Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's That? Wednesday: My Love/Hate Relationship with Potty Training in China

Can I be honest for a moment?  I really, really, really dislike potty training.  It is not a highlight of my mothering career.  And, for the record, my first two children were very easy.  I know it can be much worse.  I don’t like that I have to be constantly thinking about someone else’s bodily functions and asking every 20 minutes, “Do you have to go potty?”  I don’t like having to drop everything and run to the toilet with a toddler any time there is a thought of potty running through her head.  I’m lazy that way and I’ve okay with that.  

Potty training while in China just adds a whole new dimension to the process.  The assurance of clean potties?  Nope.  Finding a potty quickly while out and about?  Nope.  Family bathrooms so daddy can share in the potty training fun?  Nope.  Holding a small child who has legs barely longer than an American Girl doll over a squatty potty…not fun (and doesn’t smell so great either).  Anticipating our 14-hour flight to the US this summer with a potty training toddler…also not fun.

And yet!  We live in a society where it is completely socially acceptable to allow your child (or adult male) to potty in the bushes, the grass, along the side of the road, in the park or, for the particularly brave, into a plastic Coke bottle while standing in front of the “It’s a Small World” ride at Hong Kong Disney (not our child or adult male).  There is great freedom in this and it almost makes up for the challenges.

If you haven’t already guessed, we have recently started another season of potty training at our house.  My past experience in potty training a toddler in China gives me confidence that we will prevail once again! 


  1. The Chinese seems to have it down how to hold a small child while they potty, have you asked the Ali for some pointers? :-)

    1. Ayi is encouraging her to go inside, but I can't argue with the ease of the out-of-doors potty!