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I just read this great blog post on in the Mamapedia Voices section. I got such a kick out of it, I had to re-post it here too.

Photo by Brent Spore

Miracle in Check Out Lane Three or How to Survive Potty Training

February 12, 2010by Vanessa a.k.a. “Chef Druck”

I hear the liquid splash on the check-out aisle linoleum before the familiar cry of distress escapes from Juliette’s mouth. “Mommy, I have to make a pipi!” I take a big, calming breath before turning to Juliette with a bright, comforting smile. The puddle is spreading on the speckled white floor, her pink sneakers an exotic island in the middle of a pale yellow sea. Her mouth is quivering and her eyes are bright with brimming tears. I ask the oblivious male young cashier for some paper towels before kneeling down to enter Juliette’s world. As I wipe the pee between her legs, I flash an apologetic smile at the woman with the overflowing cart behind us. This express check out lane has hit an unscheduled delay. I survey the items I’ve placed on the belt, hoping one of them can help me avoid a dash to the car clutching a crying three year old in damp urine soaked panties followed by a UTI-inducing naked car ride home in a crumb covered car seat.

We are no strangers to this scenario, but I still can’t manage to get organized enough to carry a change of clothes with me. Tossed carelessly amidst the rainbow parade of cookie and cereal boxes, I spot the solution. I reach up and grab the hot pink cotton princess pajamas that made Juliette forget her urge to pee in the first place. Peeling off the soaked leggings, I announce with great fanfare, “Great news, Juju! You get to walk out of here dressed like a princess!” With a flourish, I hold up the new pajama pants in front of her. Her face lights up with a beaming smile, a beautiful contrast to the single tear slowly making its way down her right cheek. After carefully removing her socks, heavy with a surprising amount of liquid, I give her legs a quick rub down with some bunched up store brand paper towel. When I pull the pajama pants up, they fit perfectly.

Moments later, we walk out of the supermarket, hand in hand, heads held high like royalty. The soiled clothes are hidden at the bottom of the cart in a tightly knotted plastic bag. They are long forgotten, replaced by the thrill of an impromptu princess dress up fashion show. I’m just as proud as my little princess, feeling like the mother of the year, short on organization but long on spontaneity, able to work magic to transform disasters into triumphs.

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and begin potty training? Brace yourself for what could be a long process. While many children master life without diapers in a few days, the threat of “accidents” will linger long after you’ve declared victory. If you, like me, are not organized enough to always carry a change of clothing, here are a few tips to keep you and your child, sane and happy in this time of transition.

  • Stop expecting perfection. Just assume there will be accidents. And when you get through an entire day without one, you’ll see that day as a success.
  • Consider the pee. Urine in healthy people is about 95% water, and sterile. So unless it is all over your suede couch (and if you have a suede couch in a house with preschool children, you probably should get over any attachment you have to it.), just think of it as tinted and vaguely smelly water.
  • Embrace dresses. Well, only if you have a little girl. But if you do, dresses not only look adorable, they’re more forgiving than pants with potty training accidents.
  • Buy a watch with a timer. And then start using it. Every hour, get your little potty trainer to the throne.
  • And when all else fails, plan for your revenge. Just think of the accidents as material for your wedding toast.

Vanessa Druckman is a foodie mom to three little sous-chefs who recently relocated to Ohio from New York City. She blogs about cooking and parenting at Chefdruck Musings.

*Please note:  this blog came directly from including the photo for which I attempted to locate a link to the photographer, but couldn’t originally find.  I have found the following flickr link for the photographer.  If you are Brent Spore and would like a different link for your photo or to have the photo removed completely, please comment on this post.  Again, this photo and blog post is originally from – a great forum for parents!**

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