Port-a-Potty Parenting 101

Port-a-Potty Parenting 101

I’m always on potty watch. It’s my God-given duty to take care of the dooty. I can’t stand it. It’s the bane of my existence. Anything pleasurable to me is a trigger for them. Sitting down to a movie, pouring a cup of fresh coffee taking that first bite of ice cream; someone always has to poop. It’s always an emergency, and if we’re out of the house, it’s always in the most vile latrine I’ve ever seen and smelled.

Independence Day, 2014. I knew it would happen. I planned ahead. I made sure all children went potty before we left. I forced them to poop. I threatened to take away toys, I threatened to take away TV. I was serious.

Satisfied that all poops were out, we joyfully set up camp along the lakeshore to enjoy the annual celebratory fireworks. It was a beautiful evening; hot and clear, no bugs, a giant BLT sandwich in one hand and an ice-cold beer in the other, my heart swelled as we enjoyed the company of our dearest friends.

Just as the fireworks began to boom, it happened.

Daddy I have to poop!

What!? I thought you went before we left?

I did but I didn’t get it all out!

In a panic, I grabbed my daughter by the hand and snaked our way through the dense crowd to the port-a-potty. It seemed nice earlier in the day. It had a sink with pumping water, a mirror, plenty of soap, and it flushed. Deluxe!

Now it was night. It was dark and the entire town had used it. The light quit working and the sink was out of water. Worst of all, the flusher was broken. My mouth filled with throw-up at the site of the pile of dung smiling at me on top of the toilet.


I picked up my daughter and held her as if my forearms were her toilet seat. I got something on my clothes. I don’t know where and I don’t know what it was. All I knew was that it hit my shorts and it stuck.

I did my best to hold it together. The deed was done, butts cleaned up, we headed back to the pack to enjoy the show. God I hope I never have to do that again.

After a sanitizing hand bath, I took a refreshing sip of my beer. A smile of relief emerged as the poo-stink clears and is replaced with the sweet aroma of a chilly lake. Taking a massive bite of the BLT, my oldest daughter starts a shimmy and a shake next to me.

Daddy, I have to poop too!

… Time passes, wounds heal, and I’m left with a hilarious story to tell next year.

Independence Day 2015. The most wonderful day of the year. Traditions hold true and we found ourselves in the same spot on the lakeshore. Lesson learned from last year, I brought a flashlight and my own hand sanitizer. My thoughtful wife brought baby wipes. We were all set for a mess-free evening.

Settling down with my BLT, my daughter excitedly reported that she had to go potty. No problem. I knew this would happen and I was prepared. The mountain of bacon could wait a few minutes. The port-a-potty was taken and a nice woman patiently waited. Chit chat ensued.

My daughter started a potty dance as we continued to wait. Minutes passed by and her urgency, along with my anxiety, continued to grow. Five more minutes passed and I could tell she wasn’t going to make it. The door finally opened and our new friend started to go in. She saw the panic in my face and graciously let us go ahead of her.

We made it to the potty. The light worked and so did the sink. The flusher worked as well, but the poo wouldn’t go down. It wouldn’t move. What do I do now?

Instinct told me to leave it, my conscience told me to keep trying. Flush after flush and it wouldn’t move. I couldn’t leave it for the nice gal outside. After all, she now knew my name and where my kids went to school.

I had only one choice-I had to grab it. It was horrible. Wrapping my hand in toilet paper did nothing protect me from contact. I felt its warmth, I felt its texture. That sensation will be hard to forget.

We cleaned up and returned to the firework show, my daughter ten pounds lighter, and me with no lingering appetite.

Nick Pulver is the proud father of three rambunctious kids who keep life interesting. He is the main contributor to Dadipooped, which was created as a support site for dads who need a laugh.

Photo by: annashomedecor

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