Posts Tagged ‘toilet training’

“The Potty Manifesto of Arlington, VA” Suspending 3 Year Olds–What’s Next?

Hello fellow readers, followers and bloggers!  It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the opportunity to post a blog.  But after reading this column in the Sunday Washington Post, (, I just had to write!

What’s got my ire up?  The fact that a 3-year-old girl reached her “maximum allowances of potty accidents” at preschool and therefore, was suspended for a month.  Are you kidding me?!  It’s not like little Zoe was misbehaving–punching or biting her fellow classmates, or throwing objects around the room, or even using bad language.  No, she was suspended because she hadn’t yet mastered reaching the bathroom on time.

Zoe didn’t have accidents every day, or even every week.  But like a lot of children, she’d go through a period of multiple accidents.  Zoe didn’t make scenes about it, in fact she cleaned herself up and changed her own clothes.  According to the article, her parents did everything most of us do–a reward system for when Zoe did make it to the bathroom on time, cute songs to help her remember, even giving her a watch with a built-in alarm to remind her to go to the bathroom and try.  I’m sure it didn’t help matters when her teacher would bring her up to the front of the classroom at the end of the day and tell her class how many accidents she had that day.  Hmm, common sense, let alone child psychology tells me that public humiliation doesn’t work; it’s just cruel.

The school had the nerve to suggest Zoe go see a pediatrician.  The doctor said she was perfectly normal and so were accidents.  But when Zoe returned after her suspension, she was so scared and nervous that the accidents started again.  I can’t blame her, actually.

I understand that some schools aren’t equipped with enough staff to handle multiple accidents by multiple children, let alone a handful.  But to expect ALL children to be 100% potty-trained (no Pull-Ups allowed here!) at the tender age of 3 is absurd.  Although I’m not a resident of Arlington, VA, I fully support this mother’s efforts to change the school board’s policy.  I’m glad little Zoe is now at a better school and my heart goes out to all those other little children still going to that preschool who can’t switch out. 

Shame on you, Arlington School Board and shame on you, Claremont Elementary.


Beach, Bisque and Bathrooms

Yang Mommy

Imagine a lovely mom n’ pop restaurant on a beachy island. Perfect ambiance, honest food, good service.  It’s also the last day of your family vacation, so you’re looking forward to a little celebrating at the dinner table.   The tomatoes on the salad are ruby-red and farm-fresh, the newly baked brown bread steams with delight,  the shrimp are gianormous and cooked perfectly and the crab bisque….ahh, that sensuous, mouth-watering, swooningly-delicious fresh soup.  All is peaceful and serene, right?

Well you know I’m going to say “no.”  See, my toddler is in the midst of potty training.  And just as I’m about to crunch on the crispy lettuce, she flashes her bright blue eyes at me and says, “Mommy, I have to go potty.”  OK, this is great, I think.  I praise her effusively and off we go to the ladies’ room as I spare a parting shot at my dinner.

We can do this quickly and efficiently, I tell myself.  Shouldn’t be a problem.  So immediately my bossy mantra starts of “don’t touch anything” followed by “stand still” and “wait one more second.”  All of which are answered by “why” in a Smurfette voice as she dances on her toes, trying to twirl in the little coral and seashell decorated stall. 

I can feel my own adrenaline start to pound, so I quickly cover the toilet seat in toilet paper for her to sit on.  Oops!  It falls to the floor. Try again.  Dang, it falls off again!  This can’t be happening, I think.  I mean, it’s just toilet paper! I rush to replace it and cover the seat again while my daughter tries not to wet herself.  Finally, I get her on the seat and she does her business. 

My mantra continues of “don’t touch” while I clean her up and get another pull-up on (“why??!” she croons, just itching to disobey).  In my haste to return to my to-die-for bisque, I rip the pull-up in half! OMG, I’m such an idiot, I think!  I frantically search my purse (for I’m without my diaper bag) for another one and thank the beach gods, I find one. 

Bless her little toddler heart, she needs to hold onto me to balance while we put each foot in.  But instead of resting her wee hands on my shoulders, she believes that sticking her fingers in my ears would be better.  Uh…not for mom!  Of course, I lose my own balance and summarily fall backwards, slamming into the stall door.  She giggles, I groan.  At last, after what was probably only 10 minutes but felt like ten years, we wash up and return to our seafood feast.

Now I was very glad that my tot went to the bathroom without any messy incidents.  Even if she needed to go before every course that was laid before me.  Which was three, for the record (I was too pooped for dessert).  The praises ceased to be so effusive, too.  After the 3rd time, I chugged what wine was left, stared my husband in the eye and clearly enunciated that if there was a 4th time, he could take it on.  With that, I tuned everyone out and dug into my ahi tuna.  Bliss…..