When potty training goes terribly, terribly wrong

Recently we were getting ready to go home after church, and Tessa did what she tries to do every single week as we’re about to leave the chapel: she escaped my grasp and started full-fledge running around the entire building like a wild, ferocious wildebeest.

I made the mistake of trying to chase her. This resulted in the two of us running around the entire building, she like a wild, ferocious wildebeest, and I like a lame, biped lion stumbling around hoping to accidentally fall on her to make her stop running.

Before long I realized something ominous. She had completely disappeared. I got Lolly in on the hunt, and we sent Anna around to look for Tessa too.

We searched, but to no avail. Eventually, as we regrouped, we were relieved when Anna showed up with Tessa in tow. But there was a problem. Tessa wasn’t wearing pants.

The following conversation ensued:

Lolly: Tessa, where are your pants?

Tessa: I went pee pee in the potty!

Lolly: Well… good job Tessa, I guess. But where are your pants?”

Tessa: By the toilet.

This was not a good development. It’s one thing to have a child running around the halls of the building like a wildebeest on crystal meth. It’s another matter entirely when that wildebeest on crystal meth decides to go pee pee in the potty without supervision of any kind.

Immediately Lolly took Tessa over to the closest women’s bathroom to retrieve her clothes. She went into the bathroom and, as it turns out, there were no pants by the toilet.

Lolly: Your pants aren’t here, sweetie. Where is they?

Tessa: Not in this bathroom. In the other bathroom.

Suddenly Lolly’s fears began to mount.

Lolly: Which other bathroom??

Tessa pulled Lolly’s hand and led her to the men’s bathroom.

Of course.

Lolly opened the door (I was waiting at the front of the chapel with the other kids at this point). “Hello!?” she yelled. When there was no answer, she walked in, and there it was: Tessa’s little pair of pants in the middle of the floor. Of the men’s bathroom.

Lolly, of course was horrified. But not as horrified as she was two seconds later when, as she picked up the pants from the floor, she heard Tessa exclaim “I used this potty!”

And when she looked up, this was what she saw:

Wildebeests are famous for using urinals. Especially potty training wildebeests.

And that’s when we called a HAZMAT team to bring Tessa home and sterilize her entire body.

We learned so many lessons this day!

Pro-tip #1: Do not let your three-year-old run around a building unsupervised.

Pro-tip #2: Do not let your three-year-old go pee pee unsupervised.

Pro-tip #3: Do not let your three-year-old go pee pee in the men’s bathroom. Because she will use a urinal. Presumably by sitting on it.


Parent of the century award? You betcha!!!!


  1. I am laughing so hard!! That's almost as bad as my son coming out with a cup of toilet water THAT HE WAS DRINKING FROM! But he's 17 now and healthy as as a horse so who knows. Thanks for a great laugh!

  2. AuntSue
    Hello Good Parents. She is alive. She is safe. She is self-reliant. She has dry pants.
    And you have a good story to write in your blog!
    (has she ever been told about the bizzarre difference between a home potty that everyone uses, and a public place potty that weirdly separates the world into boys and girls before they can do their business?) (Was she curious to see a boys potty, or was she desperate to go and went into the closest one?)

    When I was six, our ward house was a 1907 stake house. It had two pulpits, with one up behind the choir seats (for stake conference) and one to the side and below the choir (for sacrament meeting). During sacrment meeting, Mom was playing the organ, so Dad asked me to take my three year old sister to the bathroom. While there, I had a dilemma. Her panties were wet. So I made a six year old decision, to not put wet panties back on my sister, to carry them back to Dad. (holding them up by a tiny bit of waist band elastic) When I reached the chapel door, another dilemma. I didn't want to carry those panties right in front of the people sitting in the front row. (I had to cross to other side where we were sitting ) So I chose the longer route up three steps, behind the choir seats, in front of the Sacrament table and around to the other side, down three steps and back to Dad. Of course, now EVERYONE in the chapel, all the way to the back seats, could see me carefully carrying my sister's wet panties.

  3. Oh Aunt Sue! Similar story. After being taken to the potty by her big sister, my niece sat down next to my husband during the church service, lifted her dress to show off, and announced very loudly "I don't have any pant (muffle muffle–as my husband clapped his hand over her mouth)" We whispered to my sister, who sent her oldest daughter to fetch said panties, who returned, carrying them in front of her by the waistband, all the way up to the second row in the chapel. This niece is now potty training her daughter–time to remind her of this story, I think . . .
    Janin AZ

  4. Many years ago, a woman in Texas was attending a George Strait concert and was arrested for going into the men's room because she could not do the long line to the women's. She got to the door, opened it, screamed into the place that she was coming in, ran to a stall and get business done. When she came out, there was a police officer there to arrest her. It was illegal to use opposite gender bathrooms. The officer in one of the stalls when she screamed in and told her he felt bad about it because he knew she was not there to cause harm or trouble. She was very angry because she had paid $160.00 for her front row seat. She would miss the concert and she did not think she could get a refund. Tessa did great. Besides, don't the urinals get a weekly thorough cleaning?

  5. I was predicting that her pants were inside the urinal wet with pee and water….at least that didn't happen and she was at least dry for the ride home…..ahhhh life with little kids….priceless!

  6. A wonderful story.

    My teenage daughters think urinals are just completely weird. Having used one, your daughter will always, I'm sure, hold an appreciation for just how practical they are! 😉

  7. Ha Ha!!!! Don’t worry. I’m a girl scout leader and my little 7 & 8 yr olds were using a hall for a sleepover one night. They really enjoyed sitting in the special seats in the men’s room while waiting to brush their teeth. When i came in to supervise, i had to tell them to get off those things. And hoped they were clean. Fortunately (since i have germophobic ocd, along with other ocd) i was able to not ruminate on this issue. Had it happened a few years earlier, when i was in the throes of ocd, i would have freaked out. Good thing i wasn’t a girl scout leader then! So it’s one of a kid’s rites of passage, to go into the OTHER bathroom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.