Shit Happens

Published Date: May 20th, 2008
Category: Weekly Thought


“I’ll do it later.”


Is always his 3 year-old response.


Later like later today? Later like later next week? Or later, like when he is 6 years-old and he’ll be laughed-at-by-his-peers later, I wonder?


Most of all, I wonder why the kid just can’t pull down his pants and use the toilet.


We have now entered the era of potty training (P.T.), otherwise known as “when all you talk about for the next year with your friends and family is peepee and poopoo” era.


We’ve barely started P.T., and already I am sick of it. Like it wasn’t bad enough that every meal-time is like a meeting of the United Nations with the amount of negotiating we have to do to get the boy to eat three bites of pasta and four carrots. Or that every little task we ask him to do needs to be turned into some sort of fun, yet non-complex game (i.e., can you bring your plate into the kitchen without dropping your fork? Can you beat me up the stairs? Can you put away all 9 million of your Thomas trains by the time I run around the dining room table five times??!!!!!!!!) Now we get to add a NEW bartering system to the constant struggle: what is one peepee or one poopoo worth?


I know many parents have yielded to the one portion of fecal output equals one portion of candy. But this inherently seems so incredibly wrong to me. Like our country does not have enough problems with obese children, we need to have them associate going to the bathroom with eating? Yet, many pediatricians, registered dieticians, friends, and tired and annoyed parents have told me this is the way to go. So now on top of figuring out where to put all of my make-up, hairdryers, and hair straighteners in our bathroom, I have to find a place for a candy jar (and hope that I, too, won’t feel the need for a reward for my fecal output).


Or, we could stick to The Cootie Plan.


And what is The Cootie Plan, you may wonder? The Cootie Plan was actually created by our son. During a hurried trip through Sears one day I passed a discounted game table and saw the game, Cootie, on sale for $2. Being that I am a child of the 1970s I could not, of course, pass this up. On closer inspection, I realized the pieces were a bit tiny for a sometimes orally-fixated 2 year-old. So I wisely stuck it in his closet. Which he then promptly saw all of two days later and has been obsessed with since.


From that point forward, our many negotiations involved whether or not he could play Cootie.


“Please put your dirty shirt in your laundry basket.”


“Then I play Cootie?”


“No. You have to be at least 3 to play Cootie. Are you 3 years old?”


A pouty “no,” followed by crying.


And so on. Until one day, he made the following magical association:


peepee and poopoo in potty = big boy = 3 years old = playing Cootie


Now how he was able to put together this somewhat elaborate formula when the child still can’t really work a zipper, who knows. But once he came to that realization, all other Cootie negotiations ended.


So now I am stuck with a 3 year-old who has indeed stopped badgering me about Cootie, yet won’t use the toilet. Maybe at some point I will break down and sign on with the Candy Plan. Until then, I’ll bone up on my imaginary-bug creating skills and hope that the allure of this colorful (yet somewhat boring game) will indeed spark enough interest in my son to finally end the P.T. era.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 at 7:19 am and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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