Sometimes you get the potty, and sometimes the potty gets you.
Michelle stood outside the bathroom stall trying to negotiate with her toddler.
“Ella, honey. I’m sorry mommy didn’t bring the travel potty seat, but you’re a big girl now anyway. Don’t you think it’s about time that you just sat on the big girl seat?”
Ella shook her head defiantly.
“Are you acting like this because you’re still mad that mommy packed away your cushioned potty seat at home?”
Ella crossed her arms with a huff and squinted at her mother.
“I know that you don’t like the regular seat as much because it doesn’t have handles like yours did, but at least mommy kept your step stool. That’s gotta count for something, right?”
Ella stood silent and motionless for the longest time. Finally, she crossed one leg over the other with the telltale knee bend that signaled the beginning of the pee-pee dance.
“Listen, Peanut. Mommy knows you have to go real bad. So I tell you what. You use this potty like a big girl, and mommy will let you have an ice cream when we get back to the table. Deal?”
Ella contemplated the deal for a moment before quickly shimmying past Michelle into the bathroom stall.
“Do you need mommy to …”
But Ella had latched the door before Michelle could offer her assistance. Michelle listened as Ella pulled herself up onto the toilet and finally heard the tinkling of success. A few moments later, the toilet flushed.
“Good job, Ella! You’re such a big girl! Mommy’s so proud of …”
Before she could finish her sentence, she heard a little squeal and then a giant splash.
“Ella! Are you OK in there?”
A few quiet seconds passed before Michelle heard the lock slide and the door swing open. She had to stifle a laugh when she saw Ella standing there, soaked from the waist down.
“Oh my goodness! Did you actually fall in?”
Ella shot her mother a piercing look of contempt far beyond her years, and then walked out of the bathroom, shoes squishing the whole way.
Michelle couldn’t help but laugh once Ella had left, but she vowed to unpack the potty seat as soon as she got home.