If you had any reason to hit up a search engine for potty training info within the last week, you were sure to find the latest parenting goof, resulting in gasps heard around the world, before finding any tutorial advice.
By "goof", I'm being polite.
Last week, in Utah, a mom decided it would be far more convenient for herself to bring potty chairs in place of booster seats, and to potty train her two young girls right at the table of a bustling deli while they ate their lunch. I'm not kidding.
At first my reaction was just sheer shock and disbelief. I wasn't going to even write about it because everyone else was covering it and voicing their own opinions. The more it sat, however, pun-intended, the more it bothered me for reasons I haven't yet heard in the media.
Public health issues aside, I think this mom is really selfish. I don't mean because she is interfering with the lunches of many, or disrupting the ten suits at a business meeting two tables over. I think she is robbing those two little girls of learning social norms, and not permitting them the privacy for which they are entitled. Potty training is more than physicality. It is about preparing our kids to be appropriate, teaching modesty and dignity, and most of all, creating an environment where kids can feel important and take pride in a monumental accomplishment. It is an opportunity to make our kids feel special, not be gawked at by the pastrami-on-rye eater two feet away (Did I mention the girls weren't dressed?)
Why would a parent do this? Because it is easier and more convenient for HER?
Now I get that there are people out there who will oppose the whole modesty and dignity part of my argument because they believe kids should be proud of their bodies and not forced pre-maturely into modesty. That's fine...but not in a public restaurant, and not while sitting on a potty chair. And why while they are eating? I don't care if you are in public or in the privacy of your own home, I've never heard of teaching table manners and potty training simultaneously. Maybe that's just me.