Crappy Fathers Day everyone! I say this because we’re elbow deep in wee and poo right now. Lucky us! I would love to hear your experiences. Please share. Or just put a little smiley poo in the comments box so I know you’re with me!
I’m writing this post as I sit in the cinema watching some annoying scarily eye-browed dungaree-clad girl called Daisy dance around like a twat with poor replica Peppa and George puppets (if you have to ask “Peppa and George who?” then what are you doing here?). I want to head butt the floor but my beautiful first born of two and a half years is utterly entranced. She’s munched her way through a tray of popcorn bigger than her head and she hasn’t said a word since the film started. Occasionally her little chubby hand reaches out to pat me and check I haven’t gone anywhere but other than that she is in her element.
We are here because we are in the midst of toilet training. The potty, step and toilet seats have been in our lives since before Girly no2 was born seven months ago. My (now seemingly laughable) aspiration was to only be changing nappies in one size, not two. Ten nappies a day instead of fifteen. Two turds a day instead of three. Before no2 arrived, Bare Bum Bum time, as it’s catchily known in our house, was faring well and we were probably at 80/20 chance of success of wee landing in that days’ receptacle of choice. When no2 arrived, the slightest mention of a pot was met with a lot of screeching and stamping. I believe the technical term is “we regressed”! We left the potty and toilet seats casually strewn around but didn’t push it, we were waiting for the day she announced: “Mother! There will be no more nappies forthwith!” However it has not been forthcoming. Some days, she will insist on wearing pants and using the toilet. Others, she wouldn’t do it in return for episodes of Peppa. Actually that’s a lie. She would lie in the road for Peppa. She would even stand under a hand drier in a public toilet and she hates those. I desperately hope that she never meets a red t-shirt wearing, pink faced, snub-nosed boy with a really annoying voice. It’s just now how I picture my future son-in-law. Girly no1 has been in no hurry to add items to her to do list. Least of all things that, when they go wrong, piss Mummy off. Sorry, make Mummy cross. I stopped asking about Bare Bum Bum time. I promised myself we would be led by her. Occasionally she would surprise me and ask to leave her nappy off, which I duly did, hoping that just this once I wouldn’t be on the playroom floor on my knees with a bottle of detol as the spaghetti boiled over and the baby started screaming. Sometimes my wishes were fulfilled, but they were few and far between. I tried (and try) my best to be very unmumzilla (great new word for you all there) about it, but come on! Does anyone enjoy cleaning up someone else’s wee? Isn’t there already enough to do?!
The next time she announced she was wearing pants we decided on some gentle encouragement. The first was some fancy pants. I say fancy, they’re not ball gown fancy. They have glittered ponies and rainbows on, akin to that of an 80’s tshirt that is frequently spotted in Shoreditch and in hipster movies. The problem with these is that her indecisiveness got the better of her and she started deliberately wee-ing in them so she could wear a different colour pair. Fail. I put it behind us and went back to nappies. And hid the pants. Then, about a week ago, she again announced that she no longer wanted to wear nappies, she would wear pants. I had done some research which suggested 3 days was all it took once they decided. Great, I thought! Let’s do it. I knocked up a Peppa Pig reward chart, inspired by Pinterest, using an old colouring book and some reward stickers from Tescos. Little smiley faces for a wee, big smiley faces for a poo, treats for the coloured spots. We were ready.
Day one – stay home and just wear nothing on the bottom: Ok, good. One accident, good job all in.
Day two – wear trousers with no pants and go for a walk for an hour: Again, good job. One tiny accident but she was excited running away from waves at the beach. We managed a lunch out, a couple of uses of a restaurant toilet, all was going well. Even better that she was going to Mother-In-Law’s for the night! She has far more patience than I do. Tomorrow we will be done!
Day three – wear pants and trousers: Just one accident which happened when she banged her head. I totally get that. If someone bumps into me when I need the loo then a bit of wee comes out. It’s the Displacement theory. More than forgiveable! She even managed a daytime nap with no accidents. Winning at life!
Day four – You’re on your own with your newly potty trained child: Wee’s all fine. But we have a problem. A quick review of the last few days confirm that no poo has left the building since day zero. Having suffered with constipation previously, we jumped on it, plying her with Movicol which we are never without. As her reward for hitting 10 wee’s on the toilet, we go to see Peppa Pig at the cinema. No accidents there either. However as we were saying goodbye to Paramedic and her firstborn (someone had to suffer with me!), I saw her adopt a familiar squat in front of the Despicable Me poster. I whisked her off to the toilet and after 20 minutes of sweating and pushing, nothing. No poo poo. When we got home, we put a nappy on and she eventually poo’d aided by Husband (I won’t go into detail but the poo needed some help coming out). She went back into pants afterwards, and had only one accident in the early evening.
Day five: This was a nursery day. They’re not allowed in until they have three consecutive days dry. She wore a nappy in, poo’d so much she leaked out of it and she didn’t ask for the toilet once. In the afternoon she didn’t want to wear pants, she wanted to keep a nappy on. Hmmm. The problem with following someone else’s plan is the lack of trouble shooting. What do I do at this point? Force her to carry on? Leave it? Keep her off school? Throw the nappies away?
Day six: Same as day five. “No pants Mummy, I’m wearing a nappy”. Hmm. I can’t be bothered to argue.
Day seven: A home day. She refused pants to start off with but I reminded her of the glittery unicorns just waiting to be loved by her peachy little bum. She had one accident mid morning but we had a successful trip to and from swimming via M&S with no accidents. I can’t guarantee she didn’t pee in the pool but who would ever be silly enough to admit to doing that?! She had her nap sans nappy, no accidents. All good. Then the afternoon happened when she did a huge turd in her pants. Not so bad I thought, at least she did it without a nappy on. I was slightly discombobulated she didn’t mention it was on its way but that’s ok. Deep breath. Calm mum. No making her feel bad. What happened next though tested all my motherhood calm skills. Firstly, there was the blanket wee. I asked after dinner if she needed a wee. She shook her head vociferously and insisted she didn’t. I took some plates into the kitchen, filled the sink with water and looked out of the window into my sunny garden. I was greeted with the view of her bum in the air with her peering through her legs. I fleetingly wondered if she was wee-ing but surely not. After she had finished inspecting her bits from the ground up, she ran in and told me she had just done a wee on the new blanket. Great. In my best (passive aggressive) mum voice I reminded her I had just asked if she needed the toilet and she said no. “We must try and use the potty or toilet next time!” I said with as much positivity I could muster. I should add here that it wasn’t just any blanket…it was brand new – first time use – family rug from the Great Little Trading Company (#middleclassproblems). A little treat to myself for the beach this summer…and now it was covered in no1’s wee. I brushed off (most of) my annoyance, put it in the washing machine and we moved up to bath time. As Girly no2 was poo-ing on the bath mat (her very own laxative, she does it every day), Girly no1 was suspiciously quiet. I thought nothing of it as I was elbow deep in water wipes cleaning curry sauce off my knees. No2 came in a few minutes later saying she too needed the toilet. I gave myself a virtual pat on the back for her asking, we might nail this after all. Then we spotted some poo on her foot. Where did that come from sweetheart? (She makes me call her this since I explained a few days before that it meant I loved her). She blamed no2 saying that she had poo’d on her foot. Without being too graphic, this was impossible. It was like confusing Korma with Bhuna. It could not be done. Husband and I looked at each other and started searching for signs. I spotted some poo patches on the carpet in the hall coming from the direction of no2’s bedroom. More on her new rug (great), more on her bedroom carpet (brilliant) and then a big pile of turd over by the wall (oh crap). I started to rub my temple and cover my eyes, the universal sign for an “over it” mother. Husband guided me out of the room by my shoulders telling me to get the other two in the bath while he cleaned up our shitty house.
Immediately after that we both said that was it. We were done with potty training. She could go to school in nappies for all we cared! However after a nights sleep, and realising we were down to just one or two accidents a day we decided to persevere. Come on Team! We were knocked again yesterday after the “turd on the wall” incident however it was so ridiculous that we could do nothing but laugh. Girly no1 was wearing her pj’s sans pants when she waddled through saying she had poo’d. I ran her to the toilet, whipped her bottoms off and sat her on the toilet where she finished the poo. There was very little in the bottoms so we waited a while to see if some more would come out. After a couple of minutes Husband appeared at the door to check all was ok and let out a noise I don’t think I’ve heard him make before. “Is that poo on the wall?” As I started to laugh at the absurdity of his question I looked over my left shoulder to see, a couple of feet away from us and proudly sticking out like a stag head, a massive lump of shit stuck to the white wall. I was momentarily stunned then fell about laughing as no1 started crying that there was poo on the wall. The whole thing was ridiculous. It is ridiculous.
My Mum used to say to my Dad “You’re sick and I’m poo”. I get it now. He’s sick and I’m poo. Whilst I find comedy in these things after they happen, I am unduly appalled by poo. I think it’s because an ex once left a big old heap of shit on the floor of our previously co-owned flat, which I had to clean up despite not having lived there for four months. I find poo the height of disrespect. But when your baby girl poo’s on you, or your new carpet, or your wall, you just have to suck it up and crack on (pardon the pun) with the toilet training. I know that she’s actually doing really well. We are half way through our third day and so far we are dry. But we’ve yet to poo today so who knows what crappy treats there are in store!
I would love to hear your tips, stories and comedy moments with your toilet training. Who doesn’t love a poo story?! Add them below or on my Facebook page in the comments box. Let’s share the shit out of it!