Monday, August 1, 2016

A Preschooler's Guide to Visiting a Port-a-Potty in 8 Simple Steps

Summer is here, you lucky preschooler, you! You've been training for this all year, dragging your parents to every public restroom in every store they've had the misfortune to bring you in. Now it's time to take your game to the next level... Port-a-Potties.

Whether you're being dragged to your older sibling's softball game or just having a fun day at the playground, chances are there's a Port-a-Potty nearby!

Here's what you need to know to make the most of your visit:

Summertime for parents means more trips to the Port-a-Potty with your preschooler than you'd like to make in a lifetime.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
photo courtesy of Anthony Easton

Step 1: Time your request right. Shoot for approximately 6-8 minutes after you've arrived, just after everything has been unloaded from the car and your mom has just gotten comfortable on a bench or something. Trust me, this is the perfect time.

Step 2: Demonstrate the urgency of the situation. Don't back down when your parent cringes and asks, "Can it wait until we get home?" Of course it can't. The very idea goes against everything you stand for. Make a scene. Start clutching your pants and doing the Charleston. Whatever it takes to get you to that Port-a-Potty ASAP.

Step 3: Touch everything. Never mind that your mother is trying to open the door with her elbow and flip the toilet seat lid up with her shoe. Put your hands on everything. Lean on the walls. Pick things up off the floor and ask what they are. Stay curious, my friend.

Step 4: Refuse all offers of help. You are a big kid, and big kids don't get lifted onto the potty by their mommies. They put their hands all over the toilet seat in an effort to hoist themselves up, only occasionally nearly falling in headfirst and... woah! Get an eyeful of what's in there. Let's talk about this.

Step 5: Ask a billion questions about the potty's contents. Why is the water blue? What are all the flies doing down there? Ew, is that poop? That's really poop?? Make sure to discuss the size and color of the fecal material you see in detail; your mother will be really interested in this information. You might even want to hop off to take a better look, in which case you'll need to repeat Step 4.

Step 6: Take your sweet time. You pee on your timetable, not your mom's. You can assert your dominance by twiddling your thumbs, looking around, and swinging your feet doing nothing the more frantic she becomes. Feel free to decide at this point that you don't have to go after all.

Step 7: Initiate a conversation. Instead of immediately pulling up your pants and vacating the Port-a-Potty, this is a great time to ask involved questions about where people go when they die or perhaps recount the plotline of the last Paw Patrol. Keep it up until your mom is pulling at her hair and screeching, "Hurry up, this is literally the smelliest and most disgusting place we could possibly be right now!"

Step 8: Become extremely fastidious about personal hygiene. Even though you've never once voluntarily washed your hands without being dragged kicking and screaming to the sink, this time you must absolutely refuse to move on with your life until you can properly cleanse your hands with soap and water. If you're lucky, mom will lure you back to the bench with snacks she'd previously hidden from you.

Congratulations! You have now successfully completed your trip to the Port-a-Potty. 

If you've mastered the basic steps above and are ready to challenge yourself, you can experiment with Step 9: Wait 4 minutes and announce that you need to go again. Number two this time.

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Jenny said...

Hand sanitizer! On everything! I haven't had to do the port o potty wig kids yet but I don't look forward to it.

AnneMarie said...

Haha!!! This is hilarious. I hesitate using the porta potty myself, I can't imagine what it will be like with kids in tow someday-yikes! Would it be acceptable if we just bring shovels to the park and go in the bushes like the kid does in "Up"? :P

Queen Mom Jen said...

Oh geeze Louise, a port a potty and a preschooler. I have the shakes just thinking about it! Thanks for the tips!I will make sure my preschooler gets the memo :)

Katy said...

Touch everything. That might be my favorite step!

Too funny. :)

Unknown said...

Haha! Your timing on this post couldn't be more perfect. I JUST went through this on the 4th of July; we were at a park fireworks display, and my daughter needed to use the "facilities". And yep- it pretty much happened just the way that you described. The struggle is real.... and sometimes, really funny.

Unknown said...

I was so thrilled that one team dropped out of my daughter's softball league mostly because the field only had a port-a-potty!

PurpleSlob said...

Groan. A preview of my life, coming soon in living color. PP just turned 3, and is doing very well with her potty training, so of course we are already on the "I need to potty in EVERY potty in EVERY new place we enter" stage!

Jenny Evans said...

You're going to love it.

Jenny Evans said...

YES. We will 100% pee in the bushes if no one is around.

Jenny Evans said...

Unfortunately it is my preschooler's favorite step, too.

Jenny Evans said...

Hey, we all have our reasons.

Jenny Evans said...

That's the worst, when you're all lined up at a public event to use the Port-a-Potties. Makes it seem even grosser, if that's possible.

Jenny Evans said...

Love that stage!

Anna said...

This just about killed me. Diapers are awful, but I imagine dealing with public bathrooms and children is a thousand times worse. And outhouses are the woooooorst. So gross.