Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Let It Go: The Subtle Art of Potty Training

Friday, 12 October 2018

Let It Go: The Subtle Art of Potty Training

This week has involved exponential loads of laundry, protracted periods spent on unforgivingly cold and hard tiled flooring and a multitude of poetic musings on the potential emotions that faecal matter may experience when finally reunited with their long lost family. For this week we have been potty training.
I will admit that I have been putting it off for a while. 

I have, in fact, previously denied my son access to a toilet having cruelly met his inaugural utterance of the phrase "POT POT!" with "Good boy for asking but you might just need to go in your nappy this time". In hindsight, a bit harsh but in my defence, we were on a motorway and I really don't like pulling over, or driving, or having urine stain my shoes. However, as he started to verbalise his preference for the porcelain over the junior Tena lady on a more regular basis the proverbial bullet had to be bitten.
The Holy Grail

The first step was to go underwear shopping for some "Big Boy Pants" that he couldn't possibly bear to part with should they become sullied by some rogue activity from his nether regions. Superheroes seemed to be his preferred theme but he was reminded that these gallant avengers were at his mercy. His poop was their nemesis.

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself" AND poop. Obvs. 

We were timid at first, choosing to loiter around the house with The Boy roaming trouser free and flaunting his pants to any passing visitor/delivery man while we punctuated each sentence with "Do you need to go pot- pot?“ and" Remember that Batman will need to go in the bin if the poop gets him" - a lesser known fact applicable to all masked avengers. We would hear his strained vocals, witness his straight legged stance and immediately enquire as to whether he needed a vessel into which his imminent deposit could be made. When he would immediately answer in the negative, we would play on his love for his novel wardrobe addition by decreeing them to be lost forever should they fall victim to his bodily excretion. An assessment that would induce him to instantly reabsorb any faecal matter which maybe making its way towards the light.

After 48 hours or so we became emboldened by the lack of reverse banana hammocks and started to reintroduce more layers on the bottom half. This bolstered us with false confidence as we played loose and free with the olfactory nerves; lifting the toddler in the air and taking deep, almost meditative, inhalations to assess the situation on a regular basis. Sure, we were accident free but we had had to imprint a map of public toilets, anonymous department stores and friendly establishments whom we could access at a moments notice should the need arise, and it did. With a disturbing and relentless frequency.


At least he dressed for easy access... 

As my work days approached and the baton of childcare was about to be passed to the Mother ship, The Boy's stomach had started to bloat to the point that he resembled an off season Santa who was prone to overindulgence and was yet to don his whiskers for the winter season. Yet, still that turtle refused to emerge from its hiding place. We were all on tenter hooks.

We were all living on the edge

In the end it took a communal visit to the bathroom with his beloved mentor/sister and the decision to coach one another through the birthing process. When it finally happened, he frightened himself by turning to look at what had been lurking within and was startled to find the potty straining to contain what must have constituted half his bodyweight not five minutes earlier. Party poppers were discharged with wild abandon, anthemic songs were chanted and everyone hugged amid slaps on the back and tears of pride being wiped from their smiling faces. We had done it. I felt like lighting a cigar.


I returned to work with a spring in my step and when I received a phone call the next day from my mother to relay the magical story of how The Boy had reenacted the event that very morning, I was beaming with a pride so overwhelming that I had to relay the news to my unsuspecting work colleagues. An act I immediately regretted as I witnessed their faces adopt what can only be described as a mixture of dismay and disgust. My mother's pride was so palpable that she later confused my enquiry into how their day was going with a request for a more detailed assessment of his faecal matter. A request that she happily and rather illustratively attended to as a matter of priority.

Communications took a dark turn

We are now four days into no accidents and two poos down. Whilst I would be cavalier to declare Gotham to be safe from imminent harm I do believe that the masked avenger is definitely getting his strut back.

Let It Go: The Subtle Art of Potty Training

This week has involved exponential loads of laundry, protracted periods spent on unforgivingly cold and hard tiled flooring and a multitude ...