These wicked child rearing “experts”.
Once upon a time there was a child rearing expert who wrote an article on potty training. In that article he/she proposed that after the potty training parent was successful in getting the toddler (or in some cases – preschooler) to sit on the toilet and produce either a liquid or semi-solid waste product, the onlooking parent must celebrate the event.
“Make it a jubilant event,” experts advise.
Some even suggest “rewarding your child with a special treat” every time he/she uses the toilet.
This proposal then became conventional wisdom, and was reproduced in other child-rearing articles and/or advice columns. Decades later, a nation of college educated adults find themselves in the throes of mock jubilation whenever Jr. takes a dump on his porcelain throne, conditioned to jig and jive at the arrival of any trickle, no matter how minuscule.
My son Stone turned 2 this May and because of the twin factors of his age and his ability to consume the same amount of food as a man 20 times his age, it has become imperative that he be potty trained ASAP. You eat like a grown man, you poop like a grown man.
Taking our cues from the “experts” my husband and I have begun having ‘poo-poo parties’ for Stone. Marshall kicked off the exercise by plucking his only son from the tub and placing him on the toilet when he observed him contracting his abdomen. Squeezing his own face and quivering his fists, he simulated for Stone what a man should look like as he’s enjoying his private log laying time.
“Eeeeeee!!!” Marshall grunted.
“Eeeeeeeeee!!!” Stone parroted.
A few seconds later he produced a conical nugget which plopped and buoyed about in the bowl like a brown rubber duckie. Marshall erupted into applause and high-fived Stone’s pudgy hand.
We are now (thankfully) at the stage where Stone comes to inform of his impending need to relive his bowls.
“Poo-poo poddee, Mommeee!” he announces proudly.
History has taught me that I must drop whatever it is I am doing, be it dinner, a blog, ingestion of a life-saving medicine or whatever to get him to the toilet. The results otherwise are traumatic. After he has completed the deed, he proudly announces that he’s “all done.” He then looks at me expectantly.
“Stonie poo-poo in the potty, poo-poo in the potteeee!” I sing jubilantly. If Marshall is standing by, he’ll join in the chorus, capping off the serenade with a triumphant “yaayyy!” Stone grins broadly. Had he known earlier that by merely defecating in this mysterious round bowl, he could have reduced a 300lbs man and his 240 lbs wife to jigging, jiving buffoons, he would have done so earlier!
After he’s been wiped by one of us – that being whoever hasn’t fled the sulfuric cloud hovering in the bathroom – he peers into the toilet, inspects his work and bids it farewell.
“G’bye Poo-poo! G’bye!!!” he shouts at the swirling mass.
“I taught him that,” Marshall divulged pompously one day when I asked him why Stone way waving at the retreating crap-mass.
Yeah….That’s something I would have kept to myself. But then again, the image of my hulking husband teaching his son to salute his poop is one that has provided private moments of side splitting amusement.
I’m sure this original ‘expert’ is sitting somewhere, perhaps behind his massive oak desk financed by the peddling of this quack advice to millions, chuckling and chortling to himself in delight, deriving sadistic self-pleasure in the knowledge that some erstwhile voguish woman is composing poop praise themes and ballads to encourage her potty-training child. At the end of the day, I suppose making 2 out of 3 people happy isn’t bad – those two being the adviser and the child. I just hope my son is ready to clap and sing in utter exuberance when the tables are turned and I’m the one in the diaper.