Being Dad

Being a father is fraught with danger…

If it Looks Like Poo, and Smells Like Poo: Chances Are: It Is Poo. February 18, 2013

Filed under: Dad Blog,Parenting — Tim @ 4:36 am
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For the purpose of this post, “#1” will signify wee, (or “pee” if you’re American) and “#2” will signify poo. This is in keeping with international conventions and standards.

I know children who are potty trained at 2 years old, or even younger. My daughter is not amongst them.

I will qualify that statement, of course. After all, if she ever reads this when she is 20, (doubtful), I don’t want to traumatize her any more than simply being my daughter has already.

Missy is potty trained for #1’s. She has been for a while. Sure there is an occasional relapse, but the reality is, I can’t honestly say I haven’t had the occasional “slip-up”. (I blame beer).

It’s just #2’s. She just seems to like – for want of a better way of putting it – popping a poo out in a nappy.  As she only wears nappies at night, we have developed quite the night-time ritual.

Once ready for bed, my wife or I sit her down and explain all about “pooping in the potty”. She looks at us, nods in agreement, says she doesn’t have to go, gets into bed – and – pops one out in her nappy.  Granted she is quite good about telling us, and so we generally avoid any nappy leaking in the bed issues – and she keeps us on the hook by announcing “maybe tomorrow” she will come to the potty party, so to speak.

So is there a proper time kids should be toilet trained? In my opinion – not really. I do know from a relative who is a highly respected Obstetrician that toilet training girls too early, may lead to medical issues later in life. But be that as it may, as a layman, the issue for me is the typical one of fear. Fear my child is behind the curve in some way.

Over the 3 and-a-bit years of Missy’s life, I have (mostly) turned around my irrational angst and competitive parenting of the past. When she walked, talked and started using a fork, are all, I now know, irrelevant. Kids do things at their own speed. Some walk early, some talk late, some grow tall and some eat great. Oh the poetry of life. Well the amateur rhymes of life, at least.

So Missy likes to poo in a nappy – so what? If I could get someone to clean me up, I might be the same (note to wife: is the answer still no??).  All too soon, children grow up and enter a world where they are pushed and pulled in all directions. Their time as a “kid” is oh so short. Sure, you can’t have a 13 year-old walking around in a nappy, but for me, I am trying to be more aware of Missy’s age, and the appropriateness (or not) of imposing things on her that just don’t matter.

While it’s true I won’t be able to boastfully pull out pictures of toilet-accomplished poo’s from my wallet to show other parents (much to their relief), it’s a small price to pay for letting my little girl be…a little girl.


Toilet time September 10, 2012

Filed under: Dad Blog,Parenting — Tim @ 9:34 am
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Let me first acknowledge that my wife is the one toilet training Missy. I say that because it is all too easy for us blokes to come home one day, have a proud child, sans nappy, greet you – and think to yourself, “well that seemed painless”. It’s not an easy job, and all sorts of previously stress free events take on a whole new level of pain.

Initially, the process could be called “Floor Pee” training, as that’s where 99% of nappy-free urinating ends up. This is a close cousin of  “Unaware Pee”. Missy didn’t seem to be even conscious she was doing it, but as any man will tell you, after 10 beers and 3 pies at the footy, sometimes the link between brain and bladder gets broken.

So during this trying time, mum, and sometimes dad, get quite apt at making sure the kitchen paper is always on hand. It seems to me that it shouldn’t be made into too big a deal, as toddlers don’t need a complex at this stage of their life. There is plenty of time for that later.

Then we moved to a stage where Missy doesn’t want a nappy, despite a real and present danger of things going horribly wrong. Say, on the bus, or on a plane, or anywhere where there is not a toilet within 5 feet. This stage, “I need to go NOW!” is problematic. Very few cities lavatory facilities are designed to have a toilet no more than 5 feet away from any given point. So training pants and underwear become the bulk of handbag contents, as does a plastic bag to hold urine soaked “accidents”.

“Regression stage”, creeps up on you like the proverbial thief in the night. “At last”, we triumphantly thought. Missy seemed to get it. She was proud of her new status of underwear wearing princess, and we were equally proud of our bladder-holding baby. Then something happens. Be it a plane ride, where a nappy is just a sensible thing to do, or just one of those unexplainable things, and “floor pee” time rears it’s ugly head yet again.

To be fair, being encouraged to go to the loo for pee time then having to wear a nappy for a plane trip – it must be a bit confusing. Still like most things with children, it’s a stage, and it will pass.

So despite puddles of pee and soaked undergarments by the bushel, Missy is sort of toilet trained, well, mostly.  We do tread warily into this new stage of our lives. A stage that means trips are planned, not only with education or fun in mind, but also with access to facilities.

My only concern, in this new era, is how to explain the pink panties with princesses on them I keep in my pocket for emergencies. If ever I were to get searched by the police, it could get awkward: “No Officer, they are not for me…”


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