KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — "Monkey see, monkey do" didn't cover number two... until now.
Knoxville based "Potty M.D." is a company founded by Dr. Preston Smith in 2003. Smith is a pediatric urologist who says he started the company to offer help and guidance to parents learning how to potty train. Back then, he never knew some would come to know him as "the potty doctor."
"I just have to own it. I guess it's like anything, sometimes it's funny sometimes it's good and sometimes it's probably a little embarrassing," Smith joked.
What's not embarrassing is his success. With hundreds of thousands of monkeys and watches sold, business is booming. One Potty Monkey YouTube video is nearing one million views. Both the monkey and watch work on a timer and alert children at a parent-designated time that, well, it's time to go.
"The potty monkey watch does come with reward chart and stickers and they're all potty monkey related, so you got bananas if you go pee and coconuts if you go poo," said Smith.
While the idea is fun and somewhat humorous, Smith says he remains serious about his goal of offering good resources to parents and children. He believes the best goal is to start children early with potty training to avoid problems as they grow.
"Our whole thing about Potty Monkey is make sure you stay engaged with your children and make sure they learn early on to have good bathroom habits so they don't need one of my older children's watches and they don't need one of my bed wetting alarm devices," said Smith.
The watch and rewards pack come together for $11.99 online. Smith ships from his Knoxville shop all around the globe. The company has also expanded into other alarm systems aimed to help the elderly.