Toilet training is frustrating but there’s the Holy Grail of ‘no more nappies’, which means steak is back on the menu, to keep you focused.
And you need the encouragement because toilet training is a lesson in failure – you follow the kid around with a mop and every time they look a bit pensive you pick them up and run through the house to the loo holding them out in front of you like they’re made of something smelly and foul. Which, if you’re not quick enough, they may be.
You’ll try anything – you talk to them about how much fun weeing in the toilet is, offer lolly bribes, you read them books on weeing and pooing, you write shitty ditties to sing (‘peeing is fun with no nappy on my bum; I love to do a poo when I’m sitting on the loo’), you have them call up Grandma when they fluke it and you even show them how to sit on the toilet. Not that you need to arrange this last point.
As any parent will attest, there is nothing unusual about having the kids walk in on you while you’re in the bathroom.
My dad tells a story about how he was reading a newspaper on the dunny when he suddenly realized my 2 year old sister was sitting on his lap and he had no recollection of her getting there.
Things are especially bad around our house because we only have one bathroom which is in the same room as the only shower, bath and toilet, plus both washing machines and the dryer (it’s a big room). This means you are never alone in there – it’s almost as popular as the lounge room as a place to catch up on the day’s news.
Master20 was always very understanding with the little kids barging in on him when he was in the shower, but Miss17 is freshly horrified every single morning. Every morning. Without fail. Loudly.
“I’m in here!!” has been her early morning catch cry for about six years.
“But I need to do a poo!” whoever it is will say back, and then just open the door and walk in. Cause when you need to go, you need to go.
And Miss17’s response to this is always the same. “Shut the door!!!” Because our kids just plain don’t see the need to do that.
But the real problem with having only one toilet, which is in the bathroom (which has the bath, shower and laundry) isn’t the lack of privacy or being able to see who’s into the fridge from the shower. The real problem is things get a little confusing for the young kids.
Master7, for example, didn’t pee standing up for years. Now we weren’t about to correct him on this because, let’s face it, there’s a lot less mess to clean up. But unfortunately the confusion can work the other way.
Miss2, who is currently being toilet trained (by which I mean she is piddling all over the house and then running to the loo to sit and wipe) might need some extra toilet tutelage. I think she’s been spending too much time in the bathroom while I’m in there.
On Monday she was standing in front of the toilet with her pants down, frowning and holding her left index finger with her right hand, as though it was a doodle.
“What are you doing?” Tracey asked Miss2.
“I do wees,” she said. Then she pointed at Tracey’s crotch and asked, “What you got?”
I might need to add a new line to my song: ‘If girls pee standing up, you’ll have to mop the floor a lot.’
Yep, things might be getting a little messy around here. Looks like before we get to the Holy Grail we’re going to have a lot of Holy Fail.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’