It was when my husband, 3-year-old son and I were on our way home from a wonderful family vacation in Sicily and Rome -a nine-hour flight on EuroFly.-that I learned about the terrors of potty training in the air.

Traveling with toddlers can be a challenge. We have about an hour or so left on the flight, and being three and a half months’ pregnant, I have already made two trips to the bathroom. A pit-stop before landing was in order…not just for me, but for my son, too. He hasn’t gone since we got on the plane. Now that’s dangerous for that little bladder…actually, almost physically impossible. So I drag him with me.

He flat-out refuses to go. Now, there is probably a reason for this. He was potty-trained about a month or so before the trip. He was great on vacation, but halfway through our stay, his travel potty seat broke. (One of those Blue’s Clues folding ones. Beware.)

The suction on the plane toilets leads to an argument in the bathroom. I let him know that in no circumstances can we come to the potty once the plane starts to get ready to land. They call for us to be back in our seats as we are arguing. So, both of us irritated, we hustle back to our seats. Middle row; he is on the aisle seat.


We get strapped in (he was actually using the CARES restraint system, so no car seat) and ready for descent. About 10 minutes go by and he starts a ramp-up whine:

“I’m PEE-ing! Mommy, I’m doing pee!”

Never mind everyone around us can hear him. Never mind I want to throw him in the carry-on bag and zip it up. Never mind I need to keep it together on a plane full of people. His seat is soaked, his clothes are soaked, he is totally upset. We sigh.

The flight attendants have no clue; they’re all strapped into their seats for descent. So, I grab him, strip and change him, gritting my teeth through it, and hold him on my lap. And then, I give him a hug and tell him it’s OK, because I can tell he is sad that he made me so upset.

If you’re wondering…yes, I did say something. I told the flight attendants that he went in the seat, and I apologized for it. Thank God Italian was their first language.