Sunday, April 24, 2011

Potty Training (Part Two, The Peequeal.)

In my last post, (which I strongly suggest you read before you read this post) I wrote about how I had peed in my bathtub. Not a lot of pee. Just a few drops. (I chose the bathtub because if my pStyle experiment went horribly wrong the clean up would be a lot easier in the tub than my bathroom floor.) A few days after I posted that, I tried again. I had been paying more attention to the act of urinating. I focused on what my body was doing, and discovered that peeing is less about pushing the fluid out of your body and more of an opening sensation. So I tried the pStyle, not with an overly full bladder, but with just a regular need to pee, and had complete success! I didn't get a drop on my hand, and initially none on my legs. But as the flow began to hit the tub floor, I realized just what a horrible idea peeing in the bathtub really was.

The laws of splash back are, I found out, that the the longer the distance the fluid travels before hitting a solid surface, the higher the splash back can bounce. Which translates to pee splattering my legs from the mid-calf down.  I should have bought stock in soap and bathtub cleaner before I started this.


So now I can do the act. What's my next step? Toilet training obviously. But I wasn't going to go into this blindly like I did the first step. I did my research. I googled "potty training tips". I'll admit, I was nervous about what I would find. I was worried that the information I would uncover would make me lose respect for my parents. After all, I'm 25 years old. They really should have trained me to use the toilet by now. But on the first website I found, I read "The pressure is off parents to toilet train early. Don't equate toilet-training with good mothering. The idea that the earlier baby is eating three squares a day, weaned, toilet trained, and independent, the "better" the mother is nonsense." Thank god. I can't wait to console my parents that they were, are and always will be good parents. Free thinking parents, who let their children choose when they're ready to use the "big girl" potty and even let the children teach themselves. Imagine what a wonderful world it would be if all parents took this approach.

Everything I found online listed two main approaches to toilet training. One being a gradual weaning of the use of diapers. The other being an intensive training over a few days. I felt that 25 years was long enough to wait to be trained, I wanted this to be over as quickly as possible. Potty boot camp was about to begin!

I waited until the weekend, so that I could spend as much time at home as possible. Since the weather was  nice and warm, I also chose to wear no pants. There would be no "accidents" just because I couldn't get my overalls unsnapped in time. And every hour or so I would ask myself if I need to go potty. Even if I said "No", I encouraged myself to "just try". After the first day, I was accident free and using the toilet exclusively to poop and pee. To poop, I sat on the seat of the toilet, and had set up a stash of picture books to flip through so that using the toilet would be a positive experience. To pee, I made a game out of aiming. A few cheerios dropped into the toilet bowl became targets! I also rewarded myself with stickers every time I successfully went to the potty. By the second day I was still accident free, and aiming like a champ, no cheerio was left un-peed-on. And as it turns out, splash back is GREATLY reduced when liquids are hitting another liquid.


It's been a week since I toilet trained myself. I have been wearing pants again, and still no accidents. I am so proud of myself! I may never pee on myself again. Unless I'm stung by a jellyfish. Then I'll just have to put cheerios on the sting.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aim is the least of your worries. (Part One - The Peegining)

I peed in my bathtub.

Let's rewind. A while ago I got this in the mail. It's a pStyle!

To quote the manufacturer's website directly,  "The pStyle is a plastic device that allows you to pee standing up without undressing. It is a simple design that works exceptionally well. The pStyle is easy to position properly and the rounded edges are very comfortable. Because it is made of rigid plastic, the pStyle is easily maneuvered into the clothes you are wearing. The rounded back edge can be used to wipe with so there are no drips! It is easy to clean by shaking vigorously or rinsing."

I've been obsessed with these for a while. and have forever envied the fast moving line heading towards the men's bathroom at public events. No matter how hard I try, I have never been able to write my name in the snow with urine. Sometimes I can get the first letter or two, but after that, my knees hurt from the squatting and crab-walking; by then I've usually run out of juice in my bladder anyway.

Finally. I could experience the sublime joy of peeing, standing up, still wearing my pants, unashamed. If Fergie had had one of these, maybe she wouldn't have had to resort to singing songs about blankets to stay famous. 

So I open the pStyle package, eager to try this thing out. I even mentioned it on Facebook. I knew that this was going to be an epic chapter in my life. And then a note fell out in the packaging.

"Aiming takes a little practice at first, but once you get the hang of it you'll love this. Enjoy!"

Then I get to thinking. Is aiming really that hard? I hear, from time to time, from men that it actually can be! Especially when the bladder is full and the flow is heavy. (But not like menstrual flow heavy, because that usually has chunks of uterine lining, and if your pee has chunks in it - aim is the least of your problems.) I have also heard women complaining of having to clean up after poor aimers (small children, lazy/drunk/stupid adults). Suddenly I recall a friend who worked as a maid, telling me how much she hated cleaning toilets and the "splash-back" that collects on the porcelain. 

Maybe sitting down to pee isn't such a curse.

But I'm brave. I can do this! 

However I don't want to this is a public bathroom. After all, it'll be my first time. Like all virgins, I'm nervous. What if I do it wrong? What if I'm bad at it? No, I'll stick to my home bathroom, just in case I accidentally pee on the floor or myself.

On the other hand, like all girl virgins, I do want it to be special. This is turning point in my life. I'm taking the next step in becoming the person I'm meant to be. It's an important event. How can I memorialize it?

In an astounding EUREKA moment, I realize that I can solve all of my concerns at the same time. To make any possible cleanups easier, I'll pee in the bathtub. And since the acoustics are amazing, I'll record the sound of my first pee and turn it into a ringtone; available for all of my loved ones (and complete strangers)  to use. 

So I pick a day (Sunday), drink a lot of diet dr pepper (so much more nutritious than sucky water), and at the first sign of needing to go, I position the pee funnel according to the directions it came with, stand in my bathtub and..... nothing. Nothing comes out. I can feel my bladder getting fuller and fuller by the second, yet not a drop is leaving my body. I can't remember how to pee. Am I suppose to relax? Tense up? A combination? I've never had this problem before.

I try to think about the steps I normally take to pee. But all I can think of is this.
Step 1: Sit Down
Step 2: PEE!

The rest is cleanup, and won't help my current predicament. I'm left with no option but to zip up my pants, and try again later. So I drink more, and switch to wine. I wait until my bladder is painfully full. It wasn't until I feared peeing my pants on my couch, that I raced again to my bathtub. I flung off my pants, there was no time to worry about zippers, grab the urine flow director, and let it go. 

Or at least that was what I had hoped would happen. Again, nothing came out. At this point I was getting frustrated. Why is this so difficult? I tried sitting down, to start the flow. Nothing. Bending my knees. Nada.
I tried pressing down on my bladder with my free hand. This resulted in two drops onto the bathtub.

It was getting late, and I had to get up early in the morning. So I decide that maybe baby-steps are what I need. First I'll use the tool while sitting on the toilet. To get use to the feeling of the plastic being there. 

That's where I peed on myself. I had waited too long to pee. I sat down, positioned the pStyle exactly as I had been, but once the flow started, there was no directing the stream. It completely missed the plastic trough, and aimed directly for the palm of my hand. If I was kinkier that could have been the highlight of my week. But I gave up for the night. Washed my hands, the bathtub, the pStyle, and vowed to practice more next weekend.

To be continued...