The Double Standard of Potty Privacy

January 18th, 2011 by Dionna | 17 Comments
Posted in Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family

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In response to the “Gentle Potty Learning Tips” from last week, Jessika at Job Description: Mommy wrote a post chronicling her daughter’s potty learning experience thus far. In “Adventures of Potty Learning,” she mentions:

On the morning of day three, she decided her potty belonged in the bathroom. She also decided she would like some privacy, and asked me to “Go out Mama. Close the door.” I, of course, agreed. Although she never respects my wishes when I would like to use the bathroom in private!

I miss Kieran's cute diaper bum now that he's in undies!

Ah, the privacy double standard – we get that here too! Honestly, I think Kieran has poo-radar.

Just this morning I was looking for a little alone time in our bathroom.1 Just like every time, as soon as I sat down I heard,

Kieran: “Mama? What you doin’ mama? You in the baff-room?”

Me: {sigh – I know what’s coming} “Yes, I am.”

Kieran: {pitter patter pitter patter} “Hi mama!” {pause} “Are you poopin’?”

Me: “Yes, I am. Can I have some privacy please?”

Kieran: {giggle} “No! I want to see! {bending over to examine the marriage of me and the toilet} Hey, mama, you don’t fit on the toilet like I do. See? Your legs go over the sides.”

Me: “You’re right, I’m bigger than you are, but we both fit on the toilet seat in our own ways. Now, can I have some privacy please?”

Kieran: “I want to stay in while you poo!”

Me: “When you go poo, do you want privacy?”

Kieran: “Yes.”

Me: “And when you ask me for privacy, what do I do?”

Kieran: “You stay in here.”

Me: “I do?”

Kieran: {laughing} “No, you go out and close the door.”

Me: “So will you please go out and close the door?”

Kieran: “Mmmmm, how about I turn around?”2

Me: “That will work.”

A couple of weeks ago, his poo radar went off and he came in for a visit.

Kieran: “Are you poopin’ mama?”

Me: “Yes, can I have some privacy?”

Kieran: {in a soothing voice} “Noooooo, it’s ok mama. Here, I will wipe you!

Me: “Thank you for the offer, but I can wipe myself. Someday you will be able to wipe yourself too!”

So what about you? Do your kids interrupt potty time? When did they learn to give you some privacy?

And most importantly, do you have any humorous stories to share? I’d love everyone to leave your potty humor in the comments section (here or on Facebook). I will add them to the post as they come in (be sure to let me know whether you’d like me to include names and/or your blog link).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reader Potty Stories ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Olivia: My daughter is still in diapers so she isn’t demanding privacy yet. But, I do get a little weirded out by just how much she wants to watch the the uh, “action”. And whenever I lock the door she bangs on it and wails, and even stretches her fingers under the door like the separation is just devastating.

milkymumma: We practice EC, so my pre-verbal toddler is very aware of wees and poos (everyone’s!), and communicates his excitement by standing beside me waiting to catch whatever comes out. Makes it really hard to engage and relax the necessary sphincters!

Tracy: One of my two-year old daughters popped her head in while I was on the potty the other day (the girls generally both like to stay and watch and “help”…)and said, “Wipe your tushie!” and popped right back out again. LOL.

Dulce: That is common around here, too! Not about privacy, but here is a story about when my two year old tried to teach Spiderman how to use the bathroom.

mom3boys: Since I am in the middle of potty training / learning my second (with no light at the end of this tunnel it seems…:)) I thought I would just post a link to a story about when I was pottying my first. (who is finally all done at 5!)

Kate: I try to watch for those moments when he’s really engaged in a toy and I can slip away without him following me. I don’t mind him watching but if he follows me into the bathroom he invariably starts emptying the trash or unwinding to roll of toilet paper.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama: Mikko loves company while he’s pooping; it’s a huge ordeal for him every time, so he wants someone to hold his hand and read him stories. Maybe that’s why I can’t convince him I don’t want the same treatment? I’m pretty intentional now about closing the door when I’m pooping, but pees are still free-for-alls. I draw the line at having him sit on my lap while I go — he keeps asking!

Christine: Last summer my son was three and my daughter was a precocious 18 months. We were outside one day when he had to go, so I let him pee against a tree. All the other moms looked around from the picnic table and laughed to see my tiny daughter facing the tree, arching her back, and pretending to pee like her big brother.

Alicia @ Lactation Narration: Nobody gets bathroom privacy in our house except for Daddy. My 4yo always wants us to hang out with her while she is on the potty, or at least wipe her when she’s done. I know she does it by herself at preschool, why not at home?!

Tiff: My daughter came to work with me…. Nothing like the potty learning double standard with lots of smartass adults around — she got them all pounding on the locked door when I didn’t bring her in with me!

Tamesin: The first time Rory used the potty he knocked it over when getting off! Poo and wee everywhere! We did celebrate that he used the potty but it was a little belated!

Valerie: My daughter also does the turning around equals privacy thing, LOL!

Jennifer: Well, my 1yo just got off the potty so he could pee on a foam reindeer stick puppet. He thought it was pretty funny.

Kimberly: We practice EC so my son is used to the idea of sitting on the potty frequently. Recently I sat my son on the potty before his bedtime. He was interested in my rings so I took them off and let him play with them. My husband called to me from another room so I turned my head to answer him. I turned back around and I couldn’t find my rings. My son stood up and I looked in his little potty but it was empty. Then I looked at my son. My rings were on his little penis and he was SO PROUD of himself! He just smiled and said ‘Pretty Pee-Pee momma.’ I laughed so hard! I’d love to know what he thinks about when he does this stuff!!

Daisy: In our house, be you resident or guest, your toileting is immediately announced by our little town cryer. Just gotta roll with it!

marclimon: Vador (son) thinks that mommy or daddy using the restroom is the most interesting thing ever. Hopefully, it will help in the potty-learning process.

Shannon: My daughter didn’t start asking for privacy until I started insisting she could only flush the potty for me if she stayed out of the room. Since flushing the potty was her favorite thing ever at the time, she agreed. Now she wants privacy for herself, but she doesn’t care to flush anymore, so she’s back in there talking to me the whole time.

  1. The lock for the bathroom in our bedroom does not work. The lock in the 2nd bathroom is questionable, but I tend to use our private bathroom for serious business. Out of politeness, doncha know.
  2. When we’re in a public bathroom and Kieran has to poo, I turn my back to him to give him as much privacy as possible.

17 Responses to:
"The Double Standard of Potty Privacy"

  1. Olivia

    My daughter is still in diapers so she isn’t demanding privacy yet. But, I do get a little weirded out by just how much she wants to watch the the uh, “action”. And whenever I lock the door she bangs on it and wails, and even stretches her fingers under the door like the separation is just devastating.

  2. We practice EC, so my pre-verbal toddler is very aware of wees and poos (everyone’s!), and communicates his excitement by standing beside me waiting to catch whatever comes out. Makes it really hard to engage and relax the necessary sphincters!

  3. Tracy

    One of my two-year old daughters popped her head in while I was on the potty the other day (the girls generally both like to stay and watch and “help”…)and said, “Wipe your tushie!” and popped right back out again. LOL.

  4. LOL That is common around here, too! Not about privacy, but this was as my two year old tried to teach Spiderman how to use the bathroom: http://dulcefamily.blogspot.com/2009/03/potty-talk.html

  5. Since I am in the middle of potty training / learning my second (with no light at the end of this tunnel it seems.. :P) I thought I would just post a link to my blog when I was pottying my first. (who is finally all done at 5!) :) http://childteachers.blogspot.com/2008/04/my-adventures-in-potty-training.html

  6. Kate

    I try to watch for those moments when he’s really engaged in a toy and I can slip away without him following me. I don’t mind him watching but if he follows me into the bathroom he invariably starts emptying the trash or unwinding to roll of toilet paper.

  7. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    Mikko loves company while he’s pooping; it’s a huge ordeal for him every time, so he wants someone to hold his hand and read him stories. Maybe that’s why I can’t convince him I don’t want the same treatment? I’m pretty intentional now about closing the door when I’m pooping, but pees are still free-for-alls. I draw the line at having him sit on my lap while I go — he keeps asking!

  8. Last summer my son was three and my daughter was a precocious 18 months. We were outside one day when he had to go, so I let him pee against a tree. All the other moms looked around from the picnic table and laughed to see my tiny daughter facing the tree, arching her back, and pretending to pee like her big brother.

  9. Alicia @ Lactation Narration   LactNarration

    Nobody gets bathroom privacy in our house except for Daddy. My 4yo always wants us to hang out with her while she is on the potty, or at least wipe her when she’s done. I know she does it by herself at preschool, why not at home?!

  10. Daisy   tootoodaisy

    In our house, be you resident or guest, your toileting is immediately announced by our little town cryer. Just gotta roll with it!

  11. marclimon   marclimon

    Great post. Thanks for the laughs. Vador (son) thinks that mommy or daddy using the restroom is the most interesting thing ever. Hopefully, it will help in the potty-learning process.

    marclimon

  12. My daughter didn’t start asking for privacy until I started insisting she could only flush the potty for me if she stayed out of the room. Since flushing the potty was her favorite thing ever at the time, she agreed. Now she wants privacy for herself, but she doesn’t care to flush anymore, so she’s back in there talking to me the whole time.

  13. I have never demanded privacy from my child when I got to the toilet as i didnt want to teach him that it is something that is shameful, as I thought it would make it harder to toilet train him. So I have always gone in front of him and allowed him to see what Im doing so that it becomes normailsed for him and so he would want to eventually emulate what I do. His dad used to shut the door when going and my toddler would get upset and want to come in so he now keeps the door open too.
    We are currently in the process of potty training which I started about 4 months ago (he is almost 2) and he also has no shame about it and happily will poo in front of us. At the moment he has gone back a few steps since us going away on holiday so I have gone back to having him nappy free until he stops his wee accidents, then I will put him in undies again.

  14. Nadja (Athenabee)   Athenabee

    My 3yo thinks that anyone going to the bathroom is worth checking out, but Dad going is the bee’s knees. She kicks the door open like a SWAT team and then exclaims “WOW DAD! You’re REALLY good at peeing!!”

  15. sarah maclaughlin   sarahmaclaugh

    I don’t even bother to close the bathroom door anymore. how sad is that?

  16. Amie   babyinbliss

    Privacy in our house constituted the establishment of the loving but firm rule that when the door is closed to the bathroom, that means the person inside wants privacy. While it works most of the time with our 3 year old daughter, sadly the adults (read: my partner) don’t always respect the rule. So I’ve also instituted the “mommy-wife special rule”… When the door is closed, and locked, and mommy is the one in there, that means mommy wants privacy! Works like a charm. Now my daughter, says to me, “mommy, I have to use the bathroom and I am using the mommy-wife special rule, ok, so don’t come in.”

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