Potty Training vs. Consumerism, or: How I Learned to Stop Buying Crap While Teaching My Child to Crap in a Potty
Potty training can be tricky. As a parent and a preschool teacher, I know this. God, do I know this. Throw in even a modicum of thought about consumerism and capitalism, and what do you get? A total mindf*ck, that’s what.
Go to almost any child development expert for potty-training advice and they inevitably say something like: When your child shows signs of ‘readiness’, take her to the store and let her pick out her own big-girl underpants and her own potty. This will give her a sense of ownership, pride, and control over the process.
I get why the experts say this, but then again, WHY DO THEY SAY THIS?
You’re a good parent and you want to do right by your child. Empowerment, guided choices, all that. And you can’t wait for your child to get out of diapers.
So you follow the advice. You find yourself standing in the (gender-segregated) kids’ underwear section of Target. Your child is illicitly standing, not sitting, in the red cart because you’re smart enough to choose your battles.
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j.j. johnson, author