Thursday, 23 January 2014

Why do I need this?

Like every excited expecting first time parent, I tried to resist the urge to buy every gadget and gizmo that everyone tells you that you need.  I was doing pretty well being occupied by a tandem pushchair with seats that configure in a million different positions (that might be a slight exaggeration), kids apps galore and a Trunki. I think that secretly every parent 'wants' their child to have a Trunki! Then came a new dilemma.

This is the potty!
When I got to potty training I wanted to be prepared, this was going to be a whole new experience and I wanted to get it right. We were living in the USA at the time and I found that the media was telling me that I needed a 'singing potty' or one with fully integrated gaming capacity. Perhaps a potty with a working flush, or that you could plug your iPod into? I think not. I was adamant that I needed a plain hardwearing potty that could be fully immersed for cleaning and steralisation, no gadgetry, no batteries required and definitely no gimmicks. It was more difficult than just popping to Tesco's to buy one but I finally managed to find one online; lovely, plain and red. We introduced it early on at bath time when there was no pressure, and my son took to it quickly.  When he decided to potty train properly, he was obsessed with it, so I felt that I had picked well. It came everywhere with us and I battled to get him to use the toilet instead, and in the end I accidentally left it in the car which went to work with my husband, oops!

I do wonder if my son's obsession with the potty was also a reflection of the trauma he had with the green child's toilet training seat we brought to go on our toilet. Being honest I thought that a training seat was a training seat? Wrong again! Normally when I buy something I spend time looking and reading reviews, checking out the different options. But this was just a toilet training seat, what did it matter? My only requirements were that it needed to be moulded plastic and fully immersible for easy cleaning.

This is the green training seat, now hung on our wall!
I am kicking myself on my own lack of judgement. I picked a green one to make it appealing, and it was. My real issues lie with how it functions; it doesn't. Imagine this, my son is climbing up to position himself on the seat and as he is rotating the seat slips sidewards and he is unable to sit down. For any normal adult this would be fine, but for a toddler this is extremely frustrating mainly because when they need to go, they need to go. Then there is the bottom pinch. My son finally manages to sit on it and as he moves slightly to change positions it pinches his bottom, or worse as he stands it gets stuck to him. Finally my biggest frustration with the seat comes when because of the seat slide stuff just doesn't go where its supposed to, leaving me with a big mess to clear up and a very embarrassed toddler for something that really isn't his fault. I am sure that not all training seats have such a big design flaw, but this one does. It is lacking the ability to clip and be secure on the toilet seat! Please I urge you don't make this same mistake.

In hindsight with a three year old who just now sits on the normal toilet I wish I had never brought the training seat at all. It now sits neatly on a hook on our bathroom wall as a piece of wall art. My youngest son (who will be 2 soon) will under no circumstances sit on anything but the toilet, he refuses the potty I am still in denial that he might be ready to train, as he seems too young (I will tell you all about that another day!)

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