This week's blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who
lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with Professor
Foster (his non-white, non-dad wife), their daughter Viva, and a
Fisher-Price Froggy Potty that thus far remains unsullied.
I am staring into a Nietzschean abyss in our bathroom, and that
abyss is staring back into me. The abyss is the mouth of my
daughter's potty. (Specifically a gaping frog mouth as designed by
Fisher-Price.) Potty training is coming, and hell's coming with
hit: Accidents, wiping, cleaning out the contemporary chamber pot,
taking a little girl into filthy men's rooms, etc.
Before one has their first child, a lot of jokes and fuss are
made about diapers, "Oh ho ho, New Dad, you sure are going to
change a lot of diapers! Haw Haw! (puffs on comically-oversized
cigar)" In actuality, changing diapers ain't no thang. Dealing with
tiny plastic buckets of feces out in the open and cleaning up
soiled rompers in public? That, friend, is a lifestyle trend
In this brave new world of Tiger Parenting and French Parenting
and all kinds of irritating new ways to parent (all of which are
mostly just ways of creating more blog posts and selling books),
parents are potty training earlier and earlier. Some parents, it
seems, won't be happy until their children splurt forth from the
womb with a copy of Crain's under their arm and head right for the
But why, why, why potty train EARLIER? Diapers are God's
non-biodegradable way of saying, "You don't have to deal with your
kid's body functions until this inning is over." Diapers mean dry
sheets, overalls that can be worn more than once before washing,
and never having to hold someone over the toilet in a public
restroom unless you've found a way to go back in time to before
your marriage and get lucky in a club.
And what excuses do people give for wanting to potty train
early? "Because diapers are bad for the environment"! You know what
is really bad for the environment? HAVING KIDS! But that didn't
stop you from expanding your carbon footprint all up in your wife's
Why else? "Because they're into it in Europe"? You know what
other things they've started over there?
Do not listen to the Europeans!
Early potty training, in addition to turning your life into a
maelstrom of defecation, can have negative effects. Kids potty
trained too early can become "chronic holders," leading to urinary
tract infections, bowel obstructions, and MADNESS. Also, you know
the guy whose head exploded in the movie "Scanners"? He was totally
holding it in for too long.
Sure, LATE potty training can lead to trouble developing bladder
and bowel control, and it can get you banned from preschool, but,
you know what? They make diapers for adults, too, and preschool
only leads to lice, bullying, and MADNESS.
Everyone is potty training too early! Why are you fighting with
your 2- or 3-year-old to tell you when they have to pee? I don't
even know I have to pee until a minute before it happens, and I'm
old enough, in the words of Steely Dan, to "remember Queen of
Soul." That's why one always keeps an empty water bottle in the car
on long trips.
Why not let your kid potty train themselves? We let them figure
everything else out in the wild - social interaction through peer
pressure, reproduction through pornography, and technology through
sexting. When other kids start calling them, "Stinky Stinky Puffy
Pants" they'll realize it's time for the diapers to go. Or maybe
diapers will just become "cool"! Didn't think of that one, did you
Tiger Mom? Maybe MC Hammer pants will come back and everyone will
be wearing diapers and not-missing-out on their U.S. history
lectures because they had to pee! Then the kids with medical
problems will feel less anxiety, and everyone will be relaxed and
warm all the time. Gangs will make friends and twerking will be a
thing of the past and the world will sing in perfect harmony.
Shutter shades came back - wearing diapers is not weirder than
wearing shutter shades.
I've talked myself into it. Potty training is for chumps! Or at
least that's what I'm going to tell my wife, and then maybe she'll
handle it herself.
Viva Rocco (Age 2), Froggy Face Potty Chair, 2013,
Marker on paper
If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe to the WDP podcast for
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You also can listen at whitedadproblems.com. (Do
note that the show has a potty mouth and is definitely for Over 17
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