02 October 2018

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: The Joys of Potty Training


Toilet training children is never easy. EVER.

My grandmother was convinced she had me potty trained somewhere between 4 to 6 months old. My mother will tell you in a heart-beat that Ma didn’t have me trained. I had –Ma- trained. She knew when I’d have to go, she strapped me onto the little potty seat, and read to me until I did. It beat washing diapers.

(As an aside, as I got older, I learned to keep a Dixie cup with water under the bathroom sink. I was NOT allowed to go to bed until Ma heard me “tinkle,” and I had to keep the bathroom door cracked open before I went to bed so she could hear. Hold that Dixie cup about 2” above the toilet, let it dribble out, and I was good to go. She still does that to this day, and I still keep my Dixie cup under the bathroom sink.)

Ma was lucky enough to potty train a girl. Boys are a –whole- different ballgame.

Thing 1 learned to pee on a tree. We lived in the country, so it wasn’t a big problem. I enjoyed not having to wash so many diapers (yes, we had cloth diapers back then), and he enjoyed walking out and peeing on a tree. He would walk RIGHT BY A BATHROOM to go pee on a tree.

Then comes the Wal-Mart parking lot. THEN comes the Wal-Mart parking lot. My four year old child drops his pants down to his knees and pees on someone’s tire – in the Wal-Mart parking lot. (I can feel my face getting red just remembering it) Yeah, everyone saw it.

I was asked several times “Are they all yours?” You really couldn’t pay me enough to put up with ‘em if they weren’t all mine.

Credit is due to Thing 2. He was regular as clockwork. He never had a dirty diaper during the weekends. Wet, yes. Dirty, no. Come Monday, when we went back to work, he’d wait until the boss settled into his desk. It usually took about 10 minutes. Then I’d hear “Bess! Come get your kid!!!” Kid’s face would be beet red, hand on the boss’s knee, boss couldn’t breath, I’d have a messy diaper to take care of, but that was his routine. Oh, the old days.

Thing 4 took me down to the wire. He couldn’t go to pre-k if he wasn’t potty trained. My goal was to have –everyone- potty trained by the time I hit 30. I almost failed on this one. This is the kid that liked to poop in his diaper, put the results on his desk, then drag his match-box trucks out to play “mud-boggin.” On the desk, up the wall…

Karma is such a wonderful thing. Now Thing 4 is changing diapers on his own child.

Think I’ll get my youngest granddaughter Match Box trucks for Christmas.





jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.  


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