Mar 12 2008

How Toilet Training My 3 Year Old Almost Left Me In The Poo!

Destructo started school this year. Just before the end of year school holidays, we received a confirmation notice that our youngest son would be attending the same school as his two older brothers.

The letter contained a bunch of useful information about what to wear and bring to class, and a warning that, due to one of his new classmates being highly allergic to a number of foods (“anaphylaxis” – the most severe form of allergic reaction and potentially life threatening), we would not be allowed to pack any meals for our three-year old that contained milk, eggs, nuts, oats, sesame, soy and seafood.

Okay … so I would have to rethink my entire lunch-making strategy for Destructo. No big deal.

What caught my attention, however, was a section at the bottom of the acceptance letter stating that no child would be allowed to attend school unless they were “fully toilet trained”.

I glanced at Destructo, who was runnning around the house wearing nothing but a pee-saturated and foul-smelling disposable diaper that was bulging heavily at the back, and showed my wife the school notice.

“Ummmm … you better make sure he’s toilet trained before he starts school next year” Corporate Babe said to me after reading the confirmation letter.

“Don’t worry … it’ll be sweet,” I replied dismissively. I knew I had plenty of time to get him toilet trained before the new school term resumed in the New Year. We had just entered the long school holiday season and I had more than eight weeks to get Destructo out of diapers and get him potty trained.

Halfway through the school holidays, just as I was changing my son’s diaper, my wife brought up the subject again.

“How’s the toilet training going? You know he starts school in less than a month.”

“Fuggetaboudit! It’s all under control! He’ll be running around in undies very soon and these stinky diapers will be a thing of the past!”

I got nagged about potty-training my son again less than a fortnight before the school season commenced.

“So … when do you plan to potty train him?”

I was ahead of my wife, however, and told her that after researching the subject of toilet training toddlers on the net, I had discovered, purchased and downloaded an electronic guide for parents called “How To Potty Train Your Toddler In 1-3 Days“.

“Look at this! There’s some pretty darn good information in here. When things quiet down at the end of this week I’ll get onto it and we’ll have him toilet trained in 3 days or less!”

I then dismissed my wife’s concerns and turned my attention back to work, knowing that I was well ahead of schedule, since it would only take me three days to toilet train my son.

On the last weekend before school started, with only 2 days to go before Destructo was due to show up in his new class wearing undies instead of diapers, I decided I better start putting the information contained in “How To Potty Train Your Toddler In 1-3 Days” to good use and get Destructo toilet trained.

Necessity may be the mother of all invention, but it takes “panic” to actually get things done. I was now out of time and couldn’t invent any more excuses for getting Destructo toilet trained. I could hear the mother of all my children breathing down my neck.

This was the bottom line. It was time for me to really get bogged down, get serious about the process of elimination, eliminate all distractions, flush away my stinking thinking, quit being a fool and get on the stool, stop dragging my bottom and teach my three-year old how to start wiping his.

All attempts of toilet humor aside, it was now or never, and if I didn’t get my three-year old toilet trained NOW, I would really be in the poo!

My son and I spent the weekend together getting intimately acquainted with our porcelain toilet (it works fine, despite the fact that it is a defecative unit!). I pulled off his diapers and let him run around the house naked all weekend. I did the same. We both spent the weekend naked from the waste down as kindred spirits locked into the “vibe” of this important rite of passage.

During the weekend, the normally private process of personal elimination became an opportunity to transfer important knowledge and skills to another little human being. Realizing I didn’t know any other way of teaching him how to wipe, I left the door open to the toilet whenever I had to go and then showed him how I did it.

When Corporate Babe came home later that day from a grocery shop, Destructo couldn’t wait to show his mum what he had learnt from Dad.

“Look Mummy … come watch me do a poo in the toilet!”

We both stood outside the door looking in wonderment and delight as our little boy sat on that big toilet bowl.

“Now this is how you wipe …” he said when he was all done, repeating the exact instructions I had given him earlier. “First, you count 5 little squares of toilet paper … 1, 2, 3, 4, 5! Then you tear along the dotted line. Then you fold the paper, and then you fold it again. Then you put your hand under the paper. Then you lift your little nuts. Then you wipe. Then you drop it into the toilet. Then you count another 5 little squares of toilet paper … 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!”

We both laughed and praised him for being such a big boy.

Corporate Babe looked at me approvingly.

Destructo was on his way to wearing undies and becoming a big boy.

The big test, of course, would come the following day, when Destructo started his first day of school …

The Lazy HouseHusband

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