Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The elephant in the armchair ... isn't wearing diapers
Yeah ... I had thought I'd try and steer clear public airings of bathroom exploits, you know we all deserve a little privacy, but this potty training stuff is really too rich. I mean parents of small children - myself included - are obsessed with all matters fecal. It's really the elephant in the armchair.
This fascination with feces starts in the hospital, where some of us (*raises hand and waves it furiously from side to side) learn the art of diapering for the first time. We obsess about the color and consistency, not to mention the frequency, and voice with the same excitement one has for completing any difficult task ... like swishing down the slopes in Aspen.
For at least two years we become waste product connoisseurs. Merely by waving a nose in the vicinity of the nearest bottom, we can pinpoint with razor sharp accuracy the size, shape and probable color of the deposit therein.
We sing songs about it, we fill jars of colorful treats to hand out as bribes and rewards. We ask no less than forty times a day whether junior has to poo. We jump up and down, perform three-foot-tall high-fives and do the potty dance to show appreciation for a job well done.
Once the diapers are tossed aside, replaced by layers upon layers of underpants (word to the wise: Don't buy cute ones ... They'll only want to wear them ALL ... AT THE SAME TIME) we can finally get the fragrant waft of freedom.
But when they start talking about it. Taking pride in their own internal workings, you know the fun is really beginning.
When they FINALLY poop in the potty and yell for you to come and see for yourself the wondrous whale of a stink fish swimming around the porcelain throne, the time has arrived for true celebration. Because you know, around that corner is a diaper-free zone. A place where the savings in your pocket will only prove equal in stature to the savings in landfill waste.
Sure. Sure. You'll have to endure potty breaks - sometimes even two and three in a matter of minutes - at every restroom in the vicinity. The neighbors at the next table will here updates loud and clear from the happy tooter on the success or failures in the lower intestines. But it will be worth it.
"I POOPED. And it was a BIG one," she'll exclaim. Or she'll say: "Mommy, I think my butt isn't working," when things don't go as well. The luck of the draw, I suppose.
Whatever the case, it's a turning point my friends.