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Thursday, 4 August 2016

#20 Can You Help Me?!

There I've got your attention. What you're about to read contains TMI ahoy but you've opened this link now and started reading so you may as well stick around.

Shameless click bait title? Whatever. I need you, so please stay. Please.

So what I need help with is potty training. Or, should I say: botty training. You may recall some time back that I discussed Son's initial (lack of) success with all things toilet, to the extent that he had a zero percent hit rate with pees on the toilet /potty. Such an unmitigated failure was the whole exercise that we gave up about a week in, stressed and fed up.

On one hand, things have now greatly improved: Son decided to pee-train himself shortly after his sister was born, claiming that nappies were for babies. Sure enough, he is now almost 100% sorted and accident-free on that front. It's awesome.

But on the other hand, his nappy-baby association has come back to bite him on the ass, literally, since we still have a zero percent hit rate...with poos. Now what's interesting is that, unlike with the pee failures, he never actually has poo accidents. No, what happens is that he waits until he has a nappy on - at nap and sleep times - and then lets it all go with gay abandon. And how, for by the time we get to the sticky crime scene, no matter how quickly we think we've caught it, it's all about peeling gooey nappies off bums and thighs, trying to keep Satan's pate from oozing out of its padded container, the smiling cartoon character on the outside hopelessly at odds with the evil content within.

And since this usually happens at night time - currently almost every single bloody night time - all of this rigmarole is performed with the silent precision of keyhole surgery, in an attempt not to wake Son.

But there's the other thing: it's happening at roughly the same time every night, discovered when we are just about to hit the sack. So since he's asleep, there's no way to catch him doing it before it happens. And believe me we've tried: constantly asking him, sticker charts, promises of rewards, the lot, all communicated with a lobotomised positivity. Still nada. And yet the fact that he doesn't have underpant-accidents must suggest something is going on inside his tiny mind, some cogs are whirring somewhere....where, I'd love to know.

What is now becoming grimly predictable every night is taking the shape of a cruel game of Shotgun for Husband and me. 'We're a team, we deal with this together, bring it on', we say. But I'm sure both of us have fibbed about it at times, pulling our head from out of Son's doorway, hiding watery eyes and an air of sad disgust, to lie that this particular evening he does not need changing. Because let's be honest, marriage vows or no it's a bum rap and a shit gig, puns fully intended.

What about leaving him until the morning, some have said. Well, we’ve tried that too. In fact, there are some evenings where he’s been such a royal jackass about going to bed that out of sheer spite (there, I’ve said it) we’ve thought ‘no, you little sod, you can wallow in it tonight. You deal with it.’ Such a victory is mistaken, of course, since apart from some nappy rash, it is only we who deal with it. And as if to further punish us for our neglect, come morning time, it is dry, caked and baked onto his little ass. It has a smell that has penetrated all layers of cloth upon him until pyjama and sleeping bag smell like a cat litter tray found in an abandoned house.

What to do now? Well, apart from bringing this lovely account to your attention, I have explicitly sought help on various mothering Facebook pages. It has been encouraging: people have been helpful and kind. However, the responses have generally been one of three: 1) wait it out and be patient, 2) try this or that solution 3) My favourite: 'Sorry, can't help but...OMG me too!! Please let me know if you find the answer!'

Well, regarding 2) there’s some work to be done, though my current favourite is telling my son there’s a poo party and that his poo will be an excluded and friendless one if it remains in his nappy; for healthy poo social development it needs to attend the party in the loo with all its poo friends. I’ll let you know how I get on with that one.

One thing has struck Husband and I regarding all this. However tricky or tantrummy toddlers can be during the day, or especially at bedtime, if Son does wake when we change him at night he is the sweetest, most compliant and affectionate ever. It’s almost a calculated reward for our efforts, like when newborns smile to alleviate your utter sleep deprivation. The scientists can keep their studies; in this Trumpian/ Govian era of fact refutation, I’m claiming once again that these little imps have an agenda.


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