Being a parent has many challenges, and one that I would put at the top of my list is potty training. Each of my kids has posed a different challenge, and I have learned a great lesson from each. Of course it is great to learn from each experience, but it is also great to find a way to laugh when you can. One thing in common with all my kids as a motivator to become potty trained has been the ability to wear big kids underwear. Wearing big kids underwear when you still have accidents can create a big mess for mom or dad. Sure if they pee before getting to the potty, you can just take the underwear and throw it in the wash. However, should they miss getting to the potty when they have to poop you have a mess you don’t want in your washing machine.
As a first time dad, I wasn’t sure how to handle the poopy underwear. My wife showed me how to get the underwear mostly clean in the toilet. Sometimes you get lucky and it just rolls right out and you don’t have to really soak it to get it clean. Then there are the times you have to really soak them, and even flush the toilet to get the water pressure to pull away the mess. It was one of those “messy” times that I was cleaning my sons underwear. He was standing next to me making sure his favorite pair of underwear would come clean. I was nearly finished when I flushed for the third time to rinse one last time, but I didn’t have a good enough grip and they got pulled down the drain. I had no idea how to react and my son started to cry. “Daddy I won’t poopy in my pants again if you can get them back,” he cried. The only thing I could think to do was to flush the toilet again to see if it was clogged, but the bowl drained without incident.
After explaining to him I couldn’t get them back, he sat there silently. “It’s ok daddy, I know it was an accident,” he said to console me. I felt horrible but at the same time I wanted to laugh about the way his underwear just shot out of my hand and went into the abyss. My son proceeded to walk into his bedroom and brought back a fresh pair of underwear to which he said “this is now my favorite pair, don’t flush them down the potty.” Amazingly after the incident he only had a few more accidents in his pants. Even the few times he did he would watch me like a hawk as I cleaned his underwear. Fortunately I have never allowed another pair to slip through my fingers again. Funny how I am proud to say I only have lost one pair of poopy underwear in nine years as a parent, and I say it with a big smile on my face.