An Open Letter to Sam

Re: Potty Training


Dear Sam,


It’s been two weeks since we started potty training and we are so proud of you! Sure, those first twenty-four to thirty hours were rough, urine-soaked, and putrid, and I had to convince your dad not to give you up for adoption at least twice. But since then, you got control of the situation. Now, you understand what it feels like just before you pee, you alert someone—even Nate has assisted you—and you can hold it in for a reasonable amount of time until you make it to a toilet or urinal. You’ve even peed in public restrooms—something your self-accoladed brother didn’t do for several months!


But, as with all milestones, this is also a time for reflection and further self-improvement. I wouldn’t be doing my job as a mother if I sent you into the world—to a job, to college, to a gap year in southeast Asia, to seek out a spouse—with your toilet skills as they are now. Let’s set the bar a bit higher and tweak some of your habits and quirks.


And so, here’s my short little list of advice to you:


1.     You will not get a jellybean every time you pee for the rest of your life. It’s not practical.

2.     When some of your urine stream drifts outside of the toilet, to the floor or wastebasket, I cannot put it back into your penis so you can try again. I would if I could, but I truly can’t, so stop crying about it.

3.     It’s not sanitary to fall asleep on the floor of the bathroom.

4.     Pooping on the toilet should be a regular occurrence, like every day, not a once-every-ten-day phenomena.

5.     Don’t forget to pull down your underwear and shorts when you pee outside. Just because you’re standing in the bushes or next to a tree doesn’t automatically make it a successful pee.

6.     Quit playing with yourself—we’re here for a reason: to pee in the toilet. This is not an exploratory mission, and your penis is not a toy.

7.     While hygiene is important, it should not take you forty minutes to wash your hands.


Sam, I’m most proud of your growth mindset throughout this process. You have recognized your successes and taken pride in them. And when you’ve had an accident, you’ve been frustrated with yourself, but not discouraged. You’re enjoying the challenge—almost as much as you’re enjoying playing with yourself.


So, stay hydrated and keep peeing in that toilet! You’re doing a great job!



The Management