You’ve got potty fever, boy. You have become borderline obsessed with the potty – it seems to be the only thing you want to do and the only thing you can talk about. I’ve seen you strut over to cute little girls at the park; hands clasped behind your back as you bashfully glance at them through your eyelashes. You wait for them to take notice then approach them with a cool suave motion. You get in real close and utter your opening line, “Me, poo-poo” as if this is a favorable trait amongst the toddler mate selection process. “Look at me ladies – I have the mental capacity to hold my bodily fluids. Care to fling sand with me?” I can almost here the sad violin music in the distance as the girl, confused and disgusted, takes off in pursuit of her Mother to protect her against this perversion that is you. You of course are confused beyond belief as to why this particular child, does not share in the same joy of the potty that you do. I have to stroke your ego a bit, rub you on the back and tell you, it’s ok – it’s her, not you. Inside, I’m thinking about what a weirdo you’re becoming.
Despite you reacting favorably towards potty-training, it’s still a responsibility of parenting I despise. Despite my best efforts to make sure you are totally relieved upon leaving the house or even before entering a store, you will inevitably find the most inconvenient moment to alert me by grabbing your junk and grunting with total hysterics, that you have to ‘pee-pee.’ Your favorite time to do this is typically right after I finish unloading an entire grocery cart on to the conveyor belt or as soon as we enter a swimming pool. I know that you have just relieved yourself mere minutes before but of course, as I ask you to hold it for a few minutes, your need for the potty becomes louder and louder. Suddenly strangers around me have that uncomfortable panic sweeping over their faces as if your bladder could explode right there for all to witness. I’m now that parent who is being selfish because she wants to pay for her groceries instead of rushing to the one toilet that’s clear across the store. No stranger man, he’s not going to pee all over the checkout aisle – I’m eighty percent positive of that fact.
Unfortunately, you have learned to pull the potty card when you want to get out of a situation. Case in point, in your swim lessons, you’re still not on board with the whole extracurricular activity. You pretty much hate life for those thirty minutes and it may have something to do with the joy I feel when I get to dunk you. You don’t enjoy jumping in to the water so you know the one thing that will get you out of class, pee-pee. Nothing frightens a swim teacher more than a toddler who is professing their need to pee. No matter how much I try to distract you, you very much know the game you’re playing and demand you use the potty. You manipulative little thing, you.
Since this is my second go around with the whole potty-training business and both processes have been strikingly different, I feel like I have a better understanding of what I’m doing this time around. Potty-training a boy is so much different than a girl. I attempted just sitting you on the potty and trying to push down your jewels but sorry to say, you’re two and they’re small, I can’t push them down far enough and you end up peeing all over the place. I’ve learned that as tedious as it is to remove your pants and shoes and sit you backwards on the toilet, it’s incredibly effective and necessary. Problem is, you’re so obsessed with your goods that you skip around the bathroom stall holding yourself while I frantically try to stuff you back in your teeny-tiny chonies. You’re proud of what you got and try to look under the bathroom stall to show the next patron. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to see it nor does she want to hear about your successful trip to the potty.
A disturbing game you have created is discovering what shape your poop made in the potty. I cannot begin to describe how ecstatic you were when on one particular afternoon, your poop resembled an elephant. I’m not going to lie, it definitely did and you made sure to tell every living person you came in contact with that day of the striking resemblance your feces had to that of a beloved animal. Move over sweet afternoons, lying in the grass and allowing your imagination to run wild as you stare at the clouds. No, no – now it’s about crouching down in a fluorescent lit dank public bathroom as we stare in to the depths of a toilet bowl, hunting for fun farm animals and delicious summer treats. Yes, once your poop also shared the likeness of an ice cream cone.
I guess one should be so lucky that their child is in awe of the potty. Certainly I shouldn’t take this for granted given the uphill battle it was with Olivia but it’s just one of those icky time-intensive things that we just have to get through. I’m looking forward to the day when I’m not startled out of bed at 6:30am to the sound of you screaming that you need to poop. It does appear that it’s only natural that you would find such joy from such a disgusting act because you are a dirty little manboy. One day while changing in front of you after swim practice, you pointed at my bare chest with a toothy little grin and either said, “meat!” or “me!” Not that it matters, either comment is disturbing and irks me to my core. I find myself rather uncomfortable around you now that it’s difficult to make eye contact with you. It’s safe to say that I’m going to have to double layer around you. I should also mention how you got a big kick out of poking your healthy looking speech therapist in the breast while you giggled hysterically. Talk about another uncomfortable moment when I wish I had a parachute readily available so I could make a quick exit out the window.
You have developed a weird habit of following me around the house, asking me if I’m happy. I’m suddenly self-conscious whether my emotions have been somewhat glum lately given that you are apparently concerned to my well-being. I in turn have begun informing you that I am in fact not happy with you when you hit Olivia. This appears to be the only time you realize you’re in serious trouble. Perhaps that’s the real reason you’re so interested in my current state of mind – whether you’re in for a day full of trouble or not. My emotions are extreme due to the constant anxiety I feel around you two so perhaps it’s good you stay abreast of my current emotional well-being at all times so that you can plan accordingly. Maybe you’re smarter than I give you credit for?
I don’t get boys and I probably never will. It appears boys are born with this need to be dirty, aggressive with a tinge of perversion. I have the best of both worlds with you and Olivia and I know when I get tired of having a classy tea party with Liv, I can find you in the other room practicing your body slam moves on your stuffed lion. I can have sweet conversations about art with Olivia and I can hunt for obscure images in the toilet with you. I can take quiet walks with Olivia or we can make people uncomfortable by poking them inappropriately. See, either way, it’s a win-win for me.
And you according to my phone: