Tired of the playground potty emergency

I have refrained from talking about my kid’s bathroom habit long enough. You knew eventually it would have to come up. But I felt as if I had to mention it due to yesterday’s playground emergency.

Back when we were potty training Alex, which was almost exactly a year ago, I was a bit more forgivable about the sudden outburst and potty dances in the middle of the grocery store, the playground, school, the museum, etc. But now, he knows his body more and I’m better tuned in on making him go before we leave the house. I must admit I am at fault at being one of those moms who lets her kid pee by the side of a tree. C’mon, he’s three and a boy.

Well, today, like most days that we hit one of many of the local playgrounds, we had a poopy emergency. Even though I asked many times about the bathroom before we left the house, within 5 minutes of arriving at the playgroup we had Alex crying that he had “to go poo poo.” I looked around and thought, this is going to be a tough one as there is no porta potty here and no place as far as I know that we can dash to. I said apologetically that he was going to have to hold it for a bit since we just got the playground and there was no potty. He reminded me there was one at the nearby pool, which was, of course, closed due to it being almost fall. The more he whimpered, the more irritated I got.

I know, I’m a horrible mom. But this happens 1 out of every 3 times we go to any playground. We go to a playground about five times a week. You do the math on that. It doesn’t matter if he’s already gone that day, he always has to go. We’re fortunate that at most of the Fairfax County playgrounds there are nearby bathrooms. One time we even have to sprint to the Home Depot across the street. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it.

So yesterday, he held it for all of three minutes before he begged to go home. So we loaded everyone in the car and headed for the nearby church. Sprinted in without being spotted and used their facilities. The story never ends here. Alex must detect my irritation and these bathroom sprints always, always turn into mini musical sessions. He sits there singing and asking question about the most random things. Anna on the other hand spends the time obsessing about washing her hands or touching everything in the bathroom while we wait for him to finish. A few weeks ago, our emergency led us to the closest 7-11 where we had to go actually use their bathroom twice. Perhaps I should throw one of the two little potties we have in the back of the car with a roll of toilet paper and a bag to help eliminate (pun intended) these mini emergencies and my mommy frustration. The good news is I’m getting pretty good at scoping out the nearest bathroom to nearly every playground in town!

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