I don’t know how much you know about toilet training, but it is at the forefront of my thoughts these days. Toilet training is a delicate art that parents think they master, when really it is the toddler who is in control (or not in control, depending on the stage of training). There are lots of theories about successful toilet training, including being naked as much as possible, throwing a veritable party to celebrate the first hint of success, and reading books that explain why excrement is in fact NOT a part of the body, so it’s okay to flush it down!
I would suggest that the only time parents miss diapers during training is in the car. “Daddy, I have to go pee” seems a relatively innocuous statement but imagine hearing it eastbound on the Gardiner Expressway en route to the Jays home opener – there is no where to stop.
I have some strange nostalgic sense when I drive past a tiny bare bum standing beside a car at the side of a country road; the scene seems to suggest simpler times. Simpler times indeed, times when there wasn’t a rest station every 50 km along the highway! We’ve come a long way. We’ve come so far, that we don’t need to turn on taps, pump soap dispensers, push hand dryer buttons, or even flush our own toilets!
Automatic toilets… maybe there are other times when parents miss diapers.
An experienced user of public toilets, I’ve learned that I can’t lean over while sitting on an automatic toilet for fear of wasting an extra 6 Litres of water. I’ve learned that wearing black also risks an unsolicited flush. I’ve even learned that opening the stall door can trigger a fresh bowl. My toddler on the other hand doesn’t have so much experiential knowledge.
Away from the ‘Potty Book’, the child-sized potty seat and the step stool, public washrooms are in-and-of themselves daunting, but a spontaneous cyclone of water rushing around the bowl she’s sitting on? That is terrifying!
Sure that the toilet is about to swallow her up, she squeals ‘Up pease!’ and clamps her hands over her ears to block out the haunting noise of rushing water. Immediate clenching stops the progress and the opportunity is lost. I wonder who is in control now, me? My toddler? Or is it really the toilet that is in control?
Now an experienced user of public toilets, I’ve learned to cover the flushing ‘eye’ of automatic toilets while my toddler attempts to relax and release. We’ll have to wait until her heart stops racing and she feels the urge to brave the toilet once more. Hopefully it will wait another 50 km.
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