Everyone knows what it means to be potty trained. It’s a symbol of growth; a kind of gateway to the bigger things. When the diapers come off and the big boy or girl pants come on, you are officially a kid going to adulthood.
My little boy is starting to be interested in the potty. He is already calling it “ucky” whenever I’m sitting on it. He says “bye bye ucky” whenever the toilet is flushed. He is even starting to have those after naps clean diapers. My little 21 month old is slowly, but surely becoming a boy. And it saddens me.
The one thing I remember with potty training is the idea that having an accident is okay every now and then, but only when you’re a child. It is almost an unwritten rule that once you’re five or six and you’re having accidents, you are labeled a “baby”. I promise myself not to make my little boy feel that way or give him that kind of lesson during the eventual potty training.
It is hard to say it, but I am a grown adult and have had two accidents beyond the appropriate age. Once was when I was thirteen. I was sleeping and my friend visiting from out of town was sleeping in the bed next to mine (I was sleeping in the bottom half of the day bed). I had soiled myself and quickly woke up from it. I knew how to do the laundry. So, I proceeded to take out the sheets and wash them. I then replaced the sheets and went to bed. Not a word was spoken to anyone.
The second time is the most recent of the two and the reason I’ve decided not to make my boy believe that he’s a bad kid or a baby for peeing on the bed. Just the night before last I once again had an accident. I usually go to the bathroom before bed, and I did that night, but I still had the accident. I usually have a dream of a toilet to remind me that I need to pee, but I didn’t that night.
It is embarrassing. I don’t know if I’m the only healthy adult who does this and I don’t know how other adults will react. It is then that I realize that society’s views on people begin very early. And it isn’t until potty training that we are forcing ourselves to be as adult as possible. It is constantly man’s strife to be stronger and more logical than a child. We hate being laughed at and we are constantly berating ourselves when in reality, the people closest to us would only give us a hug and say “it’s okay.”
Well, IT’S OKAY. It’s okay to have an accident whether you are three or eighty-three. Diapers aren’t childish either. If you have a diaper and you are older than a toddler, you aren’t a baby. You are you and IT IS OKAY.
That’s what I’m going to teach my boy. It’s what he needs to know. Because down the road, he may see a boy who is older than him, but is unable to use the toilet. Instead of making fun of him or ignoring him, my son would come up to him, hug him, and say IT IS OKAY.