You might be wondering why I am reviewing potty training videos. Don’t worry, the Things are long past potty training (THANK YOU GOD) but Speaker 7’s mini Speaker is still trying to train his mother. I’m not sure if she’s viewed any of these videos yet, but she’s already done the potty chart, so we know she’s pretty desperate by now. Therefore I dedicate this post to her and all the other parents still in the trenches of literal crap.
While we’re on the subject of crap, let’s get to the videos. The first is a classic and involves a little girl unfortunately named Prudence. It’s called “Once Upon a Potty” you know, like the fairy tales, only this time the princess is learning to use the royal throne instead of pooping hither and yon. There is also a version for little princes, complete with instructions on the parts. For instance, the cartoon Prudence bends over to show us all her butt hole. It’s fascinating stuff, people. I couldn’t find a clip of it (youtube failed me!) so here’s a picture which is worth a thousand words of horror.
I remember showing this video to at least the first Thing and possibly the second and getting a look that said “Yeah, I’m not buying it.” But never fear, there are doodles, er, oodles more of these things to go!
You’ll be pleased to know that Elmo has a potty training video, thus combining one of the most irritating puppets ever and toilets into one giant bucket of video poop. Elmo is learning to use the potty with the help of his Dad – a bigger elmo with this creepy mustache. At least he SAYS he’s his dad. Anyway, there’s a rock and roll song about the potty. But it gets better.
Later in the program, the kids start shouting out the names they give to their various body emissions. “Poop!” “Pee!” “Urinate!” “Number Two!” etc. You just know the urinate kid has yuppie parents. My friend and I watched this with our kids when they were very young and fell over laughing hysterically. Keep in mind we had toddlers and preschoolers at the time, so we were out of our minds.
Here’s a clip with yet another piece of horror from Elmo’s Potty Time. Remember that song “Birds do it, bees do it, let’s fall in love?” Yeah, that one by Cole Porter that’s been used in movies, musicals, and sung by respectable artists even though it’s a rather annoying song. But just wait till Elmo gets a hold of it! You will never be able to hear it the same way again.
Finally, we have Bear in the Big Blue House. I don’t know if you remember Bear. I never really watched his show because I didn’t have whatever channel he was on at the time. But I rented this video from the library, just like I rented the others, because I was desperate. Changing diapers on a tiny baby is one thing. By the time said baby is a toddler, it’s gotten old. Very, very old. And smelly. You’ll do almost anything at this point.
Bear is a giant freaking bear that is sure to scare the crap out of children, so I figured he was a good bet. He has muppet pals, all of them designed by Jim Henson who brought us Miss Piggy and Kermit. I’m extremely thankful they didn’t lower their standards by appearing in this video.
In this video, Bear’s friend Mouse is potty training. I remember when I had mice in my old house, and boy do I wish Bear had been around then because cleaning up mouse poop is even worse than toddler poop because at least you can’t usually catch diseases from toddler poop. Although for all you potential parents out there, they can get worms. If anybody had told me this stuff before I had kids, I’m pretty sure I would have immediately joined the nearest convent.
But where was I? Oh, right, disturbing stuff. At one point in this video, there’s this bizarre shadow dance with this jungle beat and afro’d shadows bouncing on the wall like an LSD trip. It’s the Potty Soul Train. Check it out.
I quite remember my expression upon seeing this was something like this.
My child, of course, had long since started playing with blocks and ignoring the entire thing. I honestly thought Thing One would never potty train. But then she entered a preschool for kids with learning delays (for some reason they thought she should know how to use scissors at three. Who the hell gives their toddler scissors?) that also took kids who weren’t potty trained. My life was saved.
With Thing Two (I’m well aware how their names in this context are rather interesting), I tried training her for several months before two then gave up. At three, she decided she’d had enough fun screwing with Mommy and just started using it by herself. Like it was her idea all the time.
I’d suggest a cat. They train themselves.