There is a myth in parenting that no one ever talks about. The myth that potty-training is a short term process and that, after a few weeks or a month, your child is wearing underwear, you no longer have to buy diapers, and life can return to before-child normal. You know, the time when you didn't have a daily conversation about poop.
Not so much. My three and a half year old has been wearing underwear for a year. But relieving herself in the toilet was only one step of potty-training. There are about 40 other steps that are conveniently skipped over in parenting books. The "transition from little potty chair to big potty" step. The "yes, you must flush every time you go potty" step. The "weening from potty-rewards step (otherwise known as, "no, grown-ups don't get M&Ms for pooping" step.) The "privacy without locking yourself in the bathroom" step. The "not everyone wants to see your new Hello Kitty underwear" step. The "not discussing what mommy is doing in the toilet in public bathrooms" step.
And then there is the "I wipe my own ass" step. We are currently working on this step right now. Yesterday, we had this conversation:
Daughter: Mama! I need help! (from the bathroom)
Me: With what?
Daughter: Wiping my bottom! I pooped!
Me: You can do it.
Daughter: No, I can't! I need help!
Me: I want you to try to do it. If you can't, I will help you.
Daughter: I CAN'T . . . you need to HELP me.
Me: You need to try and then I will help you.
Daughter: (Long, dramatic sigh) Allllllright, I'll try. I'm getting really tired of this though.