Potty training is basically just one gigantic, for lack of a better term, shit show. So many “stages” and “phases” and “setbacks.” Any reservations you once had about cleaning human feces off the floor, need to be flushed down the toilet, because you’re about to deal with a crapload.

Before beginning the process, I made sure I had the right supplies on hand.

1. Industrial sized paper towels

2. Disinfectant spray

3. Rubber gloves

4. Multiple toilet options (training toilet, children’s toilet seat, actual toilet)

5. Underwear featuring princesses.

6. Diapers for when I give up.

I also waited until her third birthday, because experts say you should wait until their third birthday. Just kidding, it was because I had to mentally prepare myself for an entire calendar year. I just wasn’t quite ready to hear someone screaming, “I HAVE TO POOP!” in the middle of Target while I’m tryna get my Joanna Gaines on.

Once we got down to business, Ceci made the switch over pretty much the same day… which made me super cocky. “That was so friggin easy! Piet! Get over here! It’s time for big boy underwear!” I sincerely regret those words.

Hour 1: He pooped in his underwear.

Hour 2: He stood at the top of the stairs and peed down them.

Hour 3: He wore diapers again.

Hour 4: He took off his diaper because “I want big boy underwear!” and pooped on the floor.

Then there was the time Ceci went to the bathroom alone, and I was busy taking care of the others. Minutes later, I realized she was still missing. I rushed to the bathroom, because I KNEW something was going down. And, going down, it was. She pulled a tampon applicator out of the trash, was sucking toilet water up into the empty chamber, and spraying it all over the bathroom walls. Should I be angry? Should I be proud? How innovative! How disgusting!

After that jarring incident, we had to put a childproof knob back on the bathroom door. Now every time she has to pee, I am forced to drop everything and personally escort her.

In closing, here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Turns out experts are right, three must be the magic number.

2. Never underestimate the lengths your child will go to spread germs.

3. Always assume your child is playing in the toilet water.

4. Boys can pee very far at an elevated height.

I know there are tons of awesome potty training stories out there, and I want to hear all the messy details. Let’s hear them!