One of the things she told me about was how her daughter had difficulty using the squat toilet.
Having been potty trained for some time now, and having only used American-style toilets in America, a squat toilet was a new thing for the daughter. My friend said her daughter refused to try it for a long time, then complained of her knees hurting and it being difficult to keep her legs so far apart. It wasn't a big problem, though, since they had a "commode" or western-style toilet at their house. This only became a problem when they were out and about in Karachi at places where there was no choice besides the squat toilet. It became such a problem at one of the wedding functions that the daughter actually made herself sick from refusing to use the bathroom.
Having that talk with my friend got me thinking about what we would do with our son. He's newly potty trained and we'd never talked with him about or attempted the squat toilet kind of maneuver. M definitely wants to teach him how to use it eventually, at the very least for his own ease of travel throughout the rest of the world that might not have western-style toilets. Because of course, plenty of children live perfectly fine lives with squat toilets. But right now when our son's potty training is so fresh and new, why throw a wrench into the works?
That got me thinking about alternatives for baby potty-ing. We, too, will be out and about a lot. We, too, will have a lot of various wedding functions to attend and many of them will last way into the wee hours of the night. M has family members whose homes we will visit that only have squat toilets. I was concerned that there will be many times when there will be no option available, and what if my kid has the same difficulty?
Luckily, an American mommy friend of mine had told me some time ago about something she'd bought to help her daughter with on-the-go potty training. It was a portable potty that could be folded down flat for travel. They keep it in the back of the car should they ever be caught off guard by an urgent potty need.
I bought one recently and plan to take it with me to Pakistan. I can fold it up and keep it in my diaper bag, or in the back of the car along with us to our wedding functions. Should a squat toilet be available, it can be placed on top of it. Otherwise, it comes with plastic bags that hook underneath it. Maybe my kid won't have any trouble at all, but I was grateful to talk to another parent who had gone through the same thing, and I thought that $15 was a small price to pay for our potty training to stay on track while we're traveling in Pakistan. Just in case.
It's so strange because before our first trip there, I was so concerned about what clothes I would take, making sure my eyebrows were nicely waxed and that my shoes were fashionable so that I made a nice impression. Now my biggest concern is whether my kid will have a comfortable potty to use at all times. Time changes all things I suppose, and these are the things I think about now.