Childrearing

Your Kid’s Potty Training Should Never Be Entertainment For Your Guests

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potty-trainingMiss Manners received a question yesterday from someone who wanted to know how appropriate it was to comment about the way that others potty train their children. The reader’s friends had invited her to dinner and continued to use certain method’s of elimination communication on  their potty training two-year-old while she was there. This included allowing her daughter to remain naked from the waist down and carry a potty around the house with her. For the record, Miss Manners thinks the reader should not mention anything to the parents. I usually agree with Miss Manners, but in this case – nope.

Here is a portion of Miss Manners’ response, from the The Washington Post:

There are disadvantages to being treated as an intimate member of the family. But the good news is that surely this is a temporary situation. If you feel that you simply can’t stand it, wait for a few weeks to see these friends again. And hope that they — or you — don’t have a child again soon.

A few weeks? Miss Manners has clearly never potty trained a child. I totally agree the reader should steer clear of her friend’s house, though.

There are definitely some weird things I’ve done since becoming a mom. Stuff like licking my son’s drool-coated ice cream cone so it wouldn’t spill on the floor or smelling my baby’s butt to try to assess if her diaper is dirty. These are things you end up doing when “mom-brain” is triggered. Mom brain is a reactive state wherein you respond to things in a way that only someone with a child would. This includes but isn’t limited to regarding things that are unacceptable to those without kids as totally normal. Mom brain has definitely taken over at times but it’s never led me to believe something like potty training is appropriate while entertaining friends.

The reader explained the situation more in her question:

Time has become somewhat of a rarity for us over the past years, and we attempt to have a semi-monthly get-together for a few hours, where we eat, chat and hang out. But now they have begun potty training their son, and while I am over, they will allow him to run around the house wearing only a shirt, and encourage him to bring his potty into the living room with us, and pee or poo when necessary.

Yeah – I’m a big believer that eating and poo don’t mix. I don’t ask much of my friends, but I think not being forced to watch a child relieve herself over a potty in the middle of dinner is a fair request. I’m going to have to agree to disagree with Miss Manners here. I totally would have said something.

(photo: d13/ Shutterstock)