Real Parenting: The Honest Perspective

Throw Out the Parenting Handbook – Parenting challenges you can only master through experience part 1

I am typing this sentence at a comically small picnic table, located in a play area confined dubiously by a chain link fence. An hour ago it seemed like a great place to get some quality writing done. At the time, my children were systematically destroying the house which my husband and I are hoping very soon to sell. One soiled pair of pants, two sandbox incidents, and an empty snack bag later, I’m starting to question the seemingly rational thought process that landed me here. The great thing about that, though, is I’m not alone.

Almost any parent will agree that there are things you just can’t prepare yourself for (and probably no one else can, either). Here is a parenting topic that you won’t find the full story on in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”.


You think you’re ready for it, but you’re not. Despite the host of potty training resources available to today’s parent, poop still has a funny way of appearing where it’s least expected, sometimes without explanation. Babies go digging for gold, toddlers decide to paint with whatever they have handy, and, on occasion, preschoolers are too busy exploring the wonders of the world around them to notice that they’ve left a nugget or two behind.

Where does poop really go?

Poop happens in the bathtub, on the floor, on the walls, and if you are very, very lucky, it can happen in the toilet. If you are wondering why this is not something people talk about more, it is because each child comes with his own set of unique and unexpected quirks, so while most children will not commit all of the offenses I’ve listed, they’ll probably commit at least one.

When poop is there, but you can’t see it.

Some unfortunate souls find that they have given birth to what I like to fondly call a hider: one of a select few children gifted with a talent for sneaking their bodily waste into rarely used corners to be discovered later. That is how summer, fall, and winter cleanings became ritual at our house; spring cleaning clearly was just not going to be enough.

You can get through this.

While poop is a parenting challenge that parents wish they could be fully prepared for, every child is different, so every poop adventure will be different too. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, just remember that you’re not alone. Every parent eventually gets through the potty training stage, and you will too!

Stay tuned for more parenting challenges you don’t find in parenting books, uncovered by real parents just like you. Next up parenting challenge: Climbing.

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