public toilets vs newly potty trained girls and boys

Do you know what this is?

A public toilet? Wrong. It is the enemy.

It is especially the enemy of newly potty trained boys and girls, who are completely inept and unready to battle it. As are the parents.

Back in the early days with Crappy Boy, I couldn’t wait for him to no longer use diapers. To be diaper free!

Diaper free sucks.

Don’t fall for that potty training propaganda. Keep them in diapers as long as possible.

This is what it was like to take Crappy Boy to a public bathroom when he was very newly potty trained…


So I take him into the women’s bathroom. Because I’m a woman. This means there are no urinals. Just a single toilet like the drawing above.

The first mistake I make is that I lift the seat. Which reveals this:

And I didn’t really need to see that.

The problem with boys is that they pee standing up.

The reason this is a problem is due to the height of an average potty training boy versus the height of an average public toilet:

Either the toilet is a tad too high, or it matches up perfectly so that the tip of his penis will make direct contact with the disease caked rim of the bowl. Lovely.

And so I have to help make him taller:

By picking him up and dangling him in front of the toilet.

Have you ever peed while being dangled in the air? Me neither.

He physically can’t pee this way. Plus my arms are getting tired.

So I use my knee to give him a little seat to perch on:

And this doesn’t work either.

Finally, he puts his feet down on the toilet bowl rim:

And we have pee!

(And now people finally understand why we are a shoes-off household. Because even though I didn’t draw shoes, believe me, he has them on to protect from foot herpes.)


Right around this time, I get together with a friend who has a child the same age as mine. We commiserate about potty training and I whine about penis to toilet bowl height. She has a daughter.

She is a good friend so I make fun of her endlessly for this recent addition to her mama supplies:

Especially since she was the one who spent an entire trimester of her pregnancy carefully deciding which fancy designer mama bag to get.

The bag that now carries a toilet.

But on this particular occassion, she doesn’t have it with her. Probably because I tease her too much.

I have to go to the bathroom to wash my hands and her daughter has to pee. So I offer to take her.

She wishes me “good luck” and hums a smug little happy song as we walk away. I roll my eyes, thinking she has no idea how much harder it is to take a boy to the bathroom. Her daughter will be a cinch.

When we get into the bathroom though, it occurs to me that her little girl can’t masterfully squat above the toilet seat without touching it like I can.


The toilet seat cover dispenser is empty. But this doesn’t scare me. I remember back before those were common in bathrooms so I know what to do.

I get to work making a toilet paper patchwork quilt on the seat.

I have to work very fast because she is doing the pee dance already.

I help pull down her underwear to her ankles and start to plop her on the toilet.

And then realize that she will just fall straight in if I let go:

Why is her butt so tiny? This is no good.

Oh, I see the problem!  Her underwear can’t be on both ankles because she needs to spread her legs to anchor herself and balance.

So I slip it over one shoe and leave it around the other ankle. I continue to hold her steady.

And we have pee!

I did it! Take that, friend with a daughter. I totally handled this.

As I’m patting myself on the back, I notice her foot. The one with the underwear clinging to it. It is swinging.

With two little shakes, the underwear slips over her shoe:

And it falls onto the sticky, urine laquered floor. Inside out. The part that touches her parts is contaminated.

We walk back.

With weighted shoulders of defeat, I hand my friend the underwear:


I will never again make fun of the toilet in her fancy purse.

And in return, she agreed to not say “I told you so” anymore.

We made a truce and joined forces. The public toilet is the enemy!

There is no competition for who has it worse when it sucks for everyone.

And it does. Oh yes, it does.


PS – if you liked this post, then you’ll definately, probably like my new book: Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures



This entry was posted in crappy pictures, friends, parenting, potty training. Bookmark the permalink.

555 Responses to public toilets vs newly potty trained girls and boys

  1. Kristen says:

    You guys should just be happy your kids will even consider using a public toilet. Those stupid autoflush toilets have essentially ruined proper public urination for both my boys.

    • Steph says:

      Yup. Two kids who would never use an autoflush until they were like, 8. They were scared they would fall in and get sucked down the pipe!

      • Danielle Simard says:

        Oh, the memories of those auto-flush toilet commandos!
        1) Prepare toilet paper
        2) Leave door open
        3) Sit child down AND hold!
        4) Pee
        5) Pat bum dry with toilet paper while kid still sitting
        6) Quickly take child off toilet and make a run for it!

    • Amy says:

      A genius friend told me to carry post it notes in my purse… put it over the “eye” of the auto flush and it won’t sense the movement until after you move it! 🙂

      • Nicki says:

        A couple of squares of TP draped over the sensor will work as well. Then you just send it down with the flush.

    • Amanda says:

      My son wouldn’t pee in a public toilet for 6 months. Whether it was autoflush or not, since once I said it wouldn’t flush itself and it did. Naturally, we had to drive for 7 hours to a wedding (he was ring bearer) during this 6 month time period.

      So we drove through the night to avoid the public toilet debate.

      He didn’t have accidents and I worried what holding it that long would do to him.

      When we got to the hotel… he initiated a debate about whether the hotel toilet was a public toilet. Thank GOODNESS I won that debate.

    • nene says:

      Same here, neither one of my kids would even consider using those automatic flushing toilets until they were about 8 either but what great ideas about the post-it notes or draping toilet paper over the sensor, no use to me now though since I never thought of that and obviously you didn’t either, LOL!! We suffered, I get it!!!

    • Kim says:

      Great advice, too late. One auto-flush toilet later where “the toilet flushed me” and my DD will no longer use a public toilet 🙁

    • Avril says:

      OMG!! For 4 years I could never take the olest kiddlet out because of the autoflush!! she tought the potty was going to eat her!! it was a nightmare!!

    • Cindy Jusino says:

      I bring noise cancelling headphones in my purse. My son has SPD and can’t handle the noises.

    • Maryann says:

      My daughter wouldn’t sit on the auto flush ones, so I had to start carrying a roll of masking tape in my purse. I would use a piece to cover the sensor so it wouldn’t flush. This just ended, and she’s over 6.

    • frogmaster says:

      My 3 yo loves autoflush. Terrified of automatic hand driers though…

    • LaToya says:

      Omg, neither of my girls will use the auto flush toilets! I have a 3yr old and a 9yr old and both refuse! My 9yr old had a bad experience in which she was sitting on a tissue covered toilet at a highway rest area and it flushed mid-pee! She hopped off terrified, spraying pee and losing a slipper…Smh. She’s been terrified since and has passed it on to little sis, lol

    • Coral says:

      Tip for auto flush toilets. a post it note over the sensor keeps it from flushing randomly while child is going potty. LOL

  2. I’m teaching my son to pee sitting down. That’s all there is to it. I’ve done the girl potty training thing and I think I’ve got it mastered. But the whole standing and aiming thing? No way.

    • merry says:

      His future wife will thank you for it.

      • Katie says:

        Very funny response Merry!! Ditto : )

      • McCharms says:

        I AM the wife of a man who sits to pee. I am eternally grateful.

        • Tina says:

          I too am the wife of a sit down and pee man. It is the best because now we have two boys and a carpeted bathroom. I won’t say there is no urine in my carpet. But I am sure there is much less than if they were standing.

    • JT says:

      Alyssa – we have a boy. we tried sitting down to start with. but when boy sits down, penis points up. no go.

      • Stephanie says:

        Maybe it depends on the boy? My son pees sitting down and his always points down. He also loves flushing while still on it. That’s one thing I deal with.. Fighting to get him off the potty and pull his pants up before he reaches around and flushes.

      • Shar says:

        For my boy I carried paper cups with holes in the bottom. Insert little penis in the hole and the urine funnels into the toilet. The cup could rest on the rim of the toilet without touching him. Throw the cup away when finished. No mess, no carrying around potties. Works every time!

      • Aaron says:

        I taught mine to just push/hold his downwards with a finger or two.

        He didn’t do the standing thing till he got to school.

    • Amanda says:

      We started my son sitting down. He was really short for his age and couldn’t reach, even at home.

      Also, I nannied for years before having him and learned that the families who potty trained boys sitting down had infinitely less urine on the floor and cabinets.

      He transitioned to standing on his own when he was ready (tall enough) and by then he was old enough never to be in a rush (no mess).

      Re: pointing up or out, my son just pushed his down w/ his hand at the based.

      • Littlefoot says:

        Great advice! I’m doing the same thing with my 21mo son. His wee wee points down when he doesn’t have to pee, but then points up when he does! I started pushing I down for him, but I think that makes him uncomfortable so it stops his pee. I decides to just let it do what it does and push his little potty seat back so it all goes in the toilet anyway! Then I just rinse off his seat.

        I’ve never posted a comment here, but I LOVE reading crappy pictures! There are so many things I relate to and I crack up laughing all the time! You even inspired me to write my own blog :). I am SO excited for your book!! What will it be called? Thanks for all the laughs!

      • Jack says:

        My wife and I taught our boys to put their elbows on their knees when sitting down to pee. that gets them leaning forward enough to point down. haha, so we say it likd 6 times every potty visit “elbows on your knees!”

    • trish says:

      I am so on that…just because men CAN pee standing up, doesn’e mean that they SHOULD. It splashes everywhere! And with little guys even more so. So my son will also be taught to sit and pee…his dad started doing that when he lived with a bunch of guys during college and said he was so grossed out by the pee splashed everywhere that he decided that it was just better (and easier) to sit. And for that I am eternally thankful! Of course, outside peeing is a whole different matter, and in that matter I am completely and utterly jealous of men and their “picnic tools”…

  3. Angie says:

    LMAO this is SO funny and hilarious and spot on and just awesome! You are my hero.

  4. ms burrows says:

    Yes! I have four girls. I friggin hate the stage where I have to carry the extra potty seat around with me. One of my girls actually learned to straddle the potty and pee on it sitting backwards out of desperation.

  5. Yes! My daughter is terrified of those! And hand dryers.

    • Christina says:

      Mine two. While we’re washing our hands she’ll say “I don’t want the ‘blower’.”
      Then as we walk towards it (either for me to use it or to exit bathroom, she starts freaking out for her life yelling, “No blower! No blower! No bloooowaaaaaaahhhh!”
      She still doing this at 3.5y!

      • DAVE says:

        Oh My Word Christina, i soo appreciate your post ( as of course this whole blog ) My 2 & a half yr old girl is distraught at the blower, i have to “UP Daddy” & hug like mad..real tears. And i have twins to take in to the toilet, so trying to comfort her if someone is using the blower while trying to get little man to pee pee as well, haha nightmare.

      • Amanda says:

        OMG, us too. And newly built or newly renovated Targets have the LOUDEST hand dryers EVER. I thought they wanted us to shop there?

        • Saffie says:

          …. the ones at Sam’s Club are like that too – so loud they can be heard all the way at the pharmacy, through closed bathroom doors. my grandson (2) is TERRIFIED of them 🙁

        • Amy says:

          The ones at at Target are evil!!! We use the family bathroom if its free & my daughter (age 3) panics if she hears the hand dryer through the wall!!!

    • Chilli says:

      With good reason! Google “bathroom hand dryer disease spread” Oprah did a special on all the things that are disgustingly contaminated with germs….top of a soda can, bathroom walls bc flushing will spray contaminated water on the walls AND hand dryers that suck up all the s%!+ in the bathroom, then blow it all on your hands. I’d rather pass on washing my hands if that’s my only option to dry!

  6. Jack says:

    Well now I know how to take my son to the bathroom! Course he won’t be needing this for 2-3 years, but still – I don’t remember how my dad took me at that age.

  7. JB says:

    One time I was in a public bathroom and I saw a little boy struggling to use the urinal. As a good samaritan, I wanted to help the little guy, but as an adult male, I knew how bad that would look to help him out. When I was leaving the bathroom, I saw him grabbing onto the rim of the urinal and pulling himself up so that he could pee into it. I sincerely hope he washed his hands.

  8. SVM says:

    This is very true. My son’s parts happen to be the same height as the toilet. This leads to peeing on tip-toe with parts resting on the bowl! ugh! And yet he told me he needed to pee and then he did….so I am happy as well as disgusted.

  9. Angie says:

    AH, but that is super hard to do! They have to point their penis down otherwise it shoots straight out in front of them! Very tricky and complicated.

  10. Helen says:

    So funny I could pee! Oh, wait…. 😉

  11. Heaz says:

    LOL! I thought I was the only one who had my boys stand on the seat. Really, it’s the only way…

  12. Susie says:

    Before my son was tall enough to pee in the toilet without propping his penis on the bowl, I made him taller by making him stand on my feet. That gave him the few inches he needed to have clearance!

    • Jennifer says:

      great idea!
      I can’t stop laughing reading all of this…too funny

      • Dallas says:

        I hurt from laughing so hard. But i feel 100 times better knowing it wasn’t just me. There really needs to be PSAs for this stuff save some mammas a lot crap. I love the sit to pee thing wish i had seen this when were pottying training our oldest son or even the 2nd son because i swear sometimes they miss the bowl altogether and their bath room smells like a portopotty with hours of cleaning it and my daughter is always asking to use my bathroom because its gross….. My baby boy is 14months so at least i can try with him. Think I could re potty train the older ones and just a group deal with all 3 of them????

  13. supercheers says:

    I have found it’s just easier to let boys sit on the toilet when they’re still small enough that bowl height could be a problem, this is also useful because sometimes I’m told, “No, My don’t hafta poopoo” and out comes a little poo while he’s peepeeing.

  14. Angie says:

    We do that too! It really IS the only way when they are tiny.

  15. Christi says:

    Couldn’t be more true!
    I used to keep my niece, and I dreaded having to take her to a public toilet. I would only make the quickest of trips and make sure she pottied before we left…But of course, it didn’t always work.
    I have a little boy now, and I am only just now beginning to contemplate the horror taking him to a public potty…thanks for that thought today!

  16. Julie says:

    This post couldn’t have happened at a better time. I locked myself away in my house with my son from Friday until today to potty train, and we visited our first public restroom today. Although I must say the bathroom was spotless (thank you again, Costco), let’s just say it wasn’t smooth sailing. I forgot how long of a process this whole potty training thing is.

  17. I sooooo feel your pain, BOTH of you! I have a 9 yr old son and a 5 yr old daughter. And now, I have the added joy of having to take my twins….you guessed it, one boy and one girl! That dang potty seat is NEVER leaving my backpack!!

  18. Tam says:

    The only thing that makes this worse is when you’re finished laying all the toilet paper on the seat and then reach for some to wipe.. and uhoh…. You can’t let go – baby will fall in. You can’t go get some – Baby will fall in. It’s poop – You cant NOT wipe.. You are literally up shit creek in a public toilet.

  19. Barbara says:

    I agree it is easier to keep them in diapers! I too once carried a toilet with me, it could fold up and I could clean it at home. I also had some seats that you could stick on and throw away. I still use the tp covering that you so masterfully drew. I let my boys stand on my feet so they could reach and I covered the toilet with paper in the front. Public bathrooms are unpleasant. I dread when we are away and they need to go number 2

  20. Nettie Black says:

    Around here we also have the added fear of the “loud potty” (versus a “quiet potty”). In airports where the toilet commonly is one of those loud-sucking-you-in-automatic-flush kind of potty, we often carry noise canceling head phones. Quite the scene.

  21. nuttymom says:

    Hilarious! I have 2 potty trained girls and I’m putting off training my boy as long as I can! My biggest problem with the girls is that they are terrified of the auto flush toilets! Have you encountered this?

  22. Nikki says:

    Put a post-it note over the sensor and the auto flush wont flush until you remove it! (a friend gave me this tip when my oldest was potty training.)

  23. Amy says:

    Yes, those are the worst.

  24. Joyce says:

    If you put a sticky note over the little sensory it will keep it from flushing too soon. 🙂

  25. Sarah P says:

    I totally agree – diapers for as long as possible! I haven’t gone as far as a potty in my purse, but we do keep one in the back of our van. I feel a little ridiculous when non-parents see it, but they just don’t know!

  26. libby says:

    Oh it gets better….then you have 2 kids. Which means one is crawling around on the urine caked floor while you are trying to get the other one to pee, all while trying really hard not to think about all the germs they’re picking up.

  27. Kimberly says:

    My daughter used to be terrified of the autoflush toilets. Now they are “magic”….she still hates the hand dryers though. :/

  28. moynihal says:

    On the recommendation of a friend of mine. Post-Its. Put over the autoflush part and it will no longer flush at whimsy. Of course, since your boys are already petrified, perhaps this won’t work!

  29. Joyce says:

    Hahaha! Great minds think alike.

  30. Kourtney says:

    This is freakin’ hilarious and oh so true!!

  31. Kendra says:

    My girls were laughing hysterically. Ah, you forgot to mention the automatic flushing toilets! My kids’ worst fear…(and I’m short, so I’ve gotten flushed too!)

  32. says:

    I hold my daughter up by making my arms into a seat and hover her over the toilet that way. Also if you spit on some TP, you can hang it over the sensor on an auto flush (and not worry that it will fluff away, held by the spit) and then it won’t flush spontaneously from sensing movement, scaring the crap out of the kiddo!

    • Sarah says:

      We do that too. Except we hold their thighs with our hands and let their backs (not butts) rest against our chest so they don’t fall. No one touches anything that way. Doesn’t work once they get heavier and older, but then the toilet papered seat works ok by that point. We also carry around a baby bjorn potty in the car, sometimes out in it’s own little drawstring bag. It’s a full potty so we don’t have to go into the restrooms to use it. Then we pull over near some forestry part of land, since we figure animals have also peed there, and dump it and sanitize it with cleaner. If we are in a grocery store parking lot or somewhere it would be rude to dump it, we just put some toilet paper in the bowl so it doesn’t splash up while we drive to a good spot to dump it.

  33. Kim Pugliano says:

    OH. MY. GOD. That was hilarious. Retweeting.

  34. Joyce says:

    I once let my son go alone into the mens room. He was 4-ish. He came out and told me “Momma there’s no toilet paper by them funny toilets.” He pooped into a urinal. I don’t know HOW he got his little butt up there and didn’t fall. I still shake my head and laugh.

    • Devan says:

      I know this is WAY after the fact (I am reading archives), but this is the funniest damn thing I have ever read! OMG!

  35. amanda says:

    Imagine the horror that me, a nonparent, goes through whenever my nieces use the restroom.
    It happened on cold blistery day in a Wal Mart in the not too distant past. My 3 year old niece Harley looks up at me and proudly exclaims “POOP!” Great… her mother and father are no where around and she has this look of terror on her face because she has to go bad. I pick her up and run into the bathroom. Go into the handicap stall to find it covered and caked with…. Onto the next stall in line where she looks at the toilet and glances at me and shakes her head “No this one is scary”. Finally we both agree on the third stall. She pulls her pants down while I am placing the paper quilt onto the seat and it flushes automatically, scaring her to death. Now she is afraid of THIS toilet- so we run back into the second stall (yes, pants still down) and I do the paper thing again, promptly place her onto seat and realize (as above) she doesn’t fit. So I hold onto her. And hold. Begin tapping my foot and she says “I’m waiting on you to look away”. How am I supposed to hold onto her AND look away at the same time?! I close my eyes and she goes. She bends over at the waist showing me her poop covered butt so I can wipe her. I have no baby wipes, just single ply toilet paper. Finally cleaned up, washed hands, and pants pulled back up, I carry her back into the store; more proud of MY accomplishment than hers. I mean, everyone poops on the toilet right?? Did I mention I am childless?? lol

  36. Paula says:

    You missed the part about how obsessed kids at that stage get with public toilets! I can make my kids pee two seconds before leaving the house and the minute they see a public toilet they suddenly, desperately have to go. RIGHT NOW. Even though we all peed not ten minutes prior.

    This also applies in restaurants when food is being placed on the table. Hot, delicious, I-can’t-get-this-at-home and it-tastes-like-camel-poo-when-cold food. And the more delicious and expensive the food, the more likely the washroom visit will be a #2.

  37. Tania says:

    OMG this is so funny! I love everything you write, please write a book!

  38. Sarah says:

    My daughter once fell into the “kid” toilet at the mall. Unfortunately, I was on the adult toilet at that time, mid-pee, so all I could do was laugh. Because I’m a horrible mother.

    Then we went home and she had a bath.

  39. Joe says:

    Also, other boys in school (when he gets to school) will make fun of him if he pees sitting down. Trust me on this.

  40. Joe says:

    Dang. I would never let a 4-yo go into a public restroom by himself.

  41. Velvet says:

    Mine is terrified of the auto flush, and seems to believe all public toilets have this feature, whether they do or not. As soon as he’s done peeing he is in a big hurry to run from the stall, lest he be terrified by the toilet flushing monster!

  42. Steph says:

    This is why I take my boys to the nearest tree. Happy days for all. Maybe not the tree.

  43. Tracy says:

    I would always have my son stand on my feet. The worst though was when he was afraid of loud noises too, so he would cover his ears and try to flush with is elbow.

  44. ErynBob says:

    The trick I learned with the autoflush toilets is to carry a pad of sticky notes in your purse. Stick one on the motion sensor so it won’t go off while the balancing act is in full force. It’s awesome!

  45. Tanya says:

    Seriously, I love this. As a mom with a potty trained girl (now,of almost 6 months) I can so relate to this. I am a public restroom freak. I didn’t leave the house for over a week after we were first potty trained b/c I was so afraid of the public restroom with a little girl situation. I felt confident enough to venture out once my own set of disposable toilet seat liners came in the mail. I made up a kit with extra panties, seat liners, and post it notes. Post it notes? Yes, those can be used when there is a monstrous auto-flusher in place. Blocking the sensor with a post-it should shut down the flushing mechanism…I am in slight awe of people who are able to cart around the potty seat. I just couldn’t do it b/c I feel like I would be taking a little bit of the public restroom with me…the last thing I want to do.

  46. stephanie says:

    Wow. This is so true. My 2 year old boy LOVES to go potty in public toilets. I have no idea why, but it drives me crazy. He’s good about sitting down aiming into the bowl, but it is hard to do without letting him touch anything.

    Every time we go somewhere, he has to go potty NOW. Argh.

    Can’t wait till our 1 year old boy can join him.

  47. Sean says:

    I got our boys to pee sitting down but turned around to face the back of the toilet. They don’t squirt out the front and they pretend they’re riding a motorcycle or a horse. win win.

  48. Super easy trick, tear off a small length of toilet paper and put it over the sensor. It tricks the toilet into submission. 🙂

  49. Rachel says:

    I would tell you about one of my first instances with my eldest daughter but it is too traumatic – I have blocked it out! Put it this way though everytime we go near that particular toilet my daughter now tells me “not that toilet, theres lots of poo” 🙁

  50. Shannon G. says:

    I’ve taught my boy to pee sitting down and tell him to keep his pee in the potty. He knows that means to push his penis downward while peeing. He pees sitting down at home, too… I don’t want to clean all those messes!

  51. Velvet says:

    I’m right there with you!

  52. Joe says:

    No way. Sure, public restrooms are a nuisance. But once they can use the potty at home, that cuts out like 60% of diaper changes (at least it did for our family). No contest. If we were having another (which we’re NOT), I’d potty train him/her at a year if I could.

  53. Stephanie says:

    Toilet paper over the sensor also works well.

  54. Emily B says:

    On the way to a family wedding we spent 30 minutes trying to convince daughter that she would be ok in the public rest area toilet with autoflushing toilets and hand dryers. Had perfect strangers trying to convince her.

    She tried so hard, poor baby, but was completely traumatized. Finally drove to a deserted parking lot and let her pee behind a building, propped on my knees.

    now we go anywhere different and it’s “momma, is that a potty or a LOUD potty”

  55. Robin says:

    I am SO at this point right now with my oldest. He is not only afraid of public toilets, but any toilet that doesn’t have his “Pooh bear” seat on it. GAH! So far, I’ve resorted to pull-ups while shopping. And that is going to get old very soon.

  56. Amber Dusick says:

    That is a good trick!

  57. Wendy says:

    I should know better than to read your posts at work. I am silent shaking laughing with tears… Though I shouldnt be – we start toilet training soon!!!
    (Kind of reminds me of the nightclub days too)

  58. Julie says:

    This should be included as a manual when you leave the hospital with a new baby.

    My favorite public restroom moments are the times when I have to go too. I’ve learned to pee really fast, because any idle time he has goes to opening the stall door and/or trying to explore the tampons in the stall trash bin.

  59. Amber Dusick says:

    Fortunately the autoflush toilets are only in fancy places here that I avoid. Oh, and airports. Which I also try to avoid.

  60. Nichole says:

    1) They make portable toilet seats? and 2) I’ll have to carry one?! Eeeewww! So not looking forward to potty training (we’ve got a 4-month-old). My husband and I are both too repressed and germaphobic to deal well wiyh that stage.

  61. Amber Dusick says:

    Yes, and them trying to open the metal box with tampons in it. “Don’t touch that!”

  62. Amber Dusick says:

    Now that is some serious skills.

  63. Amber Dusick says:

    Amanda, you get an Aunt award for that!

  64. Amber Dusick says:

    Yes, we have resorted to trees at a few parks with well-known nasty bathrooms!

  65. rachel says:

    all the ideas to master the auto flush are cracking me up! i had the worst time with my daughter in public restrooms because of that stupid split in the front of public toilet seats. i would get her pants down, get her on the toilet, and then something about her posture, or her anatomy, and she would pee straight forward through that split and all over the back of her pants which were around her knees. either that, or she would hoist herself up on the seat, but because of that stupid split, she would inevitably drag one cheek and the back of one leg across the nasty, exposed part of the bowl. what is the deal with those splits? why, God, why?

  66. Amanda Reed says:

    wow… I have 3 daughters and I have never had issues like this with public toilets. Maybe because I don’t use public toilets that are filthy, or maybe because I have read a lot of important scientific research that explains that toilet seats are really not that germ infested and there is really no reason to only dangle above one. What you should really be afraid of is the handles on the sink and the back of the bathroom door.

    • karen says:

      thank you. you are the one and only to point thsi out. we just sit. Or i take clorox wipes with me. You wont die, just wash your hands 🙂

    • DianeMargaret says:

      I never mastered the hover. Of course, I never tried really hard!
      My mom has issues with public toilets and so I did for YEARS!!! I always did the toilet paper ring thing and I STILL use the liners whenever available (why not?). But, NOW, I just don’t have time!!! Don’t tell my mom but…I sit directly ON the toilet! Unless it looks moist or otherwise gross…like the one pet store has cracked/stained seats so I ‘m leery of them.
      I always carry sanitizer anyway so I just squirt some on some tissue and wipe the ring! Voila!!! I feel safer, even though my mom would still gag!
      I am soft-pedaling the toilet training thing right now and I think I’ll start gathering post it notes!!! I like the idea of the folding seat too (don’t relish carting it around but…). I have a bad shoulder so I’ve been worrying about holding her onto a toilet! I’ve fallen in before and wouldn’t want her to live THAT trauma so I guess carting a folding seat isn’t such a bad option after all.

      • neil says:

        Thank you from me as well. My wife loves this series so I usually get to read them as well. Always funny!

        Reading this one I had a total disconnect, in that I have no understanding of the problems with public toilets. Maybe the author and all the other posters don’t have access to clean public toilets, but I admit I don’t have this problem.

        I have 2 daughters, I used to take them into the mens toilets when they were little. Give the seat a wipe down if it needs it, then they wash their hands, doing anything else is unnecessary and probably counter productive.

  67. Jessie says:

    Oh god, I am dreading toilet training. But at the same time I am hoping it will mean he will be less interested in what is in his nappy. He likes to “draw” with it’s contents. There is not enough hand/surface sanitizer in the world for that stuff.

    • DianeMargaret says:

      We call it Fecal Art!!! Glad to know I’m not alone on THAT one!!! LOL. Isn’t it fun? NOT!!!!!

  68. Lyz says:

    I am potty training my oldest son right now. I am DREADING the situation you have described – because his younger brother is also showing interest. How am I going to manage this with two of them?

    Currently he is peeing sitting down – is it hard to transition to standing up? I like the standing on my shoes idea.

    I had a “toilet paranoia” of my own as a kid, so in keeping with the “getting paid back for everything I ever did” mother’s curse, I am fully expecting this to manifest in at least one of my sons. BRILLIANT idea on the Post-it Notes for the auto flushers… I hate those things. I didn’t even think about them being scary for a potty training kid.

  69. rachel says:

    yes! why can’t they put those trash bins up just a little higher? i understand that it wouldn’t be quite as convenient for users of said trash bins, but keeping kids’ hands out of them would be priceless.

  70. Amber Dusick says:

    I’m so glad I didn’t deal with the fear of the autoflush like so many of you! Which means it is probably a given that Crappy Baby will be terrified of them.

  71. Mistie says:

    This could not have been a more perfect post. Spot on.

  72. Manda Rae says:

    Thank goodness my son sits to pee! And to solve the tiny butt/super long toilet seat w/open split situation he sits on the toilet sideways…hard to explain, but it works. As long as he washes his hands on the way out, I feel fairly confident that he won’t die of some horrible disease!

  73. zoe d. says:

    Oh, I’m DYING. This is so true and so hilarious. Moms of boys need to carry a stool around in our bags. AND toilet seat cover for when they need go go #2.

  74. MommyDanielle says:

    Thanks, I am so sticking sticky notes in my purse from now on!! Even at 4 and 6 my kids are terrified of the autoflush.

  75. atara says:

    i let both boy and girl stand on the toilette seat. who wants to stand on the underside? i’m also lucky because in Hawaii every public bathroom almost has toilette seat disposable paper cover things…. but my little girl won’t sit on them. So, both my girl and boy stand on the seat to pee.

  76. Angela Garrison says:

    You failed to mention the absolute desire of every toddler to touch every inch of the toilet before they sit down, stand, whatever. I begin my mantra of “don’t touch anything” on our way to any public bathroom and continue it over and over again once we have arrived, all to no avail. They inevitably go in and all but lick the seat, roll around on the floor, pick up whatever they find on the floor, etc. All in all, a totally gross experience for everyone but them. We have yet to enter a public building where we haven’t peed before leaving. There must be something that triggers the pee response in these buildings. Kinda like having to go when you go out in the cold!

  77. says:

    Laughing so hard I’m actually crying in the public library. Hilarious.

  78. Pips says:

    My oldest loved it too! Every time we went anywhere he wanted to use the damned toilet!

  79. karrie says:

    You are putting the girl on the toilet the wrong way. Take her to the handicapped stall and let her hang on to the bar while sitting on the side of the toilet. You only have to paper one side of the toilet, which is good when your daughter is doing the pee-pee dance and you have limited time to paper said toilet seat.

  80. says:

    I read a tip once to put a post it note over the sensor so they don’t go off mid-pee. Good luck!

  81. Jo says:

    I do that when we’re out a la long trip in the car and have to stop on the side of the road for a pee. Don’t judge, everyone’s had to at some point lol. Me and my daughter call it ‘watering the plants’, we’ve made it a challenge to see if she can ‘write her name’ so she’s usually cracking up laughing while I’m waving her around some bush.
    I’ve never really had too many problems in a public loo because of this, she’s now quite comfortable peeing while dangling (quite still in this case), and her brother can’t wait for his turn to write his name now, but I’m holding off a bit so he’s really keen to toilet train.

  82. Megan says:

    So funny and so true. My son peed sitting down for a year and a half. He would take his shoes, socks, pants and underwear all the way off so he could straddle the potty widely enough to be able to lean forward just a bit to aim down. In public bathrooms, I of course didn’t want him to take everything off, so I sat him on the toilet and pushed his penis down for him (fearing that if he tried to do it himself, he’d pee on me!). Once he grew tall enough to comfortably pee standing up, he started to do that and public bathroom experiences are much better. Now my daughter is almost 2.5 and I plan to start potty-training soon. Yikes!

  83. Stephanie says:

    Lol! I tell my daughter to keep her knees together n I loop my elbow under her knees and hold her above the toilet. Gross but keeps the toilet from actually being touched.

  84. Julia says:

    Absolutely! My 5 year old daughter is still terrified of those things! When she sees one she refuses to go and I have to put my hand over the sensor (even though I’m pretty sure it doesn’t stop it from flushing). The things she’ll be discussing with her therapist one day :S

  85. Carolina says:

    Totally. I dated a man who peed sitting down. Yup, you read that right. He also let his mom do his laundry because “she loves doing my laundry when I come home”.

  86. Amber Dusick says:

    No handicapped stall in this particular bathroom, but I will keep that in mind if I’m ever dumb enough to offer to take my friend’s daughter when there is one!

  87. Emily says:

    I just about peed myself laughing though this entire post!

    My mom loves to tell the story of when I was terrified to use the black toilets in the public restroom. (Black toilet seats? I was only 4! Someone was obviously trying to F with me!) Resourceful mother that she is, she finally figured out that if she used enough seat protectors, the seats were white enough for me. Clever lady. I have a couple years until potty training, but I’ve become quite a pro at using the public restroom with a 20 lb 4-month-old in the moby wrap.

  88. Amber Dusick says:

    No wonder parents have strong arms.

  89. stephanie says:

    This is just gross. Funny. But gross. Ha!

  90. Melissa McCoy says:

    I try as much as possible to have my son pee outdoors. We don’t have to touch any bathroom doors, bathroom floors, bathroom sinks, bathroom walls, little boxes attached to bathroom walls, etc… I realize that while he’s little it’s cute to see a little boy’s bare bottom as he’s peeing in the bushes behind a store, but this will not be so cute as he gets older. One time recently I had to take him to a public restroom in a restraunt and my little girl (17 months) is standing there so nicely while I help him and then all of the sudden…she LICKED the stall door. WHY??!!?? What do you do with that? You can’t sanitize their tongue…at least you shouldn’t. 🙂

  91. Lyz says:

    My son is terrified of those stupid splits. If the potty has an “owie” he will scream and refuse to even try using it.

  92. Carolina says:

    I would have laughed too!

  93. Mellie says:

    Amber, as always, you are SPOT-ON.

    I carried a folding potty seat, encased in a zip loc bag, with individually-wrapped hand-sanitizer wipes in the diaper bag, all the time, even at Disney. Don’t leave home without ’em! Yeah, one time I had to take Oldest to the potty at a gas station on the way home, with the Baby in tow, and the precious folding potty seat FELL INTO THE TOILET when she got off it. I almost had a panic attack. 🙂 What else sucks? Airplane bathrooms, which require contortionism to wipe small butts.

    Tips on covering the sensors, and boys standing on your feet are priceless, and I will totally remember that when my next nephew gets potty trained and Auntie has to help him.

  94. Jennie says:

    I have tears, literally, streaming down my cheeks from this post!

  95. Carolina says:

    I must be the luckiest mom because when I tell my 4 year old not to touch anything in the bathroom he actually listens to me. He isn’t even allowed to flush on his own when using a public bathroom. Just gross!!

  96. Francesca says:

    Actually, I find the hand over the sensor works quite well as long as you don’t move your hand. My daughter only hates the auto-flush if she’s still on the pot, and she’s big enough to balance herself,so I don’t need to move my hand while she uses the toilet. I will look into getting some sticky notes before daughter #2 starts potty training, though…

  97. Francesca says:

    Your comments section has some of the best parenting advice I’ve seen…

  98. Nicole says:

    If only the public bathrooms were the worst….my oldest would hold it until we were walking out to the car with a cart full of groceries. Then he would wait until I was busy loading the truck to annouce he had to pee, as soon as I turned around, there he was “watering” the tires….and not always the ones on our car… I was afraid of getting banned from Walmart for awhile there….

  99. Francesca says:

    Yeah, I’ve done the arm cradle for my daughter when we were out in the woods. I haven’t yet had to do it for a public toilet, but we make a lot of toilet paper seats.

  100. Jessi says:

    why oh why are they so drawn to those! I tell my daughter every time not to touch. I guess its just too tempting to see what could be inside! GROSS

  101. Carolina says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve blocked out most of the traumatic instances of using public restrooms with a recently potty trained boy. Now that he’s 4, he thankfully pees standing up and always listens to me when I tell him to not touch anything in the bathroom. He’s not even allowed to flush. Going poop in public is a sore subject because he has to touch the toilet seat to hold himself up and that just grosses me out.

    I’m glad I never had to let him stand on my shoes to reach the toilet. Maybe it’s selfish but my shoes are far too nice to be stepped on with pee covered kid shoes.

  102. sarah says:

    My son wont go near them either…

  103. Tamara Blanch says:

    Toilet training is the worst. When my daughter was toilet training she would not use public toilet no matter how much she needed to pee. Little boys are definitely a different species though and need to pee every time they see a toilet sign in public! In the toilet training phase for both of them I used to have 2-3 pairs of disposable gloves and antibacterial wipes in my bag to clean the toilet seat before they sat on it. I also used to carry around some of those toilet seat covers that flush away when you flush the toilets for especially disgusting toilets.

  104. Tanjarine says:

    good idea to use something to cover the sensor…. I use ME as a shield. I sit far back and put them in front of me. Works now while she is small I guess

  105. DorkDaddy says:

    Oh dear lord. We have all been there. And the absolutely terrifying thought is the absolute knowledge that we will all be there again in the not too distant future.

    Please allow me to humbly share a link to my own personal experience with this exact same situation:

    Here’s to the parents out there. The rest of the world has no idea what it takes.

    -Dork Dad

  106. LOL LOVED this!!! So true. As a mama of a boy and 2 potty trained girls I can relate to both sides. My son and oldest daughter also had public restroom stage fright. They were terrified of going in them at first (my daughter still is)

  107. Becky F says:

    My daughter won’t leave that alone either! “Is there a surprise for me in there?” Umm…No! But there is a cookie in your future if you don’t touch it!

  108. JD says:

    If you ladies think that’s bad, try being a dad taking your _two_ little girls into the public mens room. From the horrific toilets (that crappy picture looks CLEAN compared to what I’ve seen) to the graphic anatomy lessons to the constant desire to yell “I’m not a child molester” at every funny look you get, it’s a blast.

  109. Jade Hudson says:

    Love it. We had a fun experience during potty training days with my son Max. We were in a second-hand thrift shop and I was looking at the books while Maxie played near me. I turned around to check on him after a couple of minutes to find him with his pants down, sitting on a potty he’d found on one of the lower shelves. He was doing a big, stinky poo in an old, used potty in the middle of a shop, joy! I had to just let him finish, a couple of people near me giggled and told him what a good boy he was as I took it up to the counter to quadruple bag it and pay 2 dollars for it. If you poo in it, you bought it, apparently!

    • DianeMargaret says:

      BWAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! That’s a fear I hadn’t even thought of yet! But we thrift shop a LOT!!! I will definitely be keeping a close eye on her from now on! ROFLMBO!!!

  110. Katie says:

    When my little boy was first trained, he made up for the ‘gap’ by stretching his penis out to reach. Boys.

  111. Amanda E says:

    LOL…Those darn public bathrooms! My current potty problems involves being out solo with my almost six year old son (this happens a lot as a single parent). No big deal when he has to use the bathroom, but if I have to go we run into issues. A lot of places I’m not OK letting him wait by himself, but if I bring him in the stall with me he goes out of his way too make it awkward and embarrassing. For instance giving the out loud play by play “Mom. What are you doing?? Are you peeing out your vagina?? Are you pooping?? It stinks!”(heaven forbid I’m on my period)..or threatening to open the door while pants are around ankles..or going through purse….ugh..It’s like having a shameless annoying little brother…I’m so ready to be done with this stage.

  112. toni adams says:

    We had an unfortunate incident where a toilet seat was broken but mummy didnt notice and when I sat Miss 2.5 on it, it “bit” her (pinched her leg between the ceramic and the seat and cause she was sitting on it she couldnt pull it out). Now every public toilet we have to check that it wont “bite” her before she will even think of sitting on it.

  113. Agreed! I just lift my son up to stand on the seat. I’m sincerely hoping that if/when we have a girl, I can teach her to stand on the seat and squat down (like she would if we were peeing outside on a camping trip…)!

  114. Seattle Mom of Twins says:

    I have three year old boy/girl twins, and both sit while urinating. I don’t see any reason to teach my son this skill yet, he isn’t tall enough to be even close to successful at it! Happy to having a peeing-while-sitting son. Not nearly as gross..

    PS the pooping in the urinal story was HILARIOUS!

  115. christina says:

    I’m not a germaphobic person, but public bathrooms disgust me. And of course, my 3 yr old daughter insists on touching everything!!! However, I have managed to train her not to sit without paper down, grab the door handle with paper towel, and flush with her foot!! (She feels quite accomplished with the last one :-D)

  116. Bwahahahaa. Here’s a pro tip: Sit the boy on the potty until he’s tall enough to stand and hit the goal on his own. Use toilet liners or toilet paper to coat the floor and toilet, pull the pants down to the ankles, teach him to prop himself up on the toilet with his hands on the liner/tp, and hold him balanced by his underpants at the ankles. Tell him to point his peen down into the toilet and voila.

    Then wash/bleach hands, arms, etc, accordingly and move on with life. 😀

  117. Alexis says:

    I need a visual to learn your skills! I have another year or so to master this.

  118. This. My 4 year old STILL isn’t quite tall enough to pee standing in most public stalls and frankly he sits at home too because I don’t want to step in or sit on a pile of pee so we sit, point the peen down, and move on. And we rarely have incidents where he misfires. 😀

  119. Morgan W says:

    Thank you SOOO much for that idea to have my son stand on the toilet, Im usually stuck with my 3yr old standing on my foot and TP on the toilet rim so his “doodle” doesnt touch the rim… I MUST try this next trip

    Thank you 🙂 lol

  120. This is why more public places need family/gender neutral bathrooms.

  121. hahahahaha!
    what i did with my boy in public restrooms before he would stand (or before he got tall enough that standing on my feet was enough of a boost) is id sit way back on the seat with my legs really wide and plop him down on top. kinda hard to explain but it works great!

  122. Heather says:

    I need to send an anonymous link to my dad’s girlfriend. She keeps harassing me about potty training my daughter so that she can take her out shopping and the like. I was thinking that diapers had to be easier, but now I have the proof.

  123. Justine says:

    I would just like to thank you for making me look like a crazy person. I’m waiting to see my OB and uncontrollably snorted out loud while looking at that poor dangling boy, because I have done this. 🙂 maybe ill just share this with the rest of the waiting room.

  124. StephT says:

    What about keeping a small potty in the car or van??

  125. StephT says:

    LOL! This is hilarious!

  126. Allison R. says:

    Yes! we have “peep” tree’s all over the place. :0) boys have it so lucky….squirrels on the hand (the ones living in the tree) do not.

  127. Anne says:

    The whole public restroom is the enemy! Try taking TWO 3 year old boys to a public potty… it’s quiet the adventure. Not only does the one in waiting insist NOW is the time to show me how he can do a somersault (yes, on the bathroom floor!) They have to touch EVERYTHING. BTW, I have a potty in my purse too… for my BOYS to sit on and aim down!!! And I DARE anyone to make fun of me for it. ha-ha

  128. says:

    Yeah…I’m potty training my second (girl) right now. I carry a potty seat everywhere AND I have a toddler potty in the back of our vehicle. I LOVE the looks we get when she’s using that potty in the Walmart parking lot! :-/ Potty training at its finest! Hahaha! .

  129. Barbara P says:

    My daughter hated the auto-flush, and this was before I ever heard of the post-it idea: Once, I was putting my hand over the sensor so she could go. Somehow, in the process of getting on the seat, she bumped my ear and my earring fell into the toilet, and it was one of my favorite pairs! I looked down at it for a good few seconds before I realized – if I wanted it back, I would have to reach in and grab it. I was about to go ahead when… WHOOSH! It was gone. It was an auto-flush toilet after all. Very traumatic experience. I will never forget. By the way, my daughter is now 12 and she says she’s still scared of those toilets. I have to admit, I don’t like them much myself!

  130. Cary says:

    my son is at the age now where he has to often go into a public restroom by himself. (he is also tall for his age and for years i had women scold me for bringing him into the ladies room with me… really? he is a child not some perv!) i find this worse than even when he was a toddler. i have to stand outside the bathroom hoping he goes quickly before i start to panic… plus, i have no control, hygiene wise, what is going on in there. i know he should be old enough to understand basic public restroom hygiene lessons but he is a boy and i have seen his habits at home. i try not to think about it too much! i wish there were more family restrooms at more places.

  131. sarah says:

    yah i would think the autoflush toilets would ruin any comfort a little kid can have using the bathroom. it startles people.

  132. sarah says:

    i wish more men would do this. i hate when guys pee and it splatters little droplets everywhere. ugh. then you have to go in there adn show him they peed everywhere.

  133. sarah says:

    hahahha thats so funny.

  134. Stacey says:

    Love it. I agree with others–the autoflush is a nightmare. Also, my son learned to potty at daycare by standing on a stool and placing both hands on the underside of the seat and leaning over the toilet. Great because he doesn’t miss the toilet. Bad with public washrooms. I end up telling him not to touch the toilet and just hold onto me while I lift him and hold him slanted over the toilet. But what if he has to poop? I bring the toilet seat. They make awesome fold up ones that are smaller to cart around.

  135. sarah says:

    good idea susie! i’ll pass that trick on to other moms i know who have sons.

  136. Holly B says:

    My little guy started by peeing sitting down, but is now learning to pee standing up. To pee sitting down pants and underwear have to come all the way off so he can move his legs far enough apart to ‘point’ his penis down between them. Either way, public washrooms are a nightmare!

  137. This post freakin ROCKS! Having had BOTH of those problems with my children, there is NO GOOD SOLUTION! Darn! I so had flash backs reading this… ewwww. Anyway, I’m happy to report that I have made it past this stage in life, thank goodness…..until grandkids that is!

  138. Jen says:

    Yeah, having potty trained kids sucks. Diapers till college is what I say.

  139. I, too, carried a potty bag for my daughter for TWO YEARS. She refused to sit on the toilet because she was afraid she’d fall in. She was the only kid at preschool who had to use a potty seat, even on the little bitty toilets they have there. She wouldn’t even sit on the potty seat sized toilets at the library’s children section. It was infuriating. I’ve sworn that with my second daughter there will be no potty bag, but we shall see. I had a post about this over on my blog your friend might enjoy because being a potty seat lady blows big time.

  140. ErynBob says:

    I ask my 2yo to “find some paper” while I am peeing as fast as possible. We may end up with a gigantic ton of paper in the toilet, but at least he’s not crawling under the locked door!

  141. Samantha says:

    I’ve taught all three of my boys to pee sitting down. My youngest is still a little too short to pee standing up – even at home so he still sits. We didn’t really have an issue with them peeing out of the toilet while sitting.

  142. lem says:

    love your blog and love this post. so true. here’s what i do with my son. i pick him up so that he’s dangling but i put his feet in between my knees so that he remains steady. does that make sense (interesting visual, i know)?

  143. Tarina says:

    LOL – foot herpes? Hilarious!! I am struggling so badly trying to potty train my almost 3 year old boy, and I have twin 16 month old girls getting ready to start down the path in the nearish future too. Deathtoilets or not, I am SO ready to be done with diapers lol!

  144. Kim says:

    OMG! Thank you so much for the toilet paper/sticky note over the sensor trick. My daughter is terrified and won’t pee if there is one.

  145. Liz Benbrooks says:

    My son is so terrified of the noise of public autoflush toilets (and the hand dryers) that I can’t even get him to go into the restroom with me when I need to go. Which is a real problem, since I have to go ALL the time.

    I’m considering getting him a pair of hearing protector earmuffs to wear so that I can lure him back in….

    ….where he can pee sitting down on the fold-up potty seat I have for my purse.

  146. heather says:

    1. This is one more reason that I’m so happy we did Elimination Communication — ie, more or less diaper-free right from birth. First, because we never had to deal with “toilet training”, or poop-drawing, or that fun stuff. But second, because we learned how to hold a baby or young child comfortably and safely over a toilet. 🙂 The “classic position” makes it easy, and even when they’re 4 it still comes in handy (though it’s a bit trickier). But we also learned about things like sitting BACKWARDS on the toilet seat, which gives much more stability for little bodies, or how to sit with them on the toilet to give that support, etc etc.

    2. My husband pees sitting down. He’s 6’5″. He realized a long time ago that he’s just way too far away from the toilet to get any kind of decent aim. 😉

  147. Ruff mom says:

    I head the kids who suddenly had to pee every time we went in public just because they felt the need to check out every toilet they could find. My son was blessed with tall genes so when he was potty training he was at the barely tall enough stage. I would let him stand on my feet, lift my toes a little and hold one of his hands while he aimed with the other. Great calf exercise and we didn’t have to touch anything!

  148. Naomi E. says:

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this – I usually used the handicapped stall with my daughter and had her sit on the toilet sideways and hold onto the rail attached to the wall so she could hold herself up. Plus it keeps her from having to “spreed ’em.” And with my boy – he’ll be sitting down to pee in public. They have to manhandle it when they’re standing so I don’t see a problem with teaching him to poke it downward while he’s sitting. 🙂

  149. Amber says:

    My son (now 19) always had to go when the food arrived…which once resulted in my angrily taking him to the bathroom, “oops, there are urinals in here!” Glad they weren’t being used.

  150. Amber says:

    My son had to use a bush at t-ball when he wouldn’t use the port-a-potty because the last person “didn’t flush” (and he was pretty disgusted by that fact) Try to explain an out-house to a three year old. The bush is just easier.

  151. Emma says:

    My son has been terrified of those for years. He started pre-k this year and they have them in his school! He’d never before used one without one of us helping (covering the sensor til he was well out of reach). Luckily, the ones at school make a mili-second long whirring noise right before they flush. Once I pointed this out to him, he was able to stop jumping up with poop still hanging off his butt.

    One of his classmates just holds it ALL DAY because she’s so afraid of the auto-flush.


  152. Jeannie says:

    I used to hold my daughter in the “squat” position… hanging on to my neck while I held her by her thighs and dangled her over the bowl. Then I’d give her some shakes to shake loose any drips. Ha ha! This seemed to work pretty well… but she probably wasn’t over 40 pounds, and I’m pretty strong. (Hard to remember, she’s now 10 YO, so it’s been quite a while since I had to do this.)

    For the boys, my husband used to have them stand on his feet to make them taller.

    Loved your post!!! Really took me back… LOL

  153. KeldogSeven says:

    My wife taught our son to pee standing up, by putting some Cheerios in the water, and telling him to aim for those. It worked great, props to the Bride.

  154. kella says:

    LOL! I have two girls, I rest my case, I so understand the toilet paper quilting that needs to be done, my girls were also told to keep there hands across their chest or hold on to mummy, I lifted them on and off, would repeatedly say don’t touch ANYTHING!!!!

    Before entering the public toilet area, I used to say we are going into the public toilet and bless their hearts they soon learned to assume the first position, hands together as though they are about to say prayers 😀

    PS and God forbid they want to do a NO2, then its toilet paper quilt and enough toilet paper in the toilet to prevent splash back, ugh! I hate public toilets >:(

  155. Emma says:

    I wonder if noise cancelling headphones would allow my son’s classmate to pee at school. I’ll suggest it to her mom. I could use them myself on airplanes – those things are scary loud!

  156. Rachel says:

    So funny…so true. I mean, you already want to vomit just by walking in there.
    On road trips we know the bathrooms to avoid, and which are safe…safer!

  157. Thalita Dol says:

    I have a daughter.
    The main problem with public toilets here is toilet paper.
    As in no toilet paper at all. They almost NEVER have any toilet paper, and it is really complicated.Usually I try the standing on the toilet position. The last time the pee came out to the front instead of going down… And as I’m in front of her, holding her, you can image where all that pee ended, right?

    hugs from Brazil!

  158. Annie says:

    I have not laughed so hard as I did reading this… As a mum to a 4 year old girl, I could relate, but also as a mum to a 10 month old boy, I have some idea what to expect!!

  159. Liz Benbrooks says:

    Nettie- I just said up-thread that I was thinking about getting the headphones for just that reason. Will do it!

  160. Sarah O says:

    I just bring cleaning wipes and wipe down the toilet.

  161. Gail says:

    Girls are so much easier. When ever we ventured out my daughter would wear a dress or skirt so she could just take off her panties, stand on the seat and squat.

  162. Lara says:

    I have two boys and have been through this. Now I have a baby girl and I’m afraid of what it will be like!

  163. May says:

    Y hasn’t anyone brought clorox wipes (the “togo” sized 1’s) in their bags with them 2 WIPE THE TOILET so it can be used by urself OR ur children? 4 little girls, remove the panties n put it in ur pocket, when their finished make them stand on the seat & put the undies back on! – IT’S FEMALE BATHROOMS THAT’S DISGUSTING…I DONT KNOW HOW THESE WOMEN R USING THE DAMN TOILETS BUT THEY’RE JUST POINTING THEIR ASSES 2 THE WALL N CRAPPING OR PISSING ALL OVER THE BOWL & FLOOR LIKE MEN. Remember when it was women’s bathrooms was beautiful & clean…now it’s the MEN’S BATHROOM that’s nice (had 2 go really bad 1 nite & an attendant let me use it & made sure no one came in). HOW SAD the tables have turned!

  164. Toni says:

    That’s what I did. The mantra was “point your peepee down”. He peed sitting until he was 4 1/2 and decided one day to do it standing up (probably my husband or fil said something to him about it, but I’ll probably never know for sure). WAY easier, in my mind, than teaching a 2 yo to aim!

  165. Amy says:

    Little kids? Now I can use the public bathroom again! I hate when those things flush mid-pee. Like I don’t have enough to worry about squatting and hoping I don’t hit anything on the seat.

  166. Erin says:

    How about when you have to go and they are constantly trying to open the door? My second favorite is when it is that time of the month and they are screaming at the top of their lungs “WHY IS THEIR BLOOD IN THE TOILET”. Lovely.

  167. Erin says:

    Ooops, I meant “there”. Tired momma.

  168. Winnie says:

    I have a portable bathroom in my SUV. Ikea potty, wipes, books and plastic bags (for poops) So much easier to dump a potty full of pee by a nearby bush than to deal with gross rest-stops and public toilets. I know my trunk isn’t carrying disease. 🙂

  169. Niki says:

    And had you included a second child in your public potty stall you would have an entirely more disgusting drawing…diapered toddler who doesn’t understand no hands on the rim or no crawling on the urine soaked floor.

  170. bronwyn says:

    Now imagine this scenario: 2 year old as you know Miss Independent I-want-to-do-it myself, the above mentioned tiny butt and a long drop toilet 🙂 Public toilets definitely the enemy.

  171. Melanie says:

    I must be the only person on the planet who is not scared to sit on a public toilet. I do wipe the seat with TP first. Someday I’m going to ask a doctor if it’s really possible to get sick in any way shape or form from sitting on the toilet. I can’t imagine how you would. I’m sure it’s much more likely that you’ll get sick from germs on the sink than germs on the toilet. My theory is that the only way pee gets on a seat in the womens bathroom is when women do the hover-over-the-toilet thing. If women would just stop the hovering, there wouldn’t be pee on the seat to worry about.
    I taught my son to pee sitting down, and at 6 1/2 he still does that most of the time. My husband also pees sitting down some of the time, and he is not a mamas boy; he does more work around the house than I do. If your kid gets made fun of by another boy, tell him to point out that the other boy has no business watching him pee anyway.

  172. lisa says:

    I guess we’re lucky here in New Zealand, most toilets at the big malls have a mums & bubs stall in the large restrooms, with a tiny baby toilet which solves all those problems.

  173. Emily says:

    My firstborn was scarred for life (well, maybe only 3 years…) by a malfunctioning autoflush toilet, which went off sporadically, right when she was perched on it. She screamed every time we went into a public restroom for the next 3 years… I ended up finding out where all of the non-autoflush toilets in the tri-state area were, so that we could go to a “regular” toilet so that she could actually be persuaded to use it!

  174. Cathy Heinz says:

    My daughter was so scared of public toilets she would literally hold it all day. That was particularly horrible when we were traveling. Then she went through a phase where she would only go to the bathroom if my husband was in there with her. You can imagine what happens during work days. She was able to hold it, but it hurt me just watching her.

  175. Karen says:

    My daughter has auditory sensitivities. We use post it notes and I bought a pair of ear protectors to muffle noises in public bathrooms. Got them on Amazon. Cute blue ones. She calls them her IPODS. We put them on anytime we are using a public bathroom which seems to have solved the problem. The automatic flushers are the worst!

  176. Kara says:

    Oh how I love you for thinking just like me…this is absolutely horrifying to me. I am scared of potty-training for this very reason.

  177. Rebekah says:

    I am just beginning potty-training my toddler so this blog was PERFECT! I laughed and laughed and so did my husband 😀

    Am I allowed to post links? Cause I think this:

    Would be awesome for your friend 🙂

  178. Becky says:

    I love your blog and this post, but please, please, please, for the love of all of us, please don’t hover above toilet seats. All that does is spatter your urine on the seat and the floor.

    It’s important to wash your hands after using a public toilet if you want to minimize the risk of picking up something nasty there. But hovering only makes the floor and toilet nasty.

    Yes, I put my 3yo daughter right smack on the toilet seat and help her balance while she goes. 🙂

  179. Senectus says:

    Ugh, My son cant help but run up and GRAB THE TOILET RIM with his bare hands…

    I hate having to take him in there, I’m not a fussy clean paranoid type but that is just gross

  180. J Wheeler says:

    I carry post its for my kids it covers the sensor so i have both hands to help them

  181. Lisa says:

    There’s a trick for fast pees with boys in a public bathroom. I’m hoping it tranlates to writing well enough…it’s one of those “gotta see it” tricks. Lol. Pull your son’s pants down to his knees/calves, wrap your left arm around his chest from the left side of his body & your right arm around his knees from the right side of his body. Lift & aim. Lol

  182. Angela says:

    LOL…My little guy pulled the handle to have a tampon drop out of the dispenser (I didn’t notice it) until he ran out of the bathroom ahead of me and showed his dad the “cool torpedo they give away in the mommies bathroom.” We laughed so hard…

  183. melissa says:

    Note to self: Do not drink wine before reading your posts. I’m dying over here!

  184. Heather says:

    My 6 yo in Kindergarten still goes sitting down unless there is a urinal available. At his school there are individual toilets so he is not teased. Plus once they are in the stall, who is to know.

  185. Angelle says:

    I used this potty seat: with both of my girls. You fold it up afterward and put it back into its ziploc bag. It was a LIFESAVER. Will be having my son use it backwards sitting when he first learns.

  186. Melly says:

    So glad to know I am not the only one who dreads the public toilet. I was even considering packing those sterile cleaning wipes in my bag along with the toilet seat. My little girl likes to grab the bowl and peer inside… *sob*

  187. Sarah says:

    I used to hold my son over the toilet superman style. It worked for him for some crazy reason. Now my 22 month old has decided he wants to pee on the potty, too, especially when we’re in public. And he must sit on the seat, rear facing, touching every nasty, germy surface possible. This is the same kid who chews on his shoes when he’s in the car and I can’t reach him. I’m horrified just thinking about it. I guess he should have a great immune system…

  188. Leonie says:

    I love my local shopping centre. In the baby change room it has a kids toilet next to an adult one.My daughter loves sitting next to me and yelling “Mummy! We are doing it together!!”

  189. Suzie says:

    Thank goodness! I thought something was wrong with my kids! So good to know, we aren’t alone!

  190. anne says:

    I am blaming you for the sudden rise of my sleeping baby on my lap…FUNNY FUNNY STUFF!!!! and oh soooooo true!!

  191. Angie says:

    That is so my life with boys!!!! Perfectly said

  192. Annie says:

    best trick ever!!!!

  193. julie says:

    Hilarious. I’m ridin’ that diaper train as long as I can. So far, my 20 month-old just alerts me when she poops. By alert, I mean, she grabs her butt and says, “poop.” Pretty obvious 🙂

  194. Dana J. says:

    I love your posts and pictures!.I had my sons stand on my feet.

  195. Jenni says:

    I had both a folding potty seat and a fold-up step-stool that I carried in the diaper bag/everything bag during that phase! Wish I had known about the post-it notes…

  196. This is awesome…I remember those days. I had 3 boys, then finally a girl. I was totally unprepared for the difficulty of girls in public restrooms. Said girl is now 8 and does well on her own. I miss having little ones, but not the enemy…no, not the enemy.

  197. sara says:

    I think you have managed to find the one upside to my son being a late potty trainer. He’s really tall for his age, so by the time he was potty training, he was tall enough to pee pee without having to touch his bits on the potty!

  198. Stacy says:

    And don’t forget this nifty bonus….I have 4 kids ages 1 to 6. So when my 6 year old has to potty in public, they ALL go in with me. My 1 year old crawling all around the nasty floor. My 2 year old touching everything he can get his little hands on, and my 4 year old begging to flush…with her bare hands. YUCK!!!

    Stacy @

  199. Corey says:

    To the parents of kids who are afraid of autoflush: are you freaking serious? It’s cool, it’s a gadget, make a game of it. Your kids are wimps.

  200. You forgot the worst part — the stupid split in the toilet seat. If the child sits like you and I would, their little legs go smack into the split thus touching the disgusting toilet seat rim. The best option is to have the child sit sideways on the toilet. If you are in the handicapped stall they can hang onto the bar — just be sure to wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Oh, and yes for either boy poopers or girls you have to get one leg out of their pants so there legs aren’t locked together.

  201. It’s not so much the seat as it is the rim below the seat. There in lies the biggest problem for little boys. The darned split in the seat allows for lots of gross build up on the rim and somehow poop splatters and other nastiness gets on the underside of the seat and on the rim as well. It’s pretty gross!

  202. Carolyn says:

    Our daughter is newly potty trained. Of course with newly potty trained comes the FASCINATION with public restrooms. Even if she doesn’t have to go, she wants to go check it out. We had my husband’s birthday dinner the other night and I think she visited the restroom about 6 times (did something once). And the non-autoflush toilets are a nightmare too b/c our lil’ blossom is adamant that SHE flushes the toilet. This means squeezing between a stall wall and the toilet to reach the lever. I usually try to hover her so she can flush. Oh and then pull her quickly away in case there’s any backsplash. Hoping this little obsession ends soon.

  203. I’m almost crying at the female bathroom part. That is so true!

  204. I laughed at that one too, Tarina.

  205. megan says:

    I potty trained my son sitting down but when he started standing up to pee it became interesting to get him to pee without touching the toilet like your illustration shows. My solution was to have him stand on top of the toilet so no germs touch any body parts. I found it actually easier for him to stand then sit and have to push his penis down or worse yet take his pants and undies off.

  206. I’ve heard of people carrying Post-it Notes in their purses to cover the sensors.

  207. Caryn L says:

    Boys do NOT have to stand up to pee. Boys can sit down to pee. My husband always sits down to pee, and so does my boys. This way, we have no “put the seat down” issues. I am so glad that my husband’s mom taught him to pee sitting down and that it is the way he likes it!

  208. All of this stuff is so totally true. I’m crying after reading this and my kids think I’ve gone mad.

  209. Jen says:

    BEST POST EVER!!!!!!!! I laughed my pants off 😉 This is also enlightening as I am about to potty train my 2 yr old daughter. Maybe I need to carry a potty in my purse as well 🙂

  210. Joanne says:

    My 2.5 year old daughter is terrified of public bathrooms too. The flush is always too loud and intense. I think she’s used a public bathroom maybe 6 times and it’s always with the promise that we won’t flush it until she’s left the vicinity. But even then there’s only a 0.01% chance she’ll actually use it. She’ll hold it for hours if she has to. UGH.

  211. After a similar experience with my oldest, I invested in one of these for my youngest:

    It was brilliant for both public toilets and the “I need a POO!” situations when you have to make a quick roadside stop (son’s, not mine. I can hold it!)

  212. Madi says:

    OMG! I LOVE this!!! haha LOVE the drawings! This is awesome! Should be published or something lol

  213. abby says:

    I just stumbled on your blog through the blog links of another blog. I shouldn’t even be reading blogs right now, but here I am laughing hysterically (and trying to do so quietly!). Hilarious! And I can completely relate to this. Completely.

  214. Sue O says:

    My husband just read this post with me and wants me to share his strategy (which actually does work well). He pulls our son’s pants and underwear down to above the ankle/mid calf. With one arm/hand – he reaches around our son’s chest and with the other hand he reaches between our son’s legs and holds onto the pushed down pants/underwear, and lifts him up. This puts our son in “flying” position above the toilet with his penis angled down at the bowl. Easier to hold a kid and aim properly in this position than dangling him above the bowl. I do have a collapsible step-stool that I carry in my larger bag, but if I dont’ have that with me the “fly” postion angle works well.

    However – even with the pee thing handled…….what drives me crazy is the kids desire to TOUCH everything…..the sanitary napkin disposal bins, the toilet, the floor, the garbage can. YUCK. Our son is recently potty trained, and we have a 16month old girl who just wants to run around the bathroom and touch everything while I am trying to deal with boy peeing. GROSS. Must remember to bring stroller to lock in baby girl while boy is using public toilet.

  215. Sue O says:

    I just posted the same “flying” pee strategy (did not see yours first….sorry for the duplication – but it does work!)

  216. Andrea says:

    I think it is a girl problem, since they have to lean forward to balance so as not to have to support themselves with their hands on the seat. Not only is it the noise, but the autoflush also splashes them on the butt.

  217. kimira says:

    Refreshing in a very grossy sort of a way

  218. Luci says:

    I have experienced the horror of a potty trained child in a public restroom. But my horror with automatic toilets is worse (I live with me all the time). I am so happy my friend posted this on facebook, because I didn’t know about the post-it note trick (I did know the toilet paper trick, but that doesn’t work when the sensor’s on the wall). I can now pee anywhere without toilets flushing underneath me!

  219. John says:

    The public toilet is the enemy!yep

  220. carolinagirl says:

    I have mastered the art of aiming my son, since he has the height problem and I don’t want him resting his stuff on the bowl. I lay his chest on one arm and hold his legs with another and tilt him. It looks crazy, but does the trick and is more accurate than lifting and hoping the urine will go near the bowl.

    The things we do.

  221. Betsy says:

    I read this post to my husband, who pretty much laughed through the whole thing. He said, “Yes, that’s why I used to let him pee on the floor of the corner of the stall.” I had no idea he did that! Men!

  222. Kj says:

    I’d like to see you illustrate my public bathroom story….
    Three and half year old dear daughter announces she needs the bathroom en route to shoe shopping. Speedway my way down the concourse at the mall with said daughter, while one hand pushing stroller with six month old, balancing diaper bag on other hand. I turn the corner to see cleaner woman lock the only women’s bathroom within striking distance who was witness to my mad dash. Plan B: Enter men’s bathroom next door. It’s empty (thankfully). Get daughter’s knickers down by her ankle position her & she bucks because of auto flash. Desperate, last ditch effort I move daughter to the urinals (no auto flash, and they looked like mini sized toilets). I hold her up, position her. …And she decides to poop. Clean up poop with the six months old only diaper. Get daughter dressed discover the pee before the poop hit her pants because she couldn’t “lean forward”.

    I think we finally made it to shoe store — right when little brother decided he needed to be fed, right there, right then. Have no idea if shoes were ever bought that day. But I have a funny memory to retell one day…

    But YES public toilets suck for the newly trained. Boy or girl. And why….why, why do those darn soap dispensers never work at the sink you’ve hoisted your wriggly toddler up to?

    Great post. MDe me laugh.

  223. Sue says:

    I am SOOOOOO glad my kids are past this stage! At least here in Australia shopping centres and public venues are starting to catch on to the family bathroom so that either mum or dad can take the kids. If you are really lucky some of them even have an adult and a child sized toilet too, my kids love them lol. I only have girls but my husband sits down to pee and I don’t really see what’s wrong with that. I don’t know that I’d be too keen on a female version of a urinal with public squatting so why should men have to?

  224. Alison says:

    I once pointed out to my husband that there was pee all down the outside front of the toilet and he needed to watch what he was doing. His response? “How do you know you didn’t do it? ”

  225. TC says:

    1. Re. the TP quilt: why do single sheets? I just pull out a length long enough to fold over and double layer it cause: a) it’s much faster and b) let’s face it, 1 layer of TP or even seat covers won’t protect you from, well, crap.
    2. Re. Post: it’s too fancy and you won’t always have / remember it. Again, just pull out a long length of TP to fold over and double layer and drape over f & b of sensor cause again, 1 layer of TP isn’t exactly the most: a) opaque of materials (so sensor can’t “peak” thru) and b) heavy of materials (so it won’t fall off due to a vent coming on or you / child moving around).
    3. If seat’s nasty, not even 2-layer TP will do. You’ll need to stand / squat or clean off with wet & dry paper towels or if not avail, a big wad of TP first.
    4. I’m a man and I think all men should pee sitting on a toilet at all times. Haven’t seen toilet / urinal yet that prevents splattering on floor and / or peerer at all times when standing even w/ proper aiming esp. if high flow rate (not always obvious, but *any* amount is too much).

  226. Karen says:

    Oh. My. God. Too funny! I also used to carry a toilet.. except it wasn’t the portable potty seat, it was a full-on potty. We had to wrap it in a plastic bag then bring an extra bag to go around the potty once it had been used so pee wouldn’t leak onto the stroller. It sounds super gross and is but it was the only thing we could do because my daughter developed a fear of the portable (folding) potty seat that collapsed while she was on it, plunging her halfway into the bowl before I grabbed her. Fortunately, I always sort of half held her up anyways out of habit from the days I lifted her over the toilet. I’ve gone back to that now because I refuse to haul a potty with me and my daughter is a tiny runt that doesn’t weight that much for 29 months.

    You always make me laugh so hard. Foot herpes… LOL! Every time I look at a toilet, I’m gonna think of you now.

  227. sunny says:

    No one has mentioned the horror of the split seat in most public bathrooms! What is the reason for that? My little girl couldn’t straddle it without getting her legs on the yucky rim. I had her sit on the side for years.

  228. TC says:

    5. If cheap narrow TP, you’ll need to put 2 double-layer strips down overlapping each other cause strip won’t be wide enough to cover the seat.
    6. Make sure kids pull pants / undies down close to ankles (but above bottom of shoes contaminated from walking on nasty restroom). Otherwise, they have tendency to leave near knees which w/ their short legs don’t provide clearance from toilet leaving them touching contaminated front of the toilet esp. in men’s rooms w/ the gap in the front of the seats exposing the peed – on rims.

  229. Kris says:

    I have boy/girl twins, who, no matter if we go before we leave the house, always have to “go BAD” as soon as we get to the store. I suspect they think it’s fun. It’s not. It’s hell. Though, the boy has managed to pee while being dangled at times…(ok, I just peed a little when I coughed, what the hell. >.< )

  230. TC says:

    Was it cause her pants / undies were near her knees forcing her legs together? 1) I had my girls pull them down just above their shoes so they won’t touch the potentially / probably contaminated toilet (or the bottom of their shoes for that matter). 2) Just in case, I also drape a long strip of TP folded over (double-layered) in the gap in the seat.

  231. Anne Schilde says:

    Haha, I understand now why I’m so frikkin traumatized by public toilets.

  232. Michele says:

    I completely HORRIFIED a group of new mommies that I’d joined when I had my 2nd – all their precious liddle genius bambini were about 1.5 yrs and starting to notice the potty, and the moms were doing their victory laps around the idea of soon being diaper-free, and I (the jaded mother) said “Oh jeez, don’t rush it. You’ll be wiping their butts until they’re 5 anyway.” Parade, meet rain.

    Having 2 daughters, I am a master at the seat wipe-down, the seat cover-up, and the patented Potty Hug (which keeps their tiny little bottoms from falling into the bowl). I also don’t let them wipe themselves in the public stall until they are old enough to do a decent job washing hands afterwards – until then, they touch NOTHING – and I mean N.O.T.H.I.N.G., and I wipe them and then wash my hands thoroughly, and then we both get a Purell dose for good measure. And yearly tetanus and hepatitis boosters to boot. 😉

  233. Heather says:

    Recently, my 6 year old son said to me, “Mama, do you use those poop slides on the potty?” At first, I laughed…thinking that “Oh, the things kids say!” thought. Then, my mama sense kicked in- reverting my inner state to the nervous panic spectrum. I later discovered that my husband has my son use those paper toilet shields provided in bathrooms instead of the elaborate tp collage technique. Apparently, the center piece that you press out functions as a “slide”, preventing the poop from creating the cannon ball (water splashing back up) effect. I never considered this built-in…um…feature before. Not sure if I’m sold, but I’m glad to hear my husband is also dutifully weighing all the intricate details of the public bathroom nightmare 🙂

  234. Sabbio says:

    Oh how I understand you! Public toilets are my pet fear ^^’ and just like you we a shoes-off household by the way ;))

    So well I most of the time take my two children right next to a bush or tree ^^’

  235. StartingOver says:

    Here in Finland many bathrooms have a shower spray gun next to the toilet, which is handy. You can spray off the seat, and rinse the bum too.

    My DH and son pee sitting down at home, and I never have to worry about the seat being up or pee everywhere.

    They can pee standing up at public urinals. Embarrassment or making fun-of problem solved.

  236. Bouqui says:

    This is hilarious!
    I didn’t have time to read through all of the comments, so I apologize if someone has said this already. We got a portable toilet seat after I saw my friend use it.
    It folds away into a ziplock bag to keep in your diaper bag. It resizes the toilet for their tiny bums and no one ever has to touch the public toilet. It’s the best investment I ever made. Both my boys learned to pee sitting down on it on public toilets.

  237. Cristal says:

    So true!!!LOL

  238. Cristal says:

    We call the common obsession to visit every nasty potty the “Public Restroom Tour of America.” But we mostly avoid it by the potty in the van (or trunk) trick.

    My son-who touches and tastes [gag] everything has to “put his hands on his hair” when we go in public restrooms (hands on your head didn’t work-he’d touch his face [gag again]) and will now ask “Is this public?” The metal disposals make such great musical noise don’t they?!?

    Comically, he walked under an auto hand blowdryer at Ikea and it scared him to death. I couldn’t help but laugh-poor kid! How do I stop those? I got the autoflush toilet tricks down…LOVE this blog!!!

  239. Samarium says:

    Have you ever had to use the port-a-potty? Filthier, smellier, smaller. Traumatic.

    A typical day at my house:
    me: we have to go to the store. Please go potty before we leave.
    preschooler: I don’t have to.
    me: just go. Even if it is just a little trickle. please.
    preschooler: I’m empty.
    After a 15 minute drive to the store, we park the car and preschooler informs me she has to pee. Really?

    thanks for the chuckles, crappy mommy. You rock!

  240. My daughter is 4. She has been potty trained for a long time, but she is terrified of public toilets. I can not emphasize this enough. She cries, she hyperventilates, she falls on the floor of what ever nasty bathroom we are in and claws at the door to get out. Once out side she takes a deep breath and in a very calm voice says. “I know it’s silly to be afraid of a potty mommy, but I just am” Then she pees herself.

  241. Great post! My daughter decided she wanted to begin potty training at 18 months and she’s small for her age. Uck. I never thought I’d become one of “those moms” who has a “potty” in the minivan (never thought I’d drive a van either!) This is why I designed my own reusable (and washable) toilet seat cover which generously drapes over the sides of the toilet. Now my kids’ little hands can “grab” the edge of the toilet but have a nice water proof barrier between them and the enemy. :p The covers fit into a small, water-proof pouch for easy access. Check out On the Go covers at .

    Glad I’m not the only one who thinks this way!

  242. Lisa McKay says:

    A month ago I brought my nine week old baby boy back to where we live at the moment, in Northern Laos. I cannot wait to experience this phase in bathrooms here in Asia. Oh yeah.

  243. This is exactly what I am dreading. We live in Indonesia right now and they don’t have Western toilets…they have a hole in the ground. We call them squatty potties. They also don’t have TP. They use water from a hose which means the floor is covered in water. Not a good combination when you’re trying to stay clean and dry! I think I’m going to keep my daughter in diapers until we move back to the States!

  244. Alison says:

    I have a daughter who is 5 and I still won’t let her use a public toilet alone. She may be 16 before I allow that! The patchwork toilet paper quilt is our usual MO, but about 30% of the time as I’m lifting her up to sit on it, her legs brush against the toilet paper and it all falls off the seat JUST as her butt is about to make contact. It takes real skill to plant her butt on the seat only touching toilet paper. My son, on the other hand, is 2.5 years old and totally not interested in the potty. Thank god!!! I will keep him in diapers as long as possible. I love diapers.

  245. Sharon says:

    Having two boys, I found carrying paper cups in my purse and using them in the stalls works extremely well! Dump out the cup and throw it away. And if we were traveling and they really had to go and there was no restroom in sight, pull over and use the cup. We had a minivan and the could stand inside the van. And we always had wipes with us. Love all the posts! There is strength in numbers! LOL!

  246. Paula says:

    In Taiwan they have dreaded squat pots! You have to dangle your kid over them as their legs are not long enough to straddle the pot. Then whilst trying to hold them over the pot they pee on their knickers or foot. Never good, and a toilet seat won’t help!

  247. Rachel says:

    Ha ha, awesome, I’m cracking up! And this is why I also carry a little fold out potty around.

  248. Heather C says:

    Yes! My four year old is terrified of those toilets. He has his fingers jammed in his ears before we even make it inside. Which means pee is sprayed everywhere. Which is why I hover in public restrooms. Oh, and the eight year old refuses to use a “girls” bathroom and wants to go to the mens room BY HIMSELF.

  249. Kim Q says:

    You are going to get me in trouble at work. I need to stop reading your blog at work. I can see it now, “Uh Kim, why are you laughing hysterically/crying?”

  250. Denise says:

    And don’t forget porta-potties. Taking all the public toilet issues down to a more disgusting and revolting level. I have a boy and girl and I can’t stand taking them to the bathroom in public. Especially together because of how they can’t keep their hands off of everything. Add to that taking them both a porta-potties and I just give up. Hose them down when they are done, what else can you do?

  251. Kelli says:

    I don’t think I left the house when my daughter was still potty training. . . I honestly can’t remember. But ah the boys! We went through the knee to butt propping and this worked alright. Sadly when you take three children anywhere by yourself the bathroom becomes all that much harder. Boy #1 has to pee, Boy #2 tries to wander out of the stall Girl tries to keep him from escaping but then there’s floor touching and screeching. Ah the joy! 😉 Thankfully we have outgrown this stage and most of the time they don’t open the stall door anymore when I’m trying to pee.

  252. Lida says:

    LOL, so familiar!!! I have twin toddler girls, so I have a folding potty seat and a baby-toilet with me at all times. The folding seat is indispensable for public toilets, the best 15 bucks I ever spent.
    We had to poop in the woods the other day during our hike…That was a special kind of fun 🙂

  253. melissa says:

    Thank God. I was afraid only my kids were afraid of autoflush..or flushing in general. I took my oldest when she was newly trained to an amusement park bathroom – no autoflush, but just the prospect of the flush that was coming after she was done…she screamed the entire time. We came out and apparently everyone could hear her screaming. Awesome. Curse those autoflushers – how lazy do we really need to be to not even flush our own waste.

  254. Nikki says:

    LOL glad I am not the only awesome parent who does this *blush* My son has also pee’d in a cup in the carpool line while waiting to pick up his big sister from school. When they gotta go they GOTTA GO!

  255. Jen says:

    This is GREAT. I thought I had it easy until I had a daughter. My son, who is tall…I could get him in and out of the public bathroom without touching a thing. I would hold his hands behind his back and make him shimmy up to the toliet and pee. Then, along came my little girl. She insists on sitting on the toliet — BACKWARDS — and touches every single inch of the top and sides of the toliet. I literally have to bath her in the sink.

  256. Tanya says:

    I have a son and daughter and my biggest fear to this day is the port-a-potty. We go to the local hot air balloon festival every year and the restrooms consist of rows of port-a-potties. Although it’s at a park, it’s too crowded to go find a tree or a secluded spot. I’m terrified that one of my kids will have to go number two when we’re there and I won’t know how to handle that. (They are 4 and 7 now.) Somehow we haven’t had a disaster yet.

    I remember the pain of having a newly potty-learned child and taking them to a public restroom. Some things that have helped are having a folding soft potty seat in my purse (keeps them from falling in and eliminates any part of them touching the disgusting toilet). This is the one we had: Also, my son learned to pee sitting down until he was about four yrs old. And I have a friend who keeps a potty in the back of her SUV for her 4 yr old. It’s the kind that uses a big ziploc bag to hold the pee–and poo, I guess–and she just saves it until they can find a trash can where she can throw it away when no one is looking. My four year old has even used it a couple of times when we’ve been at a park where the bathrooms were closed for the winter, so I can attest to the fact that it does come in handy. Also, it’s great for road trips.

  257. Suzy says:

    Amen!! My kids are more afraid of automatic toilets than they are of publically wetting themselves and me yelling at them in public. That’s fear!!

  258. freerangebabies says:

    I prefer my boys to pee seated too. To point the penis down, spread the legs wider and it’ll drop down. A little trick a mom taught me before I was lucky enough to have boys of my own. 🙂 But standing up to pee is a vital skill for when all you’ve got handy is a tree.

  259. Tanya says:

    Oh, and I also dread the day my daughter needs to use the bathroom on an airplane. Ugh!

  260. Anita says:

    Even though I have a boy, I have experienced both scenarios. Brendan wouldn’t stand at first, so I carried his potty seat with us once. When he had to go I dutifully went to the car and got it (my purse is too small to carry it with me…plus I thought it’d be gross) and took it into the store. Put it on the toilet, and set Brendan on it. Thinking what a great mom I am, as he starts peeing I quickly realize that those public toilets with the split in the front of the seat means a seated boy will squirt all the pee underneath the potty seat and right out the front between the gap! He soaked his underwear, pants, and the floor. I had to carry his wet clothes and a half-naked two year old all the way to the car (which was parked a ways away). Good thing it was summertime…

  261. I’ve yet to dive right in to public potty training but seriously am considering those potty seats.

    This made me laugh so hard. Thanks.

  262. Seriously, diapers are the way to go. LOL 🙂

    My 3.5 year old is just now starting to want to pee standing up. We taught him the sitting down style, so yeah we’ve dealt with both…And I have the purse potty!

  263. Carrie says:

    This reminded me of when Landon (3rd kid) was just a wee lil thing. I still had to use the changing table. Triston and Dakota (1st and 2nd kid) would follow me into the bathroom if they had to take a whiz. With lil boys, as soon as air hits them, this is when they take a pee. I have 2 older boys needing to go pee. They would not go into the stall without me. Dont know why, they just wouldnt. I carefully pull back a piece of the diaper to check for poop to make sure I dont need wipes too. Coast is clear. Just pee. This time. “Mommy I gotta pee!” *pee dance* I am trying to hurry. Unbuttoning Landons clothes, pulling the tabs to take the diaper off …. then ….. *flush*. Landon lets out a horrific “Whaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!” because the vicious toilet in stall number one flushed and scared him. Apparently scared him so bad … he whizzed. All. Over. Mommy. -_-. Lovely. We just got to Wally-World. Not even done the shopping yet and I got pee on me. When I finally get Landon calmed down and change him and take the kids to the stalls so they can do their business, I then go out the bathroom and just hold Landon up to his Daddy and say, “here.” lol. (and the way I was holding him … it was like the way Rafiki was holding up Simba in The Lion King.) lol.

  264. suzanne says:

    Worse, when the autoflush doesn’t work and people don’t flush! Hasn’t anyone but me figured out how to flush them manually? Push the little round button, or hold your hand close in front of the sensor until the flashing light goes solid or goes off or changes it’s blink timing, then pull your hand away.

  265. Elizabeth W. says:

    You forget one thing – the automatic flushing toilets. They can set back pottery training and put the newly potty trained back in diapers for years.

  266. Kris says:

    I guess there is an up side to my son being almost 4 and not quite potty trained – at least he is tall enough for most toilets!

  267. This is too funny, and accurate!! However, with a seven year old, twin four and a half year old boys, and a two and a half year old boy, I think I still win. 🙂

  268. Reynolda says:

    I blush to admit I actually carry one of those little wee Baby Bjorn potties in my car with me. When my older daughter was little I just put the tiny potty in the back of my Subaru wagon and then when she was done poured the pee into bushes. Taking her into a public restroom, home to auto-flushing and blow drying horror, resulted in screaming, tears, and her just holding it. She could handle me going if I was wearing her in my Ergo, but trying to get her to go was torture for us both.

    Now, at four and a half, she can handle public restrooms if I prevent auto-flushing, but still nostalgically requests “the little car potty.”

    And no, if she pooped, I didn’t dump that in the bushes. I might be awful but not that bad! 😉 I had a Method for that contingency.

  269. Bonnie says:

    LOL…I have a girl and a boy. My daughter is 10 now but the potty training days with public toilets were a nightmare! Either way, boy or girl…bring the toilet, lol!!

  270. Sam says:

    When my husband and I were dating, I forced him to start sitting, because if there was any mess at all, I handed him a rag and he had to clean it up (unheard of in his mother’s house, she did it all). When our boys were born, they were taught only to sit while peeing. “In this house, everyone sits to pee” has been the speech, with all of our exchange students (6 boys), all of the friends, everyone. I have no shame. When my son’s friends come over and the girls can hear them stand to pee, they shout out, “HEY! Boys have to sit and pee in this house!”

  271. Wendy Irene says:

    This had me laughing SO HARD! I keep a toilet lined with a diaper in my car for my little girl because ever since I got rid of the diaper bag I refuse to have a big purse. Too funny!

  272. Hannah says:

    I do the same thing. I have very good biceps now.

  273. Hannah says:

    I made the mistake of asking my sister-in-law to take my just-potty trained 2 year old daughter to the public bathroom one time. She put her directly on the seat (which totally freaked dd out because she almost fell in) and didn’t cover the flushing sensor. It took almost 6 months to get over that one.
    Another thing…be careful in home improvement stores when you have a newly trained toddler along. When my brother was three, he disappeared at Menards for a few minutes. When my mom found him, he was just finishing up his business on a display toilet. Yup, we are NEVER going to let him forget this one.

  274. Arctic_rose says:

    I have no idea what this magic purse toilet is…please give details!!

  275. jill says:

    I must be the only person that just lets their kid sit on a public toilet.

  276. Wow, I’ve never gotten so many replies to a comment! LOL. But Heather, I think that’s my thought too…before they get too big, they’ll figure out the standing thing and not get teased, right? When they’re 2, just sit and point! Of course, my boy is only 14 months right now so I have no idea what I’m talking about. 🙂 Glad for all this advice, though!!

  277. Stella says:

    I always had my boys stand on my feet. It raised them up just enough plus I was in the right position to help them aim appropriately!

  278. Mrs Johnson says:

    We do not have any children, and we have never had to deal with children in a public restroom. But I have to tell you that this was the most hilarious blog post I’ve seen in some time. Who would have thought about the automatic flusher from a child’s perspective? I simply must start traveling with disposable surgical gloves. Oh the filth, the yuk, the absolute terror of the public restroom!

  279. Carrie Dadey says:

    I also make my boys taller by allowing them to stand on my feet when they have to pee in public. My baby is so scared of the LOUD extra powerful hand dryer that he will not go into bathrooms with them, and if it our only choice, he holds his ears the whole time he is going, which means I have to aim for him. Lord, I cannot wait until he outgrows some of this stuff!

  280. muddledmom says:

    I was so glad when I no longer had to carry that seat around! I have a boy and girl and they were both terrible. They are now 8 and 6. Boys are easier now because of the urinal, but girls can’t squat for a very, very long time. So funny about the puddles too. I just posted about that myself on our Thanksgiving trip. Glad to see you are back!

  281. Lenore says:

    My son is only 21 months old, but he is HUGE. He is tall, he is big, he is heavy… like his daddy, he is a BIG GUY. He weighs 32 pounds! And he’s really difficult to carry. Everybody who meets him thinks he’s like two and a half, or something. I dread when he gets potty trained, because I just think of how difficult it will be to lift him up to pee, etc. So I was just wondering… can you please ask your friend a question for me? WHERE DO I FIND A TOILET THAT FITS IN MY BAG? I’m seriously interested. lol Thanks! ~Ralph’s mom

  282. appreciative dad says:

    lol, rotfl, and all the other types of laughs you can make looking at a computer monitor!

    as a dad, taking my daughters to the men’s room, and dealing with all that… made only more horrific by air hand dryers (especially those excellerator ones, ya know, the ones that actually work because they blow at like 200 miles an hour, but will scare the pee out of your 2-year old (even as they just peed)?)

  283. Vicki says:

    You always manage to post about things that I have JUST experienced. Just today I had the joy of holding my 2 year old on a (thankfully clean) public toilet while did a poo. I had to keep holding him so he wouldn’t fall in. My arms were falling off but every time I said ‘Finished? Shall we flush the poo?’ He would say ‘More poo! more poo!’ even though I was 90% sure he’d finished. Stalemate.

  284. Maria says:

    My office at school was right across from the bathroom. Often I would hear “Flush” and see a kindergarten boy running out as fast as he could!

  285. diana says:

    Okay this one made me cry I was laughing so hard. I’ve been through the boy scenario but we’re expecting a girl, glad you clued me in on that one! With our son I actually had him stand on my feet and then on his tip toes, he could pee easily without touching the toilet. Only problem is, when he goes #2 it seems that he needs all his clothes off and has to hold onto the rim of the toilet to stay on. Not cool.

  286. diana says:

    Wow! I thought MY child was the only one TERRIFIED of hand dryers! I did the stand on the feet thing with my son as well!

  287. diana says:

    My friend’s husband is really tall..he kneels!

  288. Dee says:

    Yes, my niece initially encountered autoflush toilets during her first visit to Disney World. Terrified of the “beeping flushers”, she had to be taken back to the hotel every time nature called.

  289. stacey says:

    Forgive me for repeating as I only read most of the comments. All hilarious. I stand in front of the toilet and let my son stand on my shoes. Gross for my shoes but better than his parts touching the filth that is a public toilet. And…I’m proud to say that I frequently drive to a woodsy place and just let him pee there. Thankful for boys in that regard.

  290. elina says:

    Haaaaahaaa – those things terrify my kids. They will not pee, WILL NOT pee, in places that have these. I hate them too!!!

  291. elina says:

    Amber – this may be the funniest post yet!!! And I’m loving your truly crappy (and otherwise nasty) pictures!!

  292. Jill R. says:

    My daughter is terrified of the autoflush toilet. Once, when she was 3, the toilet suddenly flushed when she was in mid-pee and she jumped up and proceeded to urinate down her leg. Thank God it was summer, and 1) she was wearing a dress, and 2) she was wearing crocs which I rinsed off in the sink. And, I had a spare pair of underpants in my purse! She is 7 now and still afraid of the autoflush. She makes me go in the stall with her and block the sensor.

  293. Alicia C. says:

    That’s what my husband said. He’s been in charge of all bathroom cleaning since. Don’t screw with Mommy or you’ll be sorry!

  294. I was pretty happy when I discovered the ‘parents’ room at our shopping centre. Small toilet for the 4yo, change table and a playpen (big cage with toys and a play centre on the wall) that I could release the 18 mth old into while I helped the 4yo. Trouble is, 4yo wants to play in the play pen afterwards. For hours. And now every time we go to the shops she remembers and has to pee. Of course, as soon as we get in there she doesn’t have to and just wants to play. Naturally, the one time I refused to take her, she immediately wet her pants- the whole scene being played out in front of a bunch of other shoppers who clearly now think I am some sort of monster 🙁

  295. Annie says:

    This is so true! I have two boys and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve make them pee while I’m dangling them in the air. The alternative is just too gross. They should offer Hazmat showers for mommies and kids leaving public bathrooms! By the way, Ikea is a GREAT place to go to help kids practice using a public bathroom. The bathrooms are spotless and very family-friendly.

  296. Veronica says:

    LOL! I have boys! My boys peed dangling, but I’M SO doing the standing on the rim of the toilet bowl thing next time we go to a disgusting public bathroom! GENIUS! ROFL at the girl pee, because that’s what happens EVERY TIME my boys decide to poop in public. My kids are what you call toilet inspectors. No matter where we are, they instantly have to use the facilities to “inspect the toilets” with MUCH crying and whining about how they have to pee (or worse, poop). Fun times.

  297. Eileen says:

    Autoflush kept my son from potty training until he was almost four! However that might have also been because we lived in Europe and had a wide assortment of toilets that we might encounter on any outing. Squatty potties, chain pulls, bidets, and even simple dirt holes. Finding an autoflush was high livin’ but scary as hell!

  298. Tommy says:

    My sister (who has 3 boys) also discovered the trauma of little girl potty problems. My daughter was in her “No I do it!” phase, and her aunt is quite accommodating. For a little girl to balance herself on a toilet, she needs legs wide open, and in this case, balancing with her hands on the toilet, slightly behind her. Which causes her to lean back a bit. Which re-directs the the urine flow. Which makes squatting down directly in front of the child a strategic no-no. Which my sister learned the hard way….

  299. Ellie says:

    Definitely the worst thing is when you have a mobile and curious 11 month old who’s crusing, and a 3.5 yr old who still needs help. So unless I can physically restrain the baby on the changing table with those straps (because clearly that’s what they’re there for), he’s toddling round the edge of the room until he comes to the bared toilet basin, which he grabs with both hands, the better to peer inside. While his brother pees. I need to practice getting the baby onto my back in the sling, then at least all he can do is tear my hair out while I wipe the other’s bum.

  300. Ellie says:

    No, you’re not, Jill! 🙂 I give it a quick wipe (with a nappy wipe if necessary) and offer my son the choice between sitting and standing. But if it’s a pee, he’ll almost always want to stand anyway. I’m unaware of anyone I know who’s ever caught anything off a loo seat.

  301. Maggie H says:

    I have boys–but boys sit when they poop, so I, too have the potty seat. And the height issue. It’s good times all around!

    How the heck did you take your little boy poop in public without the seat???

  302. Maggie H says:

    We trained our first to go sitting down–did it for a long time before he was ready to stand up!

    Heck, he still pees sitting down if he’s pooping, too!

  303. Dawn S says:

    Mine, too!

  304. Maggie H says:

    OMG I thought my son was the only one who did the loud vs quiet potty thing!

    He always asks–is it a loud potty or a quiet potty, Mommy??

  305. Andrea says:

    Sadly once they clear the toilet height to penis height ratio issue, then they’re faced wit the toilet bowl width to penis length ratio; also critical.

    I remember when my son (now 6) first learned to pee standing up “just like Jackson did in school!!” (See, they learn everything from their friends!)…he would pee on the rim every time…his penis just wasn’t long enough to clear the rim (hence, resting on -eww- and peeing on -eww- the bowl). I asked my husband (since I’m clearly not checked out on that equipment) what our son could do to actually make it in the bowl. Y’know, scoot closer, straddle, I dunno. His response: “Grow a longer @&*#…”. Thanks honey. Big help.

  306. Jen says:

    Hilarious and oh so true!! Still have visions of my son when he was potty training… A successful trip to the bathroom in a restaurant ends with my son SLURPING water off the counter while I’m drying my hands. Potty training my daughter now and want to use diapers SO badly when when we’re out. If I wasn’t a germaphobe before kids, I am now!

  307. sara says:

    I couldn’t help thinking of this post earlier today. After shopping in Target with the toddler and the baby, we go to the little Starbucks/cafe area to eat lunch. Just as I get everyone’s food out and start nursing the baby, the toddler says “I have to go potty.” So, we have to collect our stuff (I tell the barista we’ll be back to finish the food I’m leaving all over the table…we go there at lot so she knows us), and head to the bathroom with the boys. Toddler is wearing his Clifford costume which velcros in the back, so he can’t undo it. I’m holding the baby and have no where to put him, so I somehow have to hold the baby (certainly not putting him down on the bathroom floor) and undress the toddler so he can pee, then get him redressed in the Clifford suit again.

  308. ms burrows says:

    That’s always fun. Once I had a woman stop to scold me about that, informing me that my kid could get rotovirus and die from that. I should have asked her to hold the other one one the toilet for me.

  309. Kate Rose says:

    Hilarious!! I bought the portable potty and would make my son use it in the back of my SUV, instead of using the gas station bathroom. Good times!

  310. twisterfish says:

    So so so funny! Funny because it’s true … and the drawings! Love it!!!!

  311. Shannon says:

    YES, YES, YES!!! My WORST public toilet experience was when my 3yr old son had to poop at Target. I had my 1yr old in the shopping basket, not a stroller, so I had to let him “roam” in the stall while I applied the toilet paper quilt to the seat. Once the pooper was finished, the little one again had to roam while I attempted to wipe the big one. Needless to say, the little one not only touched every disgusting surface in the stall, but also managed to tumble right into the poopy rear! I trashed the clothes and bought new ones. Luckily none of us died from the plague.

  312. Hannah says:

    Oh my word, that’s hilarious! I’d hate to be the person who had to clean the bathrooms that day!

  313. Hannah says:

    Which is why I either take someone shopping with me or I push the whole shopping cart in the bathroom and park it in the handicap stall (providing it’s open!) while I help the other child. Why don’t all bathrooms have those little chairs hanging on the wall with straps?!?! Those are great when you’re by yourself and you have to pee, but you don’t know what to do with the baby.

  314. Hannah says:

    I just spit my soda all over the keyboard…modesty is so not an issue for kids! LOLLL

  315. Hannah says:

    I have had a small Baby Bjorn potty chair in my van for the last two years. Haven’t had to use it in a while, but I am NOT taking it out until the last kid is in high school just in case.

  316. Heather says:

    My son is terrified of the auto-flush toilets, as well as the air dryers. They are so LOUD! He has a complete meltdown if we try to potty in a public restroom. I hope this phase goes away soon. 🙁

  317. Kimi says:

    lol! i remind my girls to this day to “make a bird’s nest” to protect themselves against public toilets.

  318. Astra says:

    I drove around with a little porta-potty in the back of the van for YEARS. It’s gone now 🙂

  319. Gemma says:

    This is my favourite post ever! So funny! Am howling…

  320. Elizabeth says:

    My 5 year old is finally old enough to go in the men’s room without me, but the other day at the library he was in there doing his thing for so god damn long that the automatic LIGHT turned off. Wails, screams, for mama in the, you know, LIBRARY MENS ROOM. public toilets are totally the enemy.

  321. Renee says:

    Oh my, so many moments I can relate to! I have both a boy and a girl (one more girl still in diapers… yippee). My DD is so nice about cleaning up she likes to wipe up public restroom floors with either the paper towel she just dried her (clean) hands on (thus resulting in another hand washing session… we once washed hands 4!!! times before we made it out) or TP in the stall.

    DH has had a couple of the funniest moments. He took DS once as he was learning his letters and DH got to witness this new found skill for the first time as he spelled “K-O-H-L-E-R” on the back of the urinal. The funniest one with DD was him taking her and very carefully laying out the TP on the seat making sure to have every miniscule open spot covered, only to have the automatic flush kick in and suck it all down. Poor guy was so frustrated, but I am sitting here chuckling about it as I type. He has no idea the adventures we have in public – me by myself with my 4 yo DS, 2 yo DD, and 7 month old DD. I think the longest he has ever had all three of them outside of the house by himself was maybe an hour while I was getting an MRI. Come to think of it, he hasn’t really had all 3 of them IN the house either….

  322. Renee says:

    I haven’t seen a response to this so I’ll jump in. I have the potette plus. You can get it on Greatest thing ever! It folds up, can be used free standing, or as a potty seat on a big toilet. It’s fairly inexpensive to buy, but priceless in true life value. I often take 2-3 hour trips by myself with my 3 young (4, 2, 7mos) LOs which makes gas station restrooms darn near impossible (especially since it always happens as one other the other kids falls asleep). I just pull over, they pee/poop, and off we go. Cups and empty water/soda bottles are great to have on hand for little boys too. I have even mastered an empty to-go cup with my 2 yo DD.

  323. RedinNC says:

    Ach… all this talk about how really tiny kids can’t aim down into the toilet… my son was PLENTY tall enough to aim into the toilet by the time he finally deigned to get anywhere near one without screaming. That’s cuz he was 3 1/2.

  324. Jessica says:

    Just read this post yesterday and then today had a public toilet run-in: I was at a “kid-friendly” coffee shop, with a kids play area and everything. So I leave my 4-year-old with my friend and take my 1-year-old to the washroom for a diaper change, assuming there’s a change table in there. Wrong. Just a sub-par toilet and a questionably sticky looking floor. I have to change this poopy diaper! So I end up changing him standing up, while he lunges for the cleaners and the toilet brush that are on the floor by the toilet the entire time. Needless to say I swear quietly all the while. Yes, the enemy indeed!

  325. Amy says:

    I’ve recently been ventured out with my newly trained 2 1/2 year old girl and our newborn. The public washroom was enough to make me seriously consider ever taking a “relaxing trip to IKEA” again! The whole “what to do with the baby” thing, combined with all the above disease/sound horrors. Plus the sweaty mess that results from marathon sprint to the loo from the middle of the showroom when the magic words “I have to go potty” are said! New baby is staying in diapers till she’s five.

  326. Samantha says:

    If you flex your foot so your toes lift off the floor your boy can stand on your foot (while you hold some of his weight with your hands) and be tall enough to pee without standing on the toilet!

  327. hope says:

    Which is why I smile a little smile of vindication every time I go into a public restroom and hear some mommy say, very loudly, through gritted teeth, “Don’t touch ANYthing.” I always gave myself a hard time about my germphobia.

  328. Jenn says:

    We are the good point of potty training. We still do a pull up at night, and possibly long road trips where the possibility of falling asleep is high, but the public toilet is no longer the enemy.

    We also never started out with the whole pee-standing-up thing. We sat Turtle on the bowl backwards. He was facing the “right” way, but still sitting. He’s transitioned nicely to urinals (or so MacGyver tells me, because I don’t go in the men’s room).

    Our biggest foe right now is wanting to visit public restrooms for the purpose of observation. Inevitably, it happens in restaurants, right when I’m about to put a bite of food in my mouth. Sigh.

  329. Lynn says:

    I always used my hand too. Worked every time … for several years as that fear of flushing and splashing mid-pee was not outgrown quickly.

  330. Crystal says:

    This is hysterical! My 6 year old screamed like she was getting murdered because she was afraid of using a composting toilet at the beach in MA. If you look down inside the toilet, instead of a bowl there is a 16″ wide plastic tube that goes down to infinity (literally – you can’t see the bottom). My 3 year old went on it no problem. Go figure.

  331. Lisa says:

    …post-it notes, lysol wipes, earplugs, change of clothes (just in case)… and that’s just for one quick pee… not to mention the other stuff that has to be carried along to the store. No wonder I have shoulder problems now…

  332. Vicki says:

    Oh wow – I was reading this on my phone as I was nursing my baby to sleep (who is not near potty training, thank goodness after reading this…). I was laughing and shaking so hard, I was shocked I didn’t wake him.

  333. JCB says:

    Mine has already been to a therapist over those stupid things – and guess where they are… in her school in the kindergarten potties for pete’s sake – I am not going to survive this!

  334. Kristen says:

    Post it notes to cover the sensor work magic!!

  335. Peg says:

    I loved every second reading this… Thank you!

  336. Srah says:

    Fwiw I have my son stand on my shoes to give him extra height

  337. Laura says:

    hahahaha. My daughter (2) keeps getting my tampons out of my purse, opening them, and running around the house with them. They are NOT toys!

    I’m so glad I’ve had 0 issues with the public potty. My daughter is so obsessed with them, she goes extra while we’re out and about. I’m also lucky both malls have tremendously large family bathrooms with tiny tot sized toilets!

  338. Dturman says:

    I used to stand my son on top of the toilet SEAT. He’d lean forward so he was aiming in the bowl and put his hands on the wall behind the toilet for balance. So the only thing he touched was the wall above the toilet, which surely has fewer germs than anything else in the bathroom.

  339. elin says:

    Wait…I am a new mom. They have fold up toilets for your bag for this purpose now! amazing!

  340. Renee says:

    Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe them 😛

  341. Ceri says:

    best. post. ever. SO true! We have taught our son to sit. They start off sitting on the potty chair why not? And, I am NOT cleaning PEE off the floor! He just points it down. I have MASTERED the strip your pants off, shoes, and straddle. Now, you need to illustrate porta potty. This summer, we had our first accident. He said he had to poop. There was a porta potty at a park. I was by myself. Your pictures make that thing look like I would eat off them compared to what that porta potty was like. We didn’t make it, and he pooped his pants. And I was glad. A parent with a diaper saved us. Then he had to go again 10 min later, again we didn’t make it. I am a bad mom I was walking slow contemplating taking a diaper off in that thing pretending to hurry. He sat in that diaper till we made it home. It took me 2 days to figure out letting son eat fiber one “chocolate bar” = a day of poop. Even though they were very much the same as the granola ones he eats… never again.

  342. Stephanie says:

    Wow, my kids (all 5) are or were obsessed with auto flush toilets and air dryers! I think they compete to see who can make it flush the most! As far as the urinals go, my son would either pee sitting, or I would have a nearby man or one that just exited the men’s room let me know if it was clear so my son could go in while I stood at the door and help if necessary, which was maybe 2 unexpected public poops! I’m sorry for those with scared children, but I’m also a bit jealous 🙂

  343. says:

    This is soooo true and brings back memories of those distant Mommyhood Days. You did a beautiful job humoring the issue! When our five kiddos were small we kept a porta-potty in our van just so our tots did not have to brave public toilets when we were out and about.

  344. Char says:

    I have my 3 year old daughter sit on the side of the toilet instead of the front, if that makes sense. Instead of facing the door, she faces one of the side walls. I also have her put her hands or elbows on her knees to help with balance.

  345. Pam says:

    Oh no. I have a 3 year old son and am all-too-familiar with the toilet height issue . . . but it never, ever occurred to me that it would be even worse once my baby girl is potty trained!!

    Ack ack ack!!!!

  346. Emily says:

    Carry a pad of post it notes with you and stick one over the senser.

  347. Nicole says:

    Yes, this is what we do in our house. We toilet train super early here, so my boys are way too short to reach the potty. Standing on mama’s feet works perfectly. They also sit on the potty quite often, too. And when they’re small enough/light enough, in public, I pick them up with their back to my front, my hands or arms under their thighs/knees facing the toilet so their butt and penis is hanging down and they pee that way–no touching anything.

    And my boys are both afraid of automatic flushers and hand dryers. I usually just lie to them and tell them I turned it off while I just make sure to stand still in front of them while they go. It rarely goes off while they’re on the potty.

  348. Ergh – so true.
    The end of my little boys willy has touched the rim of so many hideous toilets I have nightmares.

    Toilet height just doesn’t take a potty trained toddler into account!

    Great blog as always x

  349. TC says:

    I fixed that by having my girls lean forward while peeing. I think it’s cause they’re too narrow to rest their butts on the seat so they end up ridding low which of course causes them to aim high.

  350. TC says:

    AWESOME idea! Bad enough getting an unexpected bidet – style spray when you’re not on a bidet, but much worse when it’s from a public toilet with poopy water. Ugh!
    I would couple of that with double-layered TP draped over the sensor to you don’t get the unexpected spray from overpowered / poorly designed auto-flushers.

  351. TC says:

    1. Again, who has time for seat cover “quilts” made from single-sheet TP. Just pull 2 long strips of TP, fold them over to double layer them and place one strip on each side of seat. Much faster, easier to adjust / fix (one-piece), more sanitary (thicker) and less likely to slide off (heavier). Useful for sensor covers too. Who remembers to carry Post-It Notes (or wants to lick public TP to make it stick)?
    2. To those recommending sitting backwards, can’t imagine that’s sanitary or even possible. I can’t imagine potty-training aged kids w/ legs long enough to straddle the wider parts of the bowl. At “best” (worst) they’re barely reaching but are touching the sides of the seat and bowl. Ever seen pee / poop splattered on the edges of the seat and bowl or always trust outside of bowl was cleaned thoroughly since it last overflowed?
    3. Have your kids (boys & girls) LEAN FORWARD when sitting. It’ll avoid peeing outside the toilet (split in seat of not) and help keep them from falling in.

  352. JodiTX says:

    With the girls…they hit that “do it myself” stage. The fear is them falling into the nasty water. I’m sure it would look a bit strange to a non-parent to peak through the door to see my daughter with her arms wrapped around my legs and her face buried into my zipper area to hold on! But I insisted since the alternative is to put their hands on the seat. UGH. I did carry a fold up potty seat with me in a cute bag and when I forgot I held them under the legs hovercraft like. I also kept a little potty with a grocery bag or cloth diaper in it in the car for the emergency stops and would tie up and dispose at home. Basically same idea for boys.

  353. Kelly says:

    Too funny! I’ve got 3-year-old boy/girl twins and I have to say that it’s MUCH more of an issue with the boy. I’m happy to see your stand-on-the-toilet advice! For my daughter I just scoop her up so she’s sideways in relation to the toilet, one arm under her knees, one harm behind her back and let her “sit” on my arm (and my elbow is resting on my knees, so as long as she can do her business rather quickly, there’s no problem) Hard to explain…I could probably draw a crappy picture, though not as nice as yours. 😉

  354. Michelle says:

    This is hysterical and very accurate. This is why I keep a potty chair in my vehicle at all times. Don’t forget the toilet paper! My son is 8 and my daughter is 7 but they still use the potty chair rather than the public toilet.

  355. So this is why I’m killing myself to potty train Miss L? &*(#% that!

  356. Bri says:

    Wow! This had to be one of your best posts ever! Love love love that other moms feel the same horror I do when you hear the words “I have to go to the bathroom!”. Me:…noooooooooooo! “Sweetie, can you hold it until we get home?….please?….for mommy? Pleeeeeaaaaaaaasssssseeeeeeeeeee???”.
    Child: “NO! I have to go right now Mommy!”.
    Me: “The gods hate me….okay, where is my quart of antibacterial hand gel, my purse sized Lysol, and my prayer beads. Now tell mommy what the rule is?”
    Child: in a rehearsed voice…”Don’t touch ANYTHING, or Mommy will cry.”
    Me: “Okay, I think we’re ready….keep your hands in you pockets kids and say a prayer….we’re going in.”.

  357. Erin says:

    You neglected to mention the auto-flush that ends up catapulting terrified kiddos off of the seat in mid-pee. I have had to start carrying post it notes to stick on the sensor to avoid wet feet. Eww.

  358. Lorene says:

    Oh my goodness, I nearly wet myself just reading this post. Too funny!!

  359. Heather says:

    This is my favorite post yet. I am terrified of public toilets!

  360. Patti says:

    There is a third option to hovering and the potty in the bag. The folding potty seat ( Ours has care bears on on it and one has a grumpy face so my LO calls the seat ‘grumpy’ so she always asks to take crumpy to the potty, which is pretty funny. Good idea on the post-its on the sensor!

  361. says:

    LMBO!!! It’s been awhile since I’ve had potty training kids or little ones. But I do remember the germ problems AND the fact that dd wanted to visit every. public. bathroom. when we were out doing errands. She loved the hand dryers.

  362. Tiffany says:

    The sit-down pee is way easier than the stand-up pee. My little dude does either – depends on his mood. I should note that once my husband figured out that sitting down to pee meant that he could, well, sit down. . . he joined the party. Not always, but definitely when he’s feeling tired or lazy.

  363. Sabrina says:

    Abolutely, positively. Add in those toilets that flush by themselves and do not see the little girls perched ever so precariously on the edge of the seat…and then flushes the icky water all over my daughter’s parts. UGH. OR, I get smart, do what Kate Gosselin does and wet a piece of TP with my spit and cover the sensor…tadaa, no more icky water sprayed on my girls! My son is now a big boy and goes into the mens while I hawk around at the door talking to him THE ENTIRE TIME. When he was little, he sat down to pee in public and I’m not at all afraid to admit that.

  364. Alicia says:

    We were at a sporting event and my 4.5 year old needed to use the potty. The only option was a row of port-a-pottys and a huge line up of people waiting. When we finally made it to the front of the line, he wanted to go by himself and I was happy to oblige. That is, until his door swung open revealing him SITTING and HOLDING ONTO the potty going #2. Did I mention the crowd of people gathered around the public toilets? HORROR!

  365. Dacia says:

    That is soooo hilarious! I hate public restrooms! It never fails: we have a big cart of stuff and are on the other end of the store when the kids need to go. Then the funtastical (insert sarcasm there) time of trying to manage a baby in one arm while helping the toddler go potty. I get upset because he’s touching EVERYTHING and then he has a melt down and sits on the floor. We try to clean up as best we can at the sink but sometimes I think they are just as dirty. I leave feeling like we all need another bath.
    At least he doesn’t have to completely undress himself to go potty like he used to.
    Is it terrible that I secretly laugh maniacally to myself when we go out as a family and my son always wants daddy to take him potty?

  366. Shannon says:

    Public toilets are the reason that my girls learned to pee behind trees before in a toilet…think road trips…so much easier to stop and pee in the grass than in a nasty truck stop. I was the only one of my “crowd” who was in NO hurry to give up diapers…sure, use em, I’ll wash our cloth diapers as long as needed…much easier than the nasty bathrooms LOL!

  367. Alice says:

    OMG, I have so totally been there, with two boys Potty trained and one girl on the way, I will see the horror from both sides! I’ve even tried to balance my son standing on my knees while I crouch on the floor trying desperately not to fall on my hands or legs… it worked sometimes… I’ve taken one for the team and disinfected my clothes later…
    Thanks for this blog… it’s a laugh a minute!!!

  368. Becca says:

    we do this at home and standing on our feet JUST allow him to reach and someitmes his penis does hit the bowl but at home… thats fine… I am a clean freak so no biggie. Out in public the few inches of my feet are no where near enough to keep the penis away from the bowl! We potty trained early here too for both of our kids so its hard!!! I do the dangle about the potty thing while holding them in the air…. which is why this thing was so freaking hilarious!!

  369. Stacey says:

    I can’t stop laughing. In fact, I’m laughing so hard that I’m crying. The drawings and the written descriptions are classing.

  370. says:

    Yes! The kid crawling on the floor! My daughter does that. My friend’s daughter (really. not mine.) LICKED a toilet! It’s just not easy.

    And Amber, I LOVED your illustrations. The knee-seat is right-on. So is the holding-your-“seated”-child-over-the-toilet. Great.

  371. Angela says:

    Oh,good! we’re not alone! I can’t flush a toilet or use the hand dryers either! My 3 year old cries like she is dying whenever we even go into one and someone MIGHT use the hand dryer. I have to remind her approx. 15 times that we just won’t turn it on and/or flush.

  372. Alicia says:

    I must say as a nurse I thought I taught my children pretty well about germs( I am a nurse)only to find out later they are GERMAPHOBES…one used to wrap his legs in toilet paper so they wouldn’t touch the seat…and he sqats …AT HOME…the other won’t drink from a water bottle that has touched someone else’s lips…including MINe, this is the child that breast fed for two years…now says GROSS…and by the way he LOVES your column…(so do I)
    thanks : )

  373. athomepets says:

    oh my, but I hooted! 🙂

  374. mamawolfe says:

    Just one more vote for ‘it’s easier to potty train a boy’-it sucks all around, but I’ve done both, and boys have it WAY easier. Mostly, because they don’t CARE where they pee!

  375. says:

    Now, while suspending her, Try to keep her hands from opening that metal box where everyone puts their old maxi pads while reaching for toilet paper so you can be prepared to get her wiped and yanked away front he toilet as fast you can to avoid the auto flush on the toilet sucking her in with the force of a mac truck which scares the you know what out of her. Thus making her never want to use a public potty again. (pack another pair of pants and undies for that one.)

  376. melissa says:

    Yes, that is worse. Eww.

  377. Stacey says:

    What a fantastic tip. I will be carrying around a pad of sticky notes in my purse once my daughter gets to this stage of life (along with a Potette, I’m sure.) Thanks for the tip!

  378. Heather says:

    Haven’t read all the comments, but I truly appreciate your post! 🙂

    At one point my three children were ages 5 and under. And they are all very tiny children. By the time my middle child was in the potty training process, my youngest was a crawler.

    Taking all three kids to the public restroom, and trying to juggle two girls and a crawler was no easy feat!

    Many times I put them in pull-ups and told them to go in them if we were out. Sometimes inevitably they would have to #2, and they wouldn’t do it in the pull-up, and I had to take them to the public toilet anyway, LOL!

    I never had a seat in my purse. I don’t know why. Probably because they didn’t have that when I was potty training. LOL!

    So we would get in the stall, and the girls would be touching everything, and I had my arms full with the crawler. How was I supposed to line the potty? If I put the crawler down, he would be on the urine encrusted floor. Ewww!

    Sometimes I remembered my front babywearing carrier, but that was still tough. If I leaned forward, he would flip out. I finally got an ergo when he was 10 months old, and that greatly solved that issue. He could ride on my back. But I still had to be careful not to back up against the dirty walls in the stall.

    Before I got that carrier there were times that I put him in my “fake” big designer bag, and hung him on the hook on the wall. That was a sight, LOL!

  379. Donna says:

    Thank you, that was wonderfully hilarious! I’m sitting here at work wiping tears away. Our daughter is only 15 months, but my husband is delusional and keeps pestering me that we need to start potty-training. No way! I had originally thought, ‘Not until 2’ but after reading this, perhaps I’ll just delay until she’s 5.

  380. islajmom says:

    thank you! i wanted a way for my little girl to learn public toilets, great idea!!

  381. Shawna says:

    I love you. You always make my day.

  382. says:

    My son learned to pee sitting down first, for aiming reasons. Even so, I sometimes had trouble with his aim going in the VERY SMALL space between the toilet seat and the toilet bowl, sending his pee out the front of the toilet. Or sometimes, when things were strange, he would just pee over the front rim of his toilet seat entirely. (The Baby Bjorn toilet seat fixed this, somehow.)

    His embarrassed dad showed him how to stand and do it at the age of 3. It turned out to be much, MUCH cleaner for us.

  383. Chelsea says:

    I’m not a mom but my cousin Zoe is 6 and I had to help her pee in a porter potty at a pumpkin patch around Halloween. Obviously not a seasoned child-potty helper I struggled. I was not about to let her touch the seat so I picked her up to help her hover and she decided to take her precious time while my arms were giving out. She said she was finished so I let her stand a little to wipe – she was not finished and peed all over her pants. Poor kid, it was totally my fault. Not looking forward to the public potty situation with my future kids.

  384. mickeymath says:

    Try being a dad with a daughter going to the men’s public restroom. Men’s toilets are guaranteed to have caked pee and pubes on the front middle of the toilet, with pee spilling down the front and onto the floor. Therefore, you can’t sit her conventionally on the toilet without risking getting her leg or underwear mixed in with that nasty mess. You can try “side-saddle”, which girls absolutely hate.

  385. Bec says:

    OK – I don’t really get this (yet I have 3 kids). Here in Australia we teach our kids to ‘kangaroo the seat’ (ie squat on it backwards holding the cistern for support) that way only their shoes touch the gross toilet seat. With little ones you might need to help them so they don’t fall in but they master it pretty quick. As for using the men’s room it is general practice for families to use the disabled toilets (assuming there aren’t disabled people waiting) as they are just one big room that you can all go into together males & females). I always thought this stuff was universal but it seems not! 🙂

  386. Mariah says:

    I’m kinda sad I don’t see anyone mentioning the issue of the toilet seat itself. I see why you wouldn’t want a boy’s parts touching it. That’s understandable. But as far as just sitting on the toilet seat itself, unless there’s something visible on there or if you have an open wound on your skin where it will be touching the seat, it’s not dangerous to sit on the seat.

    That being said, when I think about the struggles of parenthood (which I haven’t encountered just yet–working on it! 🙂 ), I don’t think of this one. Thanks for bringing it up.

  387. paisley says:

    That’s awesome. I used to carry a potty in my purse when my *son* was potty training. You’ll understand why. We would try and use Nordstroms’ bathrooms when we were at the mall, because they are cleanest. This was the site of the great bathroom problem which cause me to tell my son to sit down to pee from then on.

    We had stopped in the Nordstrom’s bathroom, and he wanted to pee standing up. I agreed. Perhaps it was the potty to penis height variance. I don’t know. I was giving him a little privacy by looking away (but I was still in the stall with him), when I heard screaming coming from the next stall over.

    Somehow, my son had managed to pee on the shoes of the lady in the next stall. Thank goodness she was wearing Keds and not some fancy leather shoes!! And thank goodness she had children and a good sense of humor.

    But from then on we always sat down to pee.

  388. Kika says:

    Hilarious! I also prop my boy on my knee, but it works well for us, he has good aim! I thought I was the only one.

  389. cindy says:

    omigod omigod. I can’t stop laughing!!! ahhh, the tears… its SO true! And then I always forget the collapsible seat that I paid $40 for. *sigh*

  390. cindy says:

    I know it doesn’t seem bad to just let them sit, except they don’t keep their hands still. Suddenly their hand reaches down and grabs the side of the bowl to steady themselves or while you’re pulling the pants up they tip and reach out to grab something secure… the toilet rim. Ugh… its a bit of a circus act. LOL.

  391. Jessica says:

    Oh yeah. My daughter calls them “magical potties” and is DEATHLY afraid of them.

  392. I’m so lucky that we live in Europe where *most* bathrooms have attendants who clean them or the auto flush toilets that clean themselves. Of course some toilets, even in the ladies room, are just holes in the ground (I know, right?), which makes it very easy for little boys. Plus, what little boy doesn’t want to pee in a hole?

  393. Oh, I forgot to add that you have to pay to use toilets over here (usually 50-70 Euro cents, which is about .75-$1 in US dollars), so they better be clean. If I’m paying $1 to pee, I expect a clean toilet. In Germany the bathrooms are ridiculously clean. In France, not so much.

  394. Krista says:

    I’m dying from the laughter. I gave up trying to potty train 2 year olds for the SAME reasons. I decided to wait til 4 so all the other mommy’s wouldn’t think I do everything right- let them have this one… it lets them see I’m not perfect and can be their friend 🙂

  395. Yep that’s what we do. Works on probably 90% of the toilets 🙂

  396. my 2 yr old has recently completed toilet training he is now out of nappies both day and night he has done this all by himself as i learnt from my eldest son 11yrs that once you start training it is difficult to go anywhere or do shopping etc. iv now seen inside of every toilet in every shop and every house as he loves going to the toilet and asks to go at every place we visit even if he doesnt need to go lol so i spend most of my time in public toilets

  397. Kim says:

    I have both a boy and girl and just laughed and laughed and laughed when I read this!!!

  398. titanium says:

    I remember when I first encountered an auto hand drier- I used to be too short for the button, so would just stand with my hands outstretched underneath and my mum would come and push the button. Yay, dry hands.

    Then one day I thrust my hands out and it started all by itself and I SCREAMED. (I hardly ever scream.)

    “What!? What happened? Oh…” and then the comfort thing where you try really hard not to laugh at the same time.

  399. mary nason says:

    for little boys, we do the “superman” over the toilet. It’s great fin for them, mess free, and it’s win-win everytime. when they have to poop, we ride side-saddle and my finger holds down their penis, because they have peed through the gap and soaked me before. With girls is side saddle, always. and when they are sitting they have to have their hands on their knees, or around my neck as i crouch. when it’s my turn to pee, i make them count the buttons and other metal trinkets on my pants, or we could toilet paper squares… or they have to keep their hands on my knees. otherwise the sanitary “napkin” trashcan is a magnet for little curious minds.

  400. Lisa says:

    Alyssa, you got it! We are doing the same. Hubby is on board because he sits to pee too – one month of cleaning the bathroom himself and seeing how the pee splashed everywhere cured him of standing. This only applies when at home tho! Will teach baby boy both sitting first, then standing when he’s older.

  401. Lisa says:

    Brilliant! I love this blog…

  402. Gin says:

    Oh my, yes! My son potty-trained in the last few months of my next pregnancy, and the first few months of his baby sister’s life. So we did the whole holding him up higher to pee thing, but around a big, pregnant belly or baby in the ergo. Better yet was if he could time it right so that I was nursing the baby, while also holding him over the potty. And then, those terrifying self-flushers…
    Just in case the emotional instability after childbirth isn’t enough already.

  403. casey says:

    Yep, TP or a papertowel over the sensor is a great option. My 3 year old daughter has been potty trained for a year and still freaks out over the auto-flush. We do TP or papertowels to block the sensor. Great trick!

  404. Justin says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this story. It should be published in storybook form and I will order a dozen to give to friends and family.

  405. Amanda says:

    I do the same thing with my son! He stands on my feet which gives him just enough height. I have no idea what I’ll do if we have a girl. I can’t see myself caring around a potty.

  406. Angela says:

    I now carry sticky notes to cover the sensor so my daughter will use a public toilet with those stinking auto-flushers. It just took ONE time of her being “flushed” for the “auto-terror” of auto-flush to set in. She now carefully checks every toilet to see if it is auto-flush.

    Every freaking toilet at her school is auto-flush as well. It’s been a DISASTER. Thankfully, I packed her some sticky notes to use there so hopefully the disaster can become a thing of the past.

  407. IPODs is adorable 😀

  408. Yep, the cheerios thing was what finally convinced my son that peeing in the toilet was more fun than doing it in his pants! So I’ll overlook any splashing issues…

  409. Elisabeth says:

    I brought the potty ring along once, and it fell in with my son sitting on it! Now he’s terrified of all toilets … public toilets especially. I wonder if he will learn to use a real toilet before he goes to college …

  410. says:

    Us too!!! It scares the crap out of my daughters!! Winter has been kind though, we can slip a toque(Hat in Canadian) over the censer.

  411. hahahaha!! oh my god. hilarious. and how great to have such a good friend that you are able to learn from each other….albeit in a bizarro way.

  412. Katie says:

    HA! I remember when I was first potty training my oldest daughter. The mall had a cute little kid sized toilet and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. This thought quickly left me as my daughter stood up after peeing, and then stuck her entire hand in the toilet. I gagged and wanted to burn her clothes and bathe her in lysol!!!

  413. Andrew says:

    Can I second that, as a dad, and therefore once upon a time a young boy. School kids can be mean. But as long as they learn to pee on lots of trees with dad before they get to school age they’ll have it sorted. 🙂

  414. Kathy says:

    I have two girls. Once when we were nowhere near a toilet, one had to pee, so I took a soda cup and put it between her legs, against her parts and she peed standing up. Easiest thing ever! So now I just keep disposable cups in the car. If we are in a disgusting bathroom I have them pee in a cup, pour it in the toilet and toss in the trash. Easy peasy. No touching anything, no automatic flushers, no gross potty seats to disinfect before it contaminates your purse. I would assume this would work for a boy too.

  415. Kirin says:

    Hehe. I also carry a toilet in my purse (the Potette one). Because my kid is among the 10,000 who fears auto-flush. But until recently, he feared any public toilet that flushed too loudly – he’d check first – so the “just bring a post-it” wasn’t going to help much.

  416. melissa says:

    my tall boy stood on top of my shoes to reach toilet height. gross, but functional.

    and they make toiletseat covers that cover the seat and hang waaaay over, so girls can hold on to balance. babies’r’us has them.

    over time, though, my girl mastered the abc song from washing her hands so much b/c there is not one thing you can touch in a public bathroom that doesn’t require the whoooole song.

    in other news, you really haven’t hit the bottom until your sweet girl has wet her pants, and, in helping her change, you accidentally pull her feet out from under her. And she ends up, literally, on the floor at the base of the toilet. Face up, thank God, but that’s about all to be thankful for in said situation. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back; I’m pretty certain that i’m the only person in this club! (Still a full body UGH!!! when I think about it….)

  417. I do Elimination Communication with our 15 month old (fancy speak for infant potty training). We’ve been dangling him over toilets since birth. Just kidding. His peenie is the only thing that dangles…the rest of him is held securely. Sooo…this is how I position him over any nasty toilet: I hold him underneath his thighs while his back, neck, and head rest on my torso/chest. I aim. He pees! And sometimes he poos too.

    If I am able to squat too, I can ‘lock him in’ with my thighs and not screw my back at the same time. (He’s a brick at 22 lbs.)

    I am also guilty of carrying a mini potty onto an international flight.

    Hush. It’s better than scraping poo. Or trying to change a diaper at 30,000 feet and 500MPH. Without a changing table. In a 2×2 foot box.

  418. Kathy G says:

    The dryer thing will subside as soon as they get they can turn it on, but the auto flush.. omg. my daughter can’t handle a regular toilet flushing due to “it’s too loud” so this will be awesome when we get to that point.. ugh.

  419. mommy_lents says:

    when my daughter potty trained i would squat in front of the public toilet one knee on either side of it. then let her stand on my knees to squat and she would hold my neck and i would hold her under the arms so that we were steady and balanced! when she got a little older i incorporated my sitters method when the panties came down around ankles she wrapped her arms around my neck my arm around her under the arms(like a side hug) my other hand grabbed the middle of the pants and i picked her up to hover her above the toilet! but i love the “port’a baby potty” idea!!! : )

  420. Dena says:

    Hmmm, I have a 20 month boy and potty training has been a topic of conversation as we plot out our game plan and begin to read books. After reading these comments, I am thinking of keeping a can of scrubbing bubbles in my purse so I can clean the toilet for him! I can’t do much for the floor or walls, but at least I can fight the toilet abomination!

  421. I’d rather pee and crap my pants than use a public toilet.

  422. Sarah says:

    Potty training is driving me bonkers. My daughter thinks its a grand joke to actually run away from me, laughing hysterically, while peeing. #stay calm

  423. Jay K says:

    OMG it’s such a relief to know we’re not alone ether.
    Amber – Thank you for totally making my day. I haven’t laughed this hard in ages.
    Others – Thank you for the tips!
    Kathy G – Our three year old daughter is exactly the same so we recently changed our home toilet to a quiet flush model. She says it’s better and can now be in the bathroom while it’s flushing without freaking out. For $500 it better.

  424. Hi Amber,

    My name is Colleen Brunetti and I manage a blog for a program called Potty Time. We LOVED this and featured you on our own blog and facebook page today. 🙂 Check it out:

  425. chanel says:

    This post is useful and helpful. Most people will definitely assert that everything in your blog site is nice.

  426. We LOVED this and featured you on our own blog and facebook page 。

  427. Elisabeth says:

    Amber – I still have that problem and I’m 32 … my dinner arrives (or I finish cooking and sit down at the table to eat) and BAM! I need to pee. Of course these days (thanks pelvic muscles) I pretty much ALWAYS have to pee, but still. I have read that sometimes the need to urinate can be a trained reaction – as in if you relate it often enough to the same behavior, you can set triggers in your mind causing you to need to go … my mom verified this as the cause when she said “Oh that’s so funny! You still do that? We had you trained like clockwork to go potty before we sat down to eat!” Here I’ve been Pavlov’s dog for years and didn’t even know it.

  428. Elisabeth says:

    My son fell into an adult toilet when his kiddie potty ring fell in … at the casino. I laughed after I checked to make sure he was ok. He laughed too … I think that makes him a cool kid and me a horrible mom (being at a casino somehow factors into that) … whatever … we went up to the hotel room and washed him up … yuck. Glad someone else kind of finds it funny when their kid is awash in toilet water 😛

  429. Elisabeth says:

    hahahaha gross. 🙂

  430. The painting looks so amateur that it is so funny to watch, the story describing it all is just fun, thanks for a good morning laugh, << some more funny paintings.

  431. Auto-flush TOTALLY sucks! It freaked us out till, like, age 5. Only after we began endlessly playing with the dryers, did auto-flush scare us less. But let’s not forget: when you gotta go – you gotta go! Love from your “Once Upon a Potty” friends Joshua & Prudence.

  432. Kristin Shaw says:

    Absolutely hilarious!
    Another great tip for kids who are scared of the automatic flush – carry some Post-its in your purse and cover the sensor before they pee. It works.

  433. Deanna says:

    This is the most stressful part of being a mama for me…I make them keep their hands on their thighs the WHOLE time we are in that disgusting place. The worst experience was one time I had my 3 1/2 yr old boy, 2 yr old girl and baby in the stroller in a TINY Winners bathroom that smelled bad and looked worse. I made the 2 yr old hold the stroller with both hands (and had to position the stroller so the baby couldn’t reach out to touch anything) then let the 3 yr old go. After he was done, I instructed him to touch his thighs while I helped the girl. I sat her on the toilet and turned around to check out the other two…what do you think…the boy still has his hands on his thighs, but is SUCKING the side of the sink… I screamed…I gave him regular doses of probiotics and any other anti-grossness pill I could think of – it was over 6 months ago and he’s still alive, but I was worried for a while!! ugh!!

  434. Michelle says:

    After potty training two kids (one boy, one girl), I can say, with complete honesty…

    I nearly peed my pants laughing at this post.


  435. Chicklet says:
    Everyone who read that just has to hear Flush An Ode to Toilets. (See link above.) This is from the kid’s point of view in a way that is funny for kids and grown ups.
    Charlie the Noise Guy has done some library programs that I dragged my kids too. He is FUNNY. He has written a book with the title above, and also he reads it in Sugar Frosted Noisy Tales.
    So, you can read it youself, right? Oh yeah, but it’s way better when he does it. He makes the sounds of many different toilets and they all sound real…and it’s…uh…acapella.
    I absolutely recomend all of hid CDs. You will hear them over and over….and sometimes you might even let the kids listen too! Seriously, it’s funny. He does stories and songs and he does sound effects with them – all the music, sounds, and words are him and he does not use instruments or any objects, just himself.
    How funny is he? A good example is his story of Jack in the Beanstalk where Jack climbs so high he even passes the price of gas.

  436. Adora says:

    This is TOO funny. I almost peed my pants when I read it. Love your writing and your pictures! I’m now inspired to draw my own (only that ‘crappy’ would be a too kind word to describe them). Keep it up, Amber!

  437. Melissa says:

    Hysterical! I have done the dangling thing with two boys, hard, but at least we didn’t have to touch anything (I did not lift the toilet seat). My daughter is by far, more difficult. I just went on a day trip with family to NY, navigating the public toilets with a daughter, who I have to take a shoe and pant leg off every time she peed, left me exhausted and grossed out. Before today, I thought I was the only other person who had to take a pant leg off. When I asked my sister, who has 2 girls, how she handled the pant leg thing, she looked at me like I was crazy. Apparently, her daughter can pee while hovering with her pants on. I’m not that lucky!

  438. Momof4 says:

    My son is great(6), goes on his own or I force my hubby to take him.

    My daughter not so much. She is sensitive to flushing. I have to sit behind her to anchor her, and block the automatic toilet from flushing and freaking her out. And GOD FORBID NEVER TAKE HER TO AN OUT HOUSE.

    We went to a Renaissance festival. I was in a period piece top (corset) not good with a breast feeding sucker fish believe me. She had to go potty. (not the sucker fish baby, the little girl). So I took her to the only toilet there, an outhouse. we closed the door and she stood there looking back and forth between the seat and me. I lifted the lid and she screamed bloody murder about how she will not go potty there. She would not be calmed. we walk out, I’m embarrassed (the story lady over 500 yards away glaring at me) and take her to the closest wooded area and prop her so she can pee in the grass…

    I hate potty training… 3 down, 1 to go.

  439. Heather says:

    OMG! I have a two year old that has to mark his place at every location we go to. Its so disgusting…I too think I will carry a toilet lid with me! ICK!!

  440. Tiffany says:

    The other day we were at lowes, looking at parts to make a diaper sprayer for the toilet, and Gabe has to pee. I take him to the potty and he locks me out – as usual (of a stall I could slip under if need be, yes ew!). He pees and the toilet flushes, while he is standing there and he SCREAMS! I do mean SCREAMS bloody murder. He ATTACKS the door (it’s locked remember? he’s too frightened to think straight) and he’s bawling his eyes out. Within two seconds it’s open and he jumps into my lap. It’s going to be a long time before he uses public toilets again. Next time, Daddy is taking him to the urinals – they don’t try to flush Gabe’s peepee :/

  441. Andrea says:

    you are hilarious! i’m up way too late reading your blog and loving it. so funny. my little boy is not yet potty trained, but now i have a whole new outlook on it. 🙂

  442. ldoo says:

    If you still read these comments, I have one: I have a 3 year old girl. Someone gave me this awesome fold-up plastic potty seat that I realized would come in super handy when she had to sit on the lid-free, disgusting outhouse-style toilets when we go camping.

    The first time we did it, it worked great.

    The next time (me possibly hampered by too much camping juice, aka: booze) I put the seat on, then move her onto the seat, which promptly slid the seat toward the hole of doom.

    I had to either choose holding onto my daughter or let the seat fall into the abyss.

    Sigh. That seat was great – for the one time we got to use it.

  443. Jenn says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. As I read this post I had tears rolling down my face while I laughed. As a preschool teacher who takes the kiddos on “potty field trips” I face these kind of potty adventures all the time. You would think they’d have smaller potties, but no.

  444. A very serious problem indeed. A challenge to a parent especially to mothers. Anyway, kids would grow up and learn them in due time, just be patient.

  445. That was a hilarious post. And the pictures were adorable. I’m not old enough to feel your pain, but you already have me dreading it!

  446. Christine says:

    SO hilarious and so true! The other day my 3 year old daughter started doing the pee dance at Ralphs and so after squeezing into the tiny 1/2 a person sized stall, and all the layers of TP on the seat, and hoisting her just right over the bowl, and hooking my arms under her’s to hold her up so she wont fall in, she finally pees and I think we’re home free, until I notice her peeing out over the rim onto the floor all over her leggings and panties, and under my shoes……..I keep thinking isn’t there a manual on this?!

  447. plumbing says:

    I can relate with this blog. This is also my problem when we are in public place with my kid’s and they have to pee. We all know so may users of a public toilet. My kids touches anything when they are inside the toilet so that I have to hold their hands while doing that thing.

  448. Jessica says:

    As a mom with a daughter still in diapers, with potty training just around the corner, this totally freaks me out. But I have to say I was laughing so hard, I could hardly speak. I just couldn’t resist sharing this post on my blog, here: Have a great weekend & stay away from the public toilets!

  449. plumbing fittings says:

    It is really nice to see your children inside the toilet knowing that they can pee alone. But in the public toilet i can’t imagine my children there because almost all public toilets are dirty and messy.

    • Andrea says:

      I have 2 boys. . 9 and 3. They both were taught to pee sitting down until they were tall enough and old enough to aim in the toilet themselves. Public toilets we would line with long sheets of toilet paper and they would sit unless it was super gross and saturated with pee. . If so, then they would just stand on the seat and pee away as I aimed their pee into the toilet lol. As a mom, you learn as you go 😉

  450. plumbing says:

    When you use a toilet, it’s show how hygienic you are. Especially when you are just a kid, make sure that you know how to use a toilet especially when you are in a public place.

  451. publictoilet_phobia says:

    This made me laugh so hard I almost peed. How did you get inside my brain and channel my thoughts so exactly! You must be part jedi! It’s nice to know that someone else shares my phobia of public toilets. There are others like me… whew.

  452. Emily says:

    One of my first grade students came back from the bathroom wet and with a bump on his head. When I asked him what happened he said he slipped and fell off the toilet. This was not an answer I was expecting. He further explained that his mom doesn’t let him sit on toilets unless they are at home and that he squats standing on the seat over the toilet to go (pee and poop). I am not sure what he does with his pants during this. I didn’t ask. I just sent him to the nurse to check the bump and get new shoes. He is going to have strong legs but occasional like that day wet feet and a sore head.

  453. Jo says:

    My youngest boy is 21: I discovered the joy of a Jamjar with my boys. Car journeys, public toilets were easy because of the wondrous Jamjar. (N.B Always remember to screw the lid on properly…ahem, cough…) My girls were a bit more tricky! Never quite mastered toilets with them

  454. Maura says:

    Your drawings of the crud on/around the toilet are grossly hilarious. Like, “Eeeeew! Hahahahahahaha eeeeewww!”

  455. AK Mom says:

    Gross. Now I know that when I take my little girl to pee, there has been a little boy that walked on the urine lacquered floor stand on the rim.

  456. Tracy says:

    That is what ziplock bags are for–at least if you have a little boy. I used to carry a bunch of ziplocks in my car. If he needed to pee, open one corner, do your duty, zip, double bag and toss in the nearest trash can. It even works in the one sort of cleaner corner of the public toilet. And for the girls, we kept the little potty in the back of the van, with the pot lined with plastic layered with paper towels. We just used that as our toilet for as long as we could get away with it.

  457. jackie says:

    As a mom of two boys and a daycare provider to many, I can totally relate. This had me howling. Love the icky toilet reveal in your second frame!!! I have a little tip that might just help you. 🙂 Someone may have already suggested it; I don’t know; I didn’t read through all 30 million ba-jillion comments that you received because you are so freaking hilarious. This is something I used to do for my boys because I could never master the “flying pee” that my husband was able to actually get the boys to perform for him. He was able to get them to pee while he suspended them over the toilet. My back wouldn’t have held up for that, so I used to STAND THE BOYS ON THE TOPS OF MY FEET! It worked brilliantly. I could even stand up on tip-toe if need be to raise them higher. I do it with my daycare kids here at the house too. It works like a charm! 🙂 Good luck!

  458. cassie says:

    A good trick for little girls is to pick her up with her back to you, hold her up by the backs of her knees and point her bottom at the toilet. You will have to take her pants and undies all the way off but it works really well! Also great for going outside and if she’s in a dress it’s even easier

  459. Ali says:

    What a topic you folks are discussing about, “the problems related to children’s pee”! So let me tell you some thing then, not bad if you know that in my culture the male people avoid pissing while standing! In my country it’s so, as my religion has recommended not to pee while standing, and to do it while sitting or squatting. I know there, they teach the kid when he can stand up, how to pee while standing, but it’s not so here. However, I am male and quite healthy, but I don’t pee while standing. You should consider that there are many different ways and theologies around the world.

    To my own, peeing while standing is a nasty actions, also it does not feet a man’s character, that’s like you imagine a respectable man standing up still some where, his penis is out and his piss line in front of him! Who made the rule that males MUST stand up while urinating? And don’t relate it to the nature, potentially many things are natural as an ability; one can bring it out (gun), aim and kill, but he has choosing power, although he has the ability, but he may not do it if he is sane; one can just bring it out, aim and piss, but does it mean he can not do it in a way but that?

    Why stand to pee? Why aim? Aiming is for the time when you are distant to your target and can’t be close to it, but when you can be close to it, and if you are sane, you prefer being close to your target than aiming to the target. So sit down and be relax, the name of the place you are doing that in, is rest room! And why you waste your time and energy in cleaning bathrooms? You can save it for more useful affairs by reducing the need of bathroom to be cleaned!

    As for those who say “peeing while standing is of a few pleasures of a man!”, I should say that a man is more valuable than way of peeing places as his pleasure and property! It does not fit a man to consider that as his worth! Men have more valuable special abilities to be mentioned! And as for those who say “peeing while standing is much easier than doing it while sitting or squatting”, I should say that bending over and pulling down pants, and keeping a part of panties down for a while and aim for a while both need an attempt; and the fact that which one is easier for a person depends on habit. The way in which one’s habit is based on, is easier for that one, and to which you habit, it will be easier for you! As God has made the ability of peeing while standing easily in guys, it must have an advantage, and yes it has. In men’s jobs some times urgent situations happen, and some times they have to do some thing in a short time when the speed is important, and some times men have situations that they can’t sit or squat or are in places where sitting or squatting is not easily possible; in such times they can use their ability of peeing while standing easily. But these urgent times just some times happen, not always!

  460. Meredith says:

    This was SO funny!

    I do have a boy and I DO carry a potty seat where ever we go. My husband has a shot of me holding it up while my son poops in the Middle-of-No-Where, CO on the side of the road! = )

    Love your blog!!!

  461. Charlotte Simmonds says:

    OMG! Brilliant! I never thought of taking the toilet seat along with me…first timer here. So I DID! And it worked!! Yipee! My 3 YO was ecstatic! Now if only she’d poop in one! Sigh.

  462. DianeMargaret says:

    Has anyone heard about those disposable toilets? I guess they are small folded toilet that you unfold, the kid uses it, you shove it in the included bag and throw it out!!! I thought, briefly, that this would be good for traveling but then realized…DUH…we have an RV, we don’t NEED a travel toilet!!!
    I was, however, thinking they’d be nice for in the car, for potty training emergencies!
    Has anyone used them?

    • Bex says:

      Most of the mums I know here in the UK use a Potette when out and about – it unfolds, you line it with a little bag with an absorbent paper section, sit kid on and let them do whatever, then tie up the bag and bin it somewhere, fold up your Potette and be on your way. I’ve used it everywhere, even in the middle of a department store where the toilets were 4 floors away and the lift took 20 minutes to arrive – found a quiet corner, let him go, bagged it up furtively and carried on with our shopping, pretending it had never happened. In theory you can also use them as a seat to fit over a public toilet, but yuck to that. BTW my son (now age 5) *refuses* to pee standing up.

  463. Melanie says:

    For this very reason, I have a mini potty chair that lives in the mini van in the floor just below the carseat. When they have to go wherever , you have your own potty ready and wipes to clean it in the pocket of the drivers seat. Can’t tell you how many times that potty has saved the day, in super market parking lots, and especially on long highway drives or in the middle of back country when there was a massive lightning storm going on.

  464. cheryl says:

    this is toooo funny and why is that so ….because it is so so true I laughed so hard …thankyou

  465. Rosy says:

    Totally identify with the too-high toilet for boys – eventually I used to “fly” him over it and he peed straight down – seemed easier for him than being lifted!
    Girls are more difficult!
    Btw – really enjoy the crappy baby stories!

  466. Courtney says:

    I am a step mommy to a 5yr old boy and 2 year old girl. The other day I had to take my little girl into the potty at a soccer field. *gag* I don’t even like those nasty herpesiphogonneritiAIDS covered things, I feel awful when I have to bring her.
    First of all, there’s always like two squares of toilet paper left. So now I have to make her hover, gently apologizing while I lose feelings in my arms. “C’mon honey…I know this stinks, but I can’t let you sit on this’s not like home-it’s…yucky.” I explain. She continues to scream like I am ripping her left leg off. The acoustics in a port-o-potty are phenomenal…and deafening. Just like a light switch, on the third plea, she says- “OOOOOOOOkkkkkaaay Courtney” and pees with a smile. Did I just experience a power struggle with a toddler? *guuuhhhh*

  467. Used to be that you could stop by the side of the road and let your child squat beside the car between the open doors for some sense of privacy! But, hey, I don’t know about where you are, but in Canada it’s against the law to relieve yourself in public, so, I think the potty in the car is a really, really good idea! But, is that a public place too? Dang!

  468. deneen says:

    two things i always kept in the truck – disinfectant wipes (also in my DB) and an old school fold up potty with the slidey bowl… ok three things – extra plastic bags for the dirty wipes … if they would go in the car potty, i wold give EXTRA ‘marties!

  469. URL says:

    Can I just say what a comfort to uncover somebody
    who really knows what they’re talking about over the internet. You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you are not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

  470. What’s up, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  471. Hi there all, here every one is sharing these familiarity, thus it’s nice to read this blog, and I used to pay a quick visit this web site all the time.

  472. Tara says:

    We’re going through potty training with boy #2 right now and boy #1 is still only 4 years old. I lift AND aim for both boys. Now THAT is a challenge. And probably a little bit frowned upon from most people. Oh well. Boys in our household pee SITTING on the toilet to avoid peeing all over the bathroom. But how the hell are they supposed to sit on those damn toilets with the gap in the front when their ankles are tethered together with their pants? What the is that gap for in the toilet seat anyway? It’s just a collector spot for all grossness that you could possibly think of. I have sat them on the toilet sideways but that doesn’t always work either. And I do carry the child size toilet seat with us on certain shopping trips because it never fails – we get to the shopping mall which is an HOUR from home and someone decides they have to poop. Really?

  473. OMG I almost peed myself reading this! I have 3 of each so I can relate to BOTH situations. With the boys, I always had them stand on my feet. Yes, this increased my risk of having my feet peed on but it kept them from getting VD at the age of 2 or 3. For the girls, I used the method you did, or I held them up (yes, me) above the seat. Not easy. Not fun. Only works for very petite little girls.

  474. Emily says:

    The mantra in our house for public bathrooms is “don’t touch anything.” Does not work too well, but at least makes me feel like I am an OK parent.

  475. JeaLinda says:

    Toilets are gross. Period. Public toilets are hardly bearable… Panic attack inducing unbearable.

  476. Joanie Dijkman says:

    Hilarious and soooooo true.

    Why do kids also feel extremely drawn to toilet brushes in public loos? And want to sit on the floor to watch mummy as she pees? Yuck!

  477. zebrafish says:

    That comment on herpes was quite unnecessary. Herpes cannot be transmitted through a toilet seat, only through direct skin-to-skin contact. There is a horrible stigma attached to herpes, despite the fact that a majority of the population carries the virus. Uneducated comments like yours only helps to reinforce the stigma, making life much harder for those who know they have herpes as they get symptoms.
    Please consider this in your future writing.

  478. Jessica says:

    My 3 1/2 year old is deathly afraid of the automatic flushing toilets which are seemingly EVERYWHERE these says. She will HOLD it til her bladder explodes rather than go on a toilet that flushes itself. And Yes I have TRIED the holding my hand in front so it doesn’t read movement. She’s too freaking smart. She knows what they look like. AGAHAGHHAHGAHGA

  479. Jessica says:

    My 3 1/2 year old is deathly afraid of the automatic flushing toilets which are seemingly EVERYWHERE these days. She will HOLD it til her bladder explodes rather than go on a toilet that flushes itself. And Yes I have TRIED the holding my hand in front so it doesn’t read movement. She’s too freaking smart. She knows what they look like. AGAHAGHHAHGAHGA

  480. Pamela says:

    Train boys to sit. My boy is 12 and he knows full well that other boys/men stand, but I won’t allow it in my house. He doesn’t want to clean pee, nor do I want to clean other people’s pee, and nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors, so…at home, he sits. In public, who knows what he does. I think he stands for the urinal but sits in the stall. He washes well.
    My man has CML and he was trained before he had chemo to pee sitting. They showed him a video of a man peeing standing, in a blacklight, and you can’t imagine how gross it is…the pee splatters EVERYwhere, but you can’t see it because it’s miniscule.
    Yeah– gross.

  481. lawahine says:

    I am late to the party. I just found your blog a week ago and finally gave in to the urge to start from the beginning.


    I have a 9 mo old. I am laughing my butt off because this is something I could never have prepared myself for. Boys are new and strange creatures to me and those who could prepare myself for such things.

    I keep getting sidetracked. ANYWAY!

    There is this Korean mall near my house. My mom, who is Korean, loves this mall. We used to go there when I was a kid. I used to hate this mall. There were/are no toy stores. New from not when I was a kid is a family play area upstairs complete with nursing rooms, changing stationS, etc. BUT maybe the best thing about this place is that the “family” restroom comes complete with a miniature toilet. IT is just like a regular public restroom toilet except it is toddler sized! And a toddler sized sink at toddler height… NOW I know this is more special than just to make women go, “awwwwww look how tiny!” Anyway, I have a feeling I will start to love this mall.

    • Janeen says:

      Too funny that the mall you went to had a toilet like that. Curious as to what the name of it was and if it was the same name as the one I used to go to in Korea that has a little toilet like that in there too.

  482. Sara says:

    Haha, loved this. Both of my boys just lay their “thing-a-ma- gig” right on the seat, just plop it down like it’s no big deal. It’s gross.

  483. Scotti O says:

    Even worse…when your boys need to strip from the waist down…yes shorts, unders, socks and shoes then straddle the nasty public toilet. Of course at this point they have touched the nasty seat at least 10 times and then use both hands to climb up. Oh and did I mention ass gaskets (paper covers) are few and far between ’round these parts?!?! AND now you know why I encourage them to pee on the tire in the parking lot!

  484. Janeen says:

    Oh ho ho, I have this beat. My daughter was still somewhat newly potty trained when we went over to South Korea. If you have not been over there, one thing to note is that not all of the toilets are above the floor. What does this mean? Well, you have a porcelain bowl in the floor that you squat over and pee. And, to add to that, many bathrooms would have a toilet paper dispenser on the wall OUTSIDE of the stalls so you have to guess how much toilet paper you’re going to use and they didn’t always have soap or paper towels either. Boy oh boy did we have fun some times trying to find a toilet my daughter would use because she absolutely would not whatsoever go anywhere near the ones in the floor. Thank goodness the apartments we lived in DID have them. Oh yeah, bathrooms were an adventure over there…for numerous reasons. One bathroom I just LOVED though was basically a family bathroom. You had the big toilet, a “baby” toilet (that flushed, oh my goodness it was cute!) and a urinal all in one bathroom. LOVED IT. Only saw it in one department store though. *sigh*

  485. Love this post! The pictures were amazing. When you lifted up that toilet seat I felt like I was there.

  486. Everything the hard way says:

    My daughter was potty-trained in one weekend, with vault toilets at a campground. Public toilets have never seemed so bad after that!

  487. christina y says:

    Still my favorite! Being a mother of two girls, I laughed for a good 30 minutes over this! I laughed so hard I cried actually. Best!

  488. Diana says:

    What is the toilet in a purse thing? Where can I get one

  489. Kristin Brashares says:

    This is hysterical! I’m laughing so hard I have tears. Buying your book now!

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  493. Ameli says:

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  494. Shelley says:

    You’re a moron! Foot herpes?! No such thing because you cannot catch herpes from the toilet! Research before posting crap

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  496. Liz says:

    So funny! I just happened upon your site and love your work!

    I have a 3 year old girl and DREAD using public bathrooms with her. It was much more dreadful in the beginning, though. I have somewhat mastered a technique that involves me holding onto her while I squat so she can rest her legs on my leg rather than on the side of the toilet bowl. Then when she’s done, I tell her to hold on tightly to me and I lift her straight up and WWAAAYYY far away from the toilet (we try to always use the large stalls) in case her clothing contacts the floor while we pull up pants. Luckily she is small for her age so the lifting isn’t too bad. I do worry though that I’m going to make her into a germ-a-phobe because I’m always scolding her, “Don’t touch anything!”, “Don’t lean on that!”, “Don’t twirl in here!”

  497. Zonya says:

    This is so funny. I’m about peeing my pants laughing. I haven’t taken time to read all the comments, but I can see already that I’m not the only one with a child who HATES public toilets because they are so loud, and because they flush by themselves. Take a crying child who is holding hands over ears and try to make THEM pee!

  498. matt says:

    “Diaper free sucks.

    Don’t fall for that potty training propaganda. Keep them in diapers as long as possible.”

    Seriously?? That has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Diaper free is better all the way around! Not only does it give the child a fundamental freedom and sense of accomplishment, but it’s a money saver too. Little boys don’t need to pee standing up all the time! I take my son (who’s 3 and potty trained) all the time to the bathroom, he sits on the toilet seat, all by himself, without the need to touch the seat with anything other than his bottom.

  499. Vikki says:

    I have the same issue with my toddler – only he wants to sit down and explore every bathroom in every new place we visit. So I have to make a “toilet paper flower” on every potty and pray his bare legs don’t brush against the filthy surfaces!

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  501. Carlos says:

    What is the toilet in a purse thing? Where can I get one

  502. Carrie says:

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  503. Melissa Martin says:

    I AM LAUGHING!!!! I’m going to recommend these books and blog to my clients. I am a child and family therapist. Humor is medicine.

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