My apologies for writing about toilet training twice in a row but as I mentioned, its all potty all the time around here. While visiting grandparents in upstate New York this past weekend, we had a portable seat with us. Mere moments after arriving, my daughter let us know that there was no way she was going to use the portable seat, that she much preferred and required a real little potty. Its amazing how demanding someone so small can be. We tend to spend a fair amount of time upstate during the summer, and shes not the only grandchild who visits, so it felt like a wise idea to buy the house a potty.
My parents home isnt located near a wealth of stores and so, on a swelteringly hot day (why so boiling so early in June? scary!) I found myself in exactly the sort of monstrously huge big box store I avoid as if it were my religion. Im talking a Kids 'R' Us. The offgassing plastic toy chemicals hit us like an anvil when we walked in. But I digress. Im not-so-secretly fascinated by the shocking amount of crap in these kinds of stores -- does any kid actually need or ask for a fake Barbie laptop? -- but also amazed by how quickly even the most suspicious consumer (ahem) can be drawn in. Life would be so much easier if only I were allowed to just go ahead and buy everything in this store, I found myself thinking after 3 minutes of inhaling the fumes. Imagine the luxury of not knowing or not bothering to read labels!? ... Need a stepstool? Get a stepstool! No research, no looking for unpainted hard wood versions. Oh, the simplicity!
Back to reality: we were in a frantic rush, trying to get back to the house with the potty for use before a very overdue nap. Ill spare you some details but suffice it to say she was really holding out for this purchase. We managed to locate some potties. We grabbed the cheapest one with the least amount of bells and whistles (who needs Elmo to sing underneath them as they go about things?!) and got out of there with only a few minor extra items. (One true find I must mention in case anyone else is also in the market: a large, inexpensive hard plastic #2 wading pool which I have been looking and looking for. Its vastly preferable to all other PVC inflatable versions Ive been avoiding purchasing; not only is #2 considered one of the safest plastics, but I can recycle it where I live. Score one for the big box store.)
We finally get home, get the thing out of the box, my daughter is thrilled, and we go on about our day. A few hours later, when I have a moment to pick up the pottys box to break it down and recycle it, I notice that the seat can be deconstructed in a way that one part of it can be used on an adult toilet (if and when shes willing to try that again) and if you turn the whole contraption over, its a stepstool. If I have to buy plastic gunk, I absolutely prefer to buy something that has more than one use and will continue to function in the household long after potty training is done. Im about to pat myself on the back for navigating a giant store and coming out with two great finds when I see, to my horror, that part of the contraption is made out of antimicrobial plastic.
I will be totally honest, I dont know anything about antimicrobial plastic. But what I know about antimicrobial everything else, not to mention plastic manufacture and disposal/recycling leads me to believe that the combination of the two can only be bad. A wee bit of internet research confirms my suspicions. I get that this sort of invention might have some real advantages in a hospital but why does it have to be touching my kids tender skin? I wash the thing out after she uses it. Im not concerned about microbes. Its totally excessive and strange.
Lesson learned yet again: its up to parents to protect their children from questionable chemicals because no one else is doing it. It doesnt matter how hot, busy, pressed for time, exhausted, desperate for a potty my family is, I have to stop and take the time to calmly read labels, fine print, whatever I can before purchasing. Im the expert! And yet, from time to time, this still happens to me. I wonder what Kids 'R' Us return policy is on used potties.
That was a joke.
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