The iPotty: Toddlers Get Technical And Amazonians Get Silly
Some thoughts went through my mind upon first seeing this device. The first was "I would have loved to have this kind of stuff when I was little!" The second was "Won't the iPad end up contaminated?" I found I was not alone in formulating my second thought; many parents left mid-to-low range reviews for the iPotty at Amazon.com based on messiness. And some parents were just horrified that someone had the nerve (or evil genius?) to invent it:
Some people outright hated the idea.
Patrick Smith was not impressed in general:
"Incredible invention. There weren't enough ways to spread fecal bacteria before. Now you can have it on your iPad. I can't believe there are actually positive reviews on this."
Nor was Ravi Satyavarapu, who wants to remind us that we don't pee and poop in the living room for a reason:
"This is fundamentally wrong idea, there is a reason why the toilets are isolated as different room and people wash hands after going to toilet. Now with iPad in toilet and then take all over the house is a good way to spread germs. Try to teach kids a good habits not spoil them. Can't they go to potty without iPad!!! seriously!!"
Others got biblical about the iPotty.
Marc Leandro thinks the iPotty's existence signals the end of time:
"This product has to be one of the signs of the apocalypse! It is bad enough that kids have iPads at all, but any parent who thinks their kids need to be "diverted" while they are on the can is suffering from some serious parenting deficits. Stop placing your kids in front of screens all the %$%$!# time."
dee, on the other hand, just experienced some moral outrage:
"Seriously ... Does anyone else find this ethically wrong to cut down human interaction with a toddler in this aspect of their lives? You may see it as no different than reading a book, but you are wrong... ."
And then there some tots who found themselves invigorated with water sport.
K.W. McCabe discovered that the iPotty served more as a toilet fountain than as a toilet training aid:
"So I bought this potty trainer with every intention of teaching my toddler the joys of pottying while fully distracted by technological media. Everything was going just wonderfully until, in a fit of excitement and hand-waving over the wonderfully detailed graphics on my ipads HD screen - my two year old sprayed the walls, the floor, me - and my ipad! It was too late to return the ipad and unfortunately my insurance does not cover urination-by-toddler, but I am most DEFINITELY returning this pee magnet. Thanks alot CTA >:-( "
Likewise, Linda Hudson ended up with a mess, compliments of her grandson:
"This is very cheaply made. I was disapointed [sic]. When my grandson uses as a potty, urine went everywhere, even with the splatter guard attached. I do not recomend [sic] it as a potty!"
Some other reviews poked fun at the iPotty in a different way.
Free Speech Lover ended up the victim of inadvertent classical conditioning:
I bought this and tried it out to make sure it was suitable for our 11-year-old (he does things at his own pace). The problem -- I tried it for too long and operant conditioned myself. Now I can't relieve myself unless I am playing Angry Birds or watching Netflix. This is awkward at the office and at urinals in general. Also whenever I am someplace without a wi-fi signal I become constipated."
And in a show of shamelessness, David Worthington shared that he decided to embrace his iPotty and the accompanying "deep vein thrombosis."
Some parents raised other arguments. Some were upset that their children ended up wanting to sit on the iPotty only because they had become iPad addicts, and not because they needed to pee. One reviewer wrote that her son, when he outgrew the iPotty, began to sit backwards on the regular toilet. Others opined that the idea of encapsulating a $400 device in a flimsy $40 crap holder was not a good idea at all, despite the fact that the iPotty does come with a plastic screen cover (and one customer said the screen lock broke immediately).
Overall, there was an even split between positive and negative iPotty reviews, with some parents absolutely loving it. In retrospect, maybe things are not so different as they were back in my day. When I was little, my mom could plop me in front of the TV to watch "Sesame Street" or on the toilet with a Highlights magazine. When I was raising my brood, I dropped them in from of the VCR and let Ringo Starr and Thomas the Tank Engine mesmerize and entertain. Any my son used to look at a Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog when he pooped on his little toilet. He liked that "the ladieth" (he had a lisp) were "boobie ladieth." (He turns 21 this summer, and let me tell you: he hasn't changed.) I guess it's not such a stretch that, today, "vacuous, self-obsessed Apple fanatics" can avoid giving their children attention, in pure American style, with the iPotty (thank you, Paul Littlebury).