As a mother of two young boys (and one on the way!), I know a thing or two about the mishaps that can occur when trying to potty train. Take, for instance, that time my toddler tried “pee like Daddy,” and stood in the front yard attempting to whiz into a bush — right in front of the neighbors. I was equal parts embarrassed and amused by the display as I rushed to try and get my child to zip up and understand that there is a time and a place.
So, when I saw Hayden Panettiere’s hilarious tweet about her daughter peeing on the bathroom floor of a plane this week, I wanted to give the Nashville star both a hug and also a high-five.
The photo, along with her reaction, is absolutely priceless:
“Aaaand then your daughter pees on the floor of the airplane bathroom,” Panettiere captioned her tweet. “But look at that baby girl helping momma clean.”
In the image, you can clearly see her expression of, “OMG, this is really happening, isn’t it?” while her adorable daughter tries her very best to help mom clean up the mess. But honestly, can you imagine trying to clean pee off a floor in a tiny airplane bathroom at 10,000 feet in the air? I can hardly maneuver around my sons in my regular bathroom, and that is saying something!
Kids are exhausting for sure, but they are also incredibly authentic in their sincere urge to learn about the world, which is what makes things like potty training so frustratingly difficult and so incredibly hilarious at the same time.
And for anyone who thinks that potty training is as simple as teaching a child to sit still on a toilet and do their business, guess again. The process lasts for YEARS. My 7-year-old still regularly misses his target (the toilet), leaving my bathroom with a near-constant faint hint of pee. And any parent can tell you that even when you get a toddler to use a bathroom correctly, you will still be the official bottom-wiper for another eon or two.
Parenting is definitely not for the faint of heart. And so Panettiere’s humor and humility in her public bathroom mishap is both endearing and comical.
But to fans, Panettiere’s raw honesty is nothing new. In fact, the actress became a hero to moms everywhere last year after she sat down with People magazine to talk openly and candidly about her battle with postpartum depression. In her now famous interview, she told women everywhere that “The biggest message that I’ve been trying to promote for women is that it’s okay to ask for help. You feel mommy guilt — it’s for real.”
So here’s to honesty, keeping it real, and always seeing the humorous side to this parenting journey we’re all on. Even if that means sopping up toddler pee in an insanely small airplane bathroom.