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When You Gotta Go

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March 2005
When You Gotta Go

If you are a desi parent of a 2-year-old, you had better get used to it ? being lectured to endlessly day after day about how terrible it is that your child isn't potty-trained yet. Evidently all the babies in India are potty-trained the minute they can hold their heads, or so I was told, and my 2 year-old daughter was put under the microscope every time I told some relative she wasn't trained yet.

But the main reason I never did bother at least until she was two, was this hyper-vigilant state you have to be in during the training phase and long after. The minute you go to someone's house you scope out the potty or you are doomed. "Mom, mom, mom, mom," your kid does a jig and you make the mad dash to the nearest bathroom dropping everything else you are doing at the moment. Really makes for jangled nerves. With diapers you don't live in that state all the time, ready to drop all and run at the first sign of a bathroom emergency.

Somebody also needs to explain to me why it is that your child never asks permission to draw marker lines all over your living room couch or eat ten pieces of candy at a stretch but absolutely must have your permission to respond to nature's call. During the training phase, you might as well forget about shopping ?cause the minute you enter a mall, the rest of your hour there will be spent finding out where the restrooms are at Penney's and transporting your charge there. It also figures that the restrooms are usually diagonally opposite to wherever you are so you can take the scenic route.

One of the funniest incidents I have heard of is of a friend who made her son go in the car in a Ziploc bag. I am not even sure I want to know what she did with the contents. My friends used to advise me to buy one of those Port-a-Potty things for emergency use on the road. Somehow I did not warm to the idea of "you-know-what" sloshing around in the back of my van. I have two words for you?speed bumps.

The other day I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw an aggressive mom driver barreling down on me. When I changed lanes and let her go ahead, I noticed her bumper sticker: "Out of the way?my kid's gotta go." I smiled and waved at her.


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