A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Toilet Training Talk

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -- Thomas Jefferson

When Thomas Jefferson penned those lofty words, he was likely not thinking of the nitty gritty of toilet training. As one of the founding fathers and the third president of the United States, his mind was probably on weightier matters of state. A man of his stature, in his time, would scarcely have concerned himself with the routine micturations of his 6 plus 4 children which were probably left to the women of his household..

200 years later, it is still largely the province of women to civilize our young in such delicate matters. To put our hands to things with an odd willingness, that is entirely discriminatory. I think some would call it "parenting".
I seek freedom, not from political tyranny...  but from nappies, cleaning up "accidents" and the washing up that accompanies the "accidents". Hence, it is a given that I need to be eternally vigilant... or at least until... the proverbial penny drops in the little preschooler's noggin.

Toilet training is abominably hard... at least that has been my experience. I have heard numerous stories of children trained at two or two-and-a-half and in 3 days, accomplishments I can only fantasize about. While I don't really lose sleep over this, I wonder in my waking hours how much is it the parent (me), and how much is it the toilet training candidate.

You've probably all seen the tips... Watch for readiness, interest etc etc... My first one did neither for over three years and screamed in terror every time she was put on the toilet. She would rather get a nappy rash than sit on the toilet or potty. No #2 was interested from age 2 but the enthusiasm did not make up for the lack of maturity within the internal plumbing system. In all probability she thought all the cool kids sat on toilets and if she wanted to be cool, she would follow suit.
In most ways, No #2 is a lot more amenable a subject, thereby less painful. She likes the concept of toilet but it doesn't always translate into action. And while she can hold at longer stretches and do "her thing' when sent to the toilet, it is still up to me to be vigilant. The moment I let my guard down, I hear a "Mummy... I did a wee in my pants." And she is still at the stage where she prefers to do the hard stuff in her pull-ups.
Truly, the road to toilet training nirvana is a rocky one.

I suppose there is a lesson in all of this for all of us. I suppose we are meant to bond with our child through the fundamentals and I suppose there is nothing more fundamental than teaching a child to answer the call of nature in hygenically appropriate ways..

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