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The Saga of the Stand-Up Potty

There are a lot of things that you are not prepared for as a parent. This is one of those things. On Thursday, I picked the kids up from daycare and Charlie told me how he had gone potty at school, and I said, “good job buddy” and we went to run some errands. We went to Target to grab our pickup order and then Kroger to pick up our groceries. (How did I just discover that you don’t have to drag your kids through the supermarket and that you can order online and pick up! Amazing!) When we got home, we unloaded, and I threw in a frozen pizza for dinner. Around 7pm Charlie starts to talk about how he went poop in the stand-up potty. I paused and thought the stand-up potty? I said, “do you mean the potty where you pee standing up?” He said “Yes!” My mind suddenly filled with so many questions and thoughts: How do you even poop in the urinal? Wouldn’t you fall in? How had I never thought to talk about urinals? OMG there’s no toilet paper at the urinals!!!

I calmly asked Charlie to pull down his pants and there was dry poop everywhere! It had come through his underwear and almost through his pants and it was rock hard. Insert gag here. I peeled his bottoms off and stuck him right into the tub. After a half hour of scrubbing and soaking, he was clean again. I then got to proceed with cleaning up his clothes. As I was de-pooping them, I thought OMG! Where has he been sitting all night…in his bed watching cartoons. I went to his room. There was no stain, but as I put my nose to the sheets, I smelled the horrible stench. I had to strip his bed too and wash everything twice in the laundry. Once he was clean, I began my inquisition. He told me that the boys at school were pooping in the urinal and laughing so he did it too. How no one could smell that on my poor boy I will not know, except for that it was dry so maybe not as smelly.

We had a long conversation about using the sit-down potty when you are pooping, and the stand-up potty is only for peeing. We also talked about if someone was in the sit-down potty that we needed to wait our turn. I thoroughly explained the etiquette of the boy’s bathroom as best I could. He said he wouldn’t do it again. What an ordeal!

The next day, I felt it was important to let the school know what happened and that multiple boys were incorrectly pooping. I spoke with the principal, and she said that they were aware of the situation and that it was a learning experience for everyone. She said that many boys do not know how to use the urinals because they frequently go with mom to the bathroom and have little experience with them at this age. I apologized for the mess and told her to please keep me updated if there were any further issues. That afternoon, I got an email from Charlie’s teacher about a “bathroom incident” from the day before. She said Charlie and another boy were taking a long time, so she went to check on them in the bathroom and happened upon Charlie finishing his business in the urinal. She said she explained that we use the urinal for #1 and the big toilet to go #2, but said he seemed confused. I received this email after school Friday.

Here are my two things about the situation. 1. If she knew he pooped in the urinal, wouldn’t one assume he would have a mess in his pants? No one at the school even addressed that part of it how he was in his poop for the remainder of the afternoon. 2. Why did I get this email Friday afternoon when the incident occurred Thursday? That kind of upset me because they knew he had done it and I didn’t get the whole story until the next day. Am I wrong to feel like I should have been informed sooner? Should someone have checked my smelly poop-covered kid? What are your thoughts?

As the weekend continued, more of the story came out. Charlie said one of the boys had told everyone that the sit down pottys had tentacle monsters in them. Awesome! Maybe that’s why he pooped in the urinal…he has yet to comment on that. We went to the zoo on Sunday and Charlie was terrified to use the sit-down potty. He said that the monsters live in the potty and their tentacles reach for you. Great…now he is scared to sit on a potty! Thanks school! Anyways, we talked about how monsters do not live in the potty as its too wet and small for them to fit. Ever tried to talk someone into sitting on the potty when they are scared that something will come out of it. Almost impossible. I had to bribe him to pee standing up in the sit-down potty at the zoo. It took 10 minutes of begging and coaxing. As the weekend came to a close, I was nervous about what I would write to the teacher. The experience was embarrassing, and I felt like it was a lack of good parenting that led to this. I know, I know… how is it my fault when I don’t even use urinals!

Monday, I returned the teacher’s email. I explained that we had discussed the situation at length over the weekend and that his confusion could have also come for the #1 and #2 conversation as we do not use that terminology so he wouldn’t know what the teacher was talking about. I told her to reach out if there were any more issues. I hope that closes the chapter on pooping in urinals for the Drurys. I would have never thought to explain urinals to a kid, but that’s the joys of parenting. Always something new and exciting. I hope the next lesson will be a little less messy.

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