So a year and a half ago, a month before Mar©ia was born, there was a great baby shower. It was fun, my sister put a lot of hard work into it and it was awesome. Lots of people showed up. I felt loved. There were some much needed gifts and we appreciated them, we still do. One of them was a Fisher Price Cheer for Me! Potty.* We left it in the box. Not because we didn’t want it, but because a newborn does not need it yet, and it takes up less space in the closet when still in the box.
For the past weeks (months?) Mar©ia has been curious about mee using the toilet. She likes to walk in the bathroom while I go, she seems excited to hear my pee hit the bowl, and wants to look in there after I stand. I narrate what I am doing and am trying to be candid about the fact that this is just the way we do it when we do not wear diapers. Sounds kind of like this, “First I lift the lid, then I pull down my pants and underwear and I sit down. Listen, that is my pee. I pee in the toilet. Right now you wear a diaper and that is where you pee. I do not wear a diaper, so I pee here. (If I have to poop, I talk about pooping in the toilet too, same basic phrases.) I am done peeing (pooping). I will use toilet paper and wipe so I don’t drip on my clothes. Now I pull up my pants and flush the toilet with this handle. I can watch the pee (poop) go down the drain. Now I wash my hands with soap. I am all done, now it is time to get out of the bathroom.” She is curious and I am happy to have her learn.
Mar©ia has also been doing OKAY about telling us when she has pooped. She in the last couple weeks has said “poop” to mee, I take her to change her diaper and she has only peed, then in a couple minutes after changing her diaper, she poops. She tries to help clean her bottom when she has a poopy diaper, not that it really helps, at all. She will grab a diaper or say diaper and go right to the changing station. Most of the time she is cooperative. I am glad she stopped trying to get away EVERY time we had to change her.
I am not saying that she is ready to be toilet trained. Time will tell. But she is interested in learning about it. So, Monday I got out the box with the training potty. I figure it won’t hurt for her to become familiar with it.
I told Mar©ia that we were going to open the gift from the baby shower for her. She came over got excited and I got through the tape on the end.** She started to reach in and at first I let her. Then I noticed that it looked dingy. There was dust and scuff marks. I figured it would be no big deal if it had just been on display and I wiped that off. Then I noticed there were some other “stains” on it that took more elbow-grease to wipe away, so I left the rest. I pulled the box out of her reach and pulled out the toilet. Sure enough, there are scratches on the lid and seat where they have been worn. The paint is worn off the handle where it has been “flushed.” There are urine spots on the inner rim of the seat. There are “stains” on the underside of the seat, which I can only assume is poop. The removable bowl is grimy looking. Obviously this has been used with some kid and returned to the store, which they then put back on the shelf!***
There is no way I am letting her sit on a stranger’s pee/poop. There is no way my friend would be comfortable even knowing that this seat came used. If you are reading this story, I apologize; please do not puke on your computer. I almost did when I opened it. (Pregnancy can have that effect on a person.) We decided the thing to do is take it back to the store; we still have the gift receipt.
I called the store to explain what happened and to see if the gift receipt is still acceptable. There are no notes on the gift receipt with an expiration date, or anything to indicate there would be a problem, however it is 18 months old, so I wanted to check. The lady on the phone said that they will not take it back if it is over 90 days old. My “only option at this time is to call the company”, Fisher Price.**** I almost laughed, that is ridiculous.
I rolled my eyes and did what any other person would do, if they had the “connections,” I asked one of my friends that works at this store and is a little more in the know, and a whole lot friendlier, for advice. I explained the whole situation and she told mee how to go about it. So later after we were fairly certain it was a different service desk person, we went in and exchanged it for a new, never-been-opened-clean one. And we made sure they took note of the used-ness of it and mark it down, I hope they do not try to re-sell that thing, again. It is just nasty!
After we got it home and opened we realized that a few things were missing from the dirty one. There was no instruction manual or warranty card, the sound system (it plays songs and cheers when peed in) was missing, and the splash guard was missing (which may come in handy if our next one is a boy). It was obvious that whoever did this had had the potty for a while since they could not remember how it was packaged, they had the parts disassembled, whereas the new one came mostly assembled other than the sound system had to be attached and the back had to be inserted.
*This was a fun gift because at Girls Camp I was so grossed out by our toilet options that I took a bucket and an emergency preparedness toilet seat with bags to camp. I may have been made fun of (maybe not) but I had a clean place to sit, free of bugs, when I had to go.
**The friend that got this normally would only have purchased the perfect-never-been-opened box, but it was the only one on the shelf, and was led to believe that it was just a display model that was put back in the box and taped closed.
***What makes a person so dishonest to use a toilet, even a training kind, not clean it and then return it as if there is nothing amiss? I really do not understand. And what possesses a store to let that go back on the shelf and be resold? I know they want to make as much money as they can, but com e on have some decency! I can only assume it means they do not look over the items that are returned to make sure they are good before selling them again. (My friend that told mee how to go about the return told mee another gross story about how someone came back mad because a diaper disposal system they had purchased came with a dirty diaper already installed…that means it was on the shelf with a dirty diaper inside it! She said she wishes she could make all the returns people check over the items before they let the products go back on the shelf.)
****I have yet to understand why I would need to call Fisher Price and have them do anything with a product the store allowed to be returned, with poop and pee still on it, and returned to the shelf and re-sold. I can only imagine the person on that call telling mee that they cannot do anything about it because it was not used when shipped to the store in the first place. And I would agree. I have not called Fisher Price, I do not know how their customer service is, and they may be wonderful for all I know. I would like to believe that since they make stuff for kids.