Your child is showing ‘signs’ they’re ready to potty train. These signs are generally developing a fascination with bodily functions and thus the start of finding anything relating to poo, wee and farts somewhat hilarious. However, as a parent, you will go through ten stages when tackling what is to be the most stressful time of your life.
Stage Two: Anticipation. You’ve procured as many packs of stickers as is humanly possible and have erected a wall-size reward chart in every room of the house. You try to suppress the fear and muster some excitement by imagining how many extra bottles of wine you’ll be able the buy yourself with the money you save on nappies.
Stage Three: Despondency Despite the mild optimism from the night before, you have been slowly drained of all energy due to following a toddler around the house repeatedly asking the same question every forty seconds, clearing up ‘nearly theres’ and ‘almost made its’. You question whether you have made the right decision as all the soft furnishings begin to smell faintly of urine.
Stage Four: Total despair. Despite the fact you have spent one years salary on potty training equipment, the toddler continues to urinate like a drunk leaving a scent trail throughout the house.
Stage Five: Elation You almost resorted to some sort of capital punishment a number of times and suffered stress-related hair loss, but the urinating toddler finally makes it in time, with only the smallest of spillage. You’ve never felt happiness like it in your life.
Stage Seven: Relief. Your house looks like a sticker bomb has exploded all over the walls and you resorted to bribery with every confection known to (wo)man, but you’ve managed a few days of dryness and there’s hope that you might just be emerging triumphantly on the other side.
Stage Eight: Return of the fear. This hits you like a sledge hammer at every opportunity, especially when considering a) actually leaving the house b) dealing with the ongoing pooing problem and c) night time training. You resort back to complete denial and convince yourself that this shouldn’t be attempted at any cost.
Stage Ten: Smuggness. Just like childbirth, you forget the pain, anguish and complete despair and freely impart all of your potty training wisdom on internet forums, to neighbours and to strangers all of whom are clearly showing signs of stage one. Your toileting knowledge is impeccable and as far as you recall, it was all a complete piece of piss.