Posts Tagged ‘toilet’

More Potty Drama

Yesterday, Corey and I had a meeting at Miles’ new school to learn about things we can do to help prepare him for the classroom. Potty independence was heavily stressed, since budget cuts next year mean there will be at most 2 adults in a room with 21 preschoolers.

I realized that potty independence means so much more than not peeing in a diaper. Miles will need to go into the bathroom, open the stall, climb aboard the potty, pull down his pants, pee, wipe (?), pull up his pants, and clean his hands all on his own.

That’s a lot! Holy cow, that’s a lot. Right now, we’re in a place where he’ll scoot over to his potty chair and go and then pull up his own pants. Or sometimes just keep his pants off. But the other steps seem really steep! I realized immediately we’ll need more stepstools and that we need to start using the actual toilet at our house, phasing out the potty chair.

Another troubling thing I learned was that there are separate boy and girl bathrooms at school. Why is this troubling? It presents 2 problems.

First, I have to teach Miles that he is a boy. He has no idea he’s a “boy” or that “boy” is different from “girl.” He knows he has a penis. Oh, does he know! But he’s just as likely to ask me if I have a penis as he is to ask whether Charlie has one.

He also sometimes tells me he wants a ga-nina instead. I mean, he’s 2. He just wants to test all the gear before committing and thinks it’s transferrable, I guess.

But he also uses the “girl” bathroom when he’s with me and the “boy” bathroom when he’s with Corey. How are we going to get him to keep that straight? The message I see there is that you use the bathroom that “matches” your adult caregiver. All of the workers I’ve met at his new preschool are female.

It seems like I’m blowing something out of proportion here, but I’m troubled that he’s being asked to internalize this and learn to use a polarizing bathroom system. I have lots of discussions about bathrooms with friends from graduate school and rugby–talks about how bathrooms can be scary and oppressive places for people whose bodies or sexuality don’t present as hetero-normative. I thought I’d have more time to think about how to explain all this to Miles.

Now, I have to tell him to use the bathroom that says B-O-Y-S and has a picture of a person wearing pants. (Why do all the women icons wear skirts? I don’t wear skirts. But what would be the alternative? Breasts? What about the AA-cup ladies? What IS a woman anyway?)

The whole thing makes me want to send him to school in a pull-up and just make sure he goes at 9 and then when I pick him up at 12:00.

Posted by on March 27th, 2012 5 Comments

Potty in my Purse: Adventures in the Real World

Miles is getting really close to toilet independence, if you count diapers for nap/bedtime and requested diapers for poop as close. Which I do!

But we were having a hard time when we were out and about because regular toilet seats are huge, gross, and public bathroom flushes are super loud (which terrifies the poor lad).

Enter: a potty in my purse. My friend gave me a really neat, collapsable, padded potty seat that fits over public (or, I guess, household) toilet seats so his little bottom is cushioned and properly supported. This seat has transformed our outings.

I keep it in my “purse” in a plastic grocery store bag, where I also stash his pants and undies if he has an accident. By purse, obviously I mean my Adidas press correspondent backpack from the 2006 Rugby World Cup.

I find it hilarious that this bag used to haul around my writerly supplies and now contains snacks, an epi-pen, Spiderman underpants, and a collapsable potty. I digress.

Before I actually had a potty-learning child, I never thought about how small people use public toilets so obviously ill-designed for them. Who thinks about small people and toilets? Since we’ve begun this initiative, I think about little else. I actually patronize businesses based on their bathroom facilities (accessible bathrooms for pregnant ladies are also essential in my daily routine).

If anyone was curious, the best bathrooms in Pittsburgh for toddlers and for pregnant ladies thus far include:

My Little Outback–actual Miles-sized toilets! (along with big ones)
The Toy Lending Library–step stools and mini seats that flip down from the lid for small bottoms, but fold up for big ones

So far, I haven’t found anywhere else with specifically awesome toilets, but I do appreciate the family bathrooms at Phipps, the Children’s Museum (which at least has step-stools, though why a children’s museum wouldn’t have small toilets boggles me a bit) and the Zoo, since all three of us can go in there together during family outings and I don’t have to worry about finagling a stroller in the handicap stall.

We were also pretty jazzed about the bathrooms when we visited Miles’ school, although we were hard-pressed to find adult-sized toilets there and it was challenging for my pregnant self to rise from the low toilets in the elementary school bathroom.

Corey has sort of been attempting to teach Miles the wonders of the urinal and standing-up-peeing. This has not been going well. Miles was really interested in touching the urinal cakes and without a stepstool, it’s just not practical for him to stand at one of these jobbies. I figure some solid time spent out of doors with older male friends will take care of this learning stage for me.

Lucky for us, this collapsable potty makes every bathroom stall appropriate for Miles (though there’s little we can do about the loud flushing sounds).

Where do you all find the best public bathrooms for potty learning??

Posted by on March 12th, 2012 3 Comments