s at least 2 and 1/2, more likely 3!” they said. “Boys potty train much later than girls,” they remarked. Lies. All lies. So I hadn’t read any blogs, bought any books, or Googled a single potty training tip. Not a one.

And it’s not like I would have anyway, if I’m being completely honest, but still. I thought I had more time. Yet, there I was, properly positioning my son in such a way that his pee would actually end up in the potty rather than soaking into the grout of our tile floors. Since that sounds like a lovely aroma to enjoy for years to come.

As it turns out, properly disinfecting a potty chair insert is a not-so-glamorous task. Shocking, right? And cleaning a tiny booty after using said potty chair is a different ball game. It’s similar to a diaper change, sure; there’s just a lot more that tends to be going on.

For starters, I usually end up with a half-naked child running around the house because, without fail, I forget to grab a fresh diaper every stinking time. And then there’s the toilet paper that he has inevitably become enamored with and must attempt to unroll.


Finally, there’s the poopy bottom. I know you know what I’m talking about. One day you have this sweet little roly poly of a baby who coos and squeals and snuggles, and the next you’re asking him to touch his toes so that you can ensure his entire backside is sparkling like a freshly-washed car.

So it’s not uncommon that I somehow end up with poop on my hands on the daily. Not lots. Just a little. But any poop on my hands is too much, in my humble opinion.

Since it’s a fairly common occurrence, you would’ve thought I’d be smarter by now. So would I. But that seems to have been too much to ask of my oftentimes mushy mom brain.

Whilst finishing up a potty training session one particularly wild morning, my mind decently overloaded, the absolute worst thing happened: I felt a hair in my mouth. There is nothing more terrible than that. It’s gritty and yucky, and it makes me crazy.

As I began to internally freak out in disgust, I instinctively did what anyone in my predicament would do: I reached my fingers up to pluck the obnoxious hair from my tongue. Directly after having wiped my toddler’s rear.

Do you see where I’m going with this, friends?

I literally cleaned my child’s bum, then I stuck my fingers in my mouth. Prior to scrubbing them thoroughly, as I would normally do following a booty-wiping session. There was at least a 50% chance that stray poop could have been clinging to one of those fingers on any given day.

Without a moment’s hesitation, I totally almost ate poop. That is absolutely terrifying. But the goood – nay, great – news: I didn’t!

That’s the funny, crazy, beautiful thing about motherhood, though; it’s essentially every day that I experience a poop moment. I’d be willing to bet that you do, too.

I get these little reminders that, in the midst of what feels like absolute insanity, I have so much to be grateful for. Things could have turned out much worse in that moment of utter carelessness, but they didn’t. And I’m so very thankful.

I’m convinced that these moments are a gift from God: an assurance that He sees us, messy buns, unshaven legs, poopy fingers and all, validating us and our unending efforts to raise our little humans well.

As for that particular day, I’m just grateful that I didn’t eat poop. Thank you, Lord, for sparing me. I owe You one.

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