Posts Tagged ‘squatty potty’

Potty Talk

Jill Posted in Uncategorized,Tags: , , ,

As I walked to the store this morning, like I do about every other day, I happened upon two nai nais (grandmas) helping little babies squat to pee on the sidewalk.  The women were chatting while the kids did their business.  They looked up and greeted me with smiles; I smiled back, then continued on my way.  And I realized later that when we first arrived in China, this would have been a blog post by itself!  So, I thought I should share this fun little bit of China while I’m thinking of it.  (If you’ve already been to China this probably won’t be anything new, sorry.)

Like everything else, toileting practices are different in China.  First, there are squatty potties–rectangular urinal-type things in the floor.  Luckily most homes have regular western toilets, but public bathrooms are almost always squatties.  I admit, sometimes I am grateful that I don’t have to touch a single thing when I use these bathrooms.  I don’t have to worry about placing my bare bottom on (beyond) questionable surfaces.

Second big difference, you don’t flush the paper!  Toilet paper goes in the trashcan, no matter what’s on it.  Plumbing here is not designed for it.  I was quite disgusted at this thought when I found out about it, but I’m pretty used to it now.  I was worried the bathroom trashes would smell terrible, but they really don’t (unless you’re in a bathroom that’s just dirty and gross).  We had to train Jasmine not to put the paper in the trash when she came home.  So I found it very ironic to have to train everyone TO put it in the trash when we moved here.  Fun times.

Third difference is children.  For some reason, I don’t think the Chinese people view human waste the same way we do.  I think they find little kid pee to be somewhat innocuous.  If a child needs to go, they go.  Doesn’t matter where they are!  And it doesn’t matter who sees.  Find a nearby tree, storm drain, trash can, planter box, corner of the grocery aisle.  Babies and toddlers wear split pants in lieu of diapers.  So when they have the urge, they just squat down, the pants open up, and they go.  It does have its advantages.  First, kids are potty trained (or maybe it’s more like “house trained”?) at a very early age.  I remember potty training my kids and so many times they’d need to go at exactly the wrong time.  No potty in sight!  It would have been nice to have the public acceptance to squat my child down anywhere. :)

Honestly, I can not begin to count the number of times I’ve seen children doing this outside.  It is a daily occurrence.  The little playground outside our apartment always has “puddles.”  Word of advice to those who plan to visit: if it’s not raining, don’t step in that puddle!  And if there’s a puddle in a store, building, etc., it’s NOT water.

Okay, last point.  I might as well tell you now since you’ll see it if you visit anyway.  Peeing is not the only thing kids do in public.

[Pretend I inserted here: a picture (that someone's child managed to delete off my phone!) of a cute little girl pooping in the middle of the shiny new kids' museum.]  Yep, she did her business right in the middle of a large room.  Dad picked up the solid stuff, but left the puddle.  [And now pretend there is a contorted, grossed-out face emoticon that doesn't exist right here!]

Consider yourself educated. :)


- Jill