So we all know I’ve not been looking forward to the potty training stage, we know I’m not good with poo and smells, and I was not at all secretly relieved when the Chunky Monkey showed a massive lack in enthusiasm about it all.
Second child ’round and I’m fairly laid back about the lack of progression, even though the judgement brigade has started to make itself heard. I’ve seen the eyebrows raised when they see a flash of a nappy, I’ve had people ask him “are you not a big boy? aren’t you going to wear pants” I have people checking from time to time to see, but to be honest, I don’t care. I was (and still am) sitting firmly in the camp of “you don’t see them going off to university in nappies” I’m more concerned that he will grow up never eating fruit or vegetables. He’ll use the toilet when he’s ready.
Then one day out of the blue he refused to wear a nappy, he wanted to wear pants. You know, on a day I really needed to not be asking every 20 seconds “do you need a wee?”.
But I did as they always say you should do and “followed his lead” (to be fair this usually takes me to McDonalds so I can’t complain too much!). ANYWAY, Day One started really well, no accidents and a massive wee and poo on the potty (I didn’t even throw up in my mouth when I had to tip it down the toilet) and we went out and about TWICE. Then at 2pm we had a few accidents. No big deal I thought, it’s only day one.
Since Day One I have since come to the conclusion that it was in fact a fluke, however we persevered, and so with mixed results at nursery and limited success at home, I decided to wait and see how we got on while we were on holiday. I was optimistic, I thought running around in the sunshine with nothing or very little on would just tip us over the blip into full blown positives. I was wrong. I’ve become disheartened.
Don’t be defeatist I can hear you shout at the screen These things take time! Yes, they do, but I think below has made the decision for me.
Number of times The Chunky Monkey Wee’d in the toilet
Places where The Chunky Monkey wee’d on holiday.
Next to the sandpit
On the sandpit
On the lounge floor
On the sofa
By the outside table (x 2)
In the pool (numerous times)
On the side of the pool
In TO the pool (standing and aiming from the side)
On the bathroom floor
On the bedroom floor
In the hall
Through the outside chair onto the patio whilst eating pizza
There are days when I look back on my pre-child days and pity myself and my own naivety about what it’s like to have a child. I’m not talking about the vision of baby powder, smiling laughing babies and snot free noses, to be fair that’s just Mother Nature’s way of making sure we all procreate. If we are oblivious to the reality of the situation, we’re more likely to go for it assuming we’re adding something special to our lives.
No, that’s understandable. I’m talking about the other foolish decisions and plans you make, for example putting cream carpets down in the house you have just bought knowing that you plan to have children in the next year or so. Or the purchase of the expensive white bedding which you feel will give your room a lovely airy feeling when you’re sleeping along side the equally white moses basket on those warm summer nights. Oh, of course the dry clean only clothes. I often sit, in my dressing gown, which if you look at the bottom you can see has been used as a tissue (by a child not by me), on my sofa clutching my luke-warm cup of tea eyeing up the encrusted rusk which has made it’s way up the lounge curtains and laugh at my former immaculate self.
Then I chastise myself, because nobody NOBODY can prepare you for how gross it is to have children.
I’m not talking about the projectile vomiting you experience with your newborn (although that is pretty gross the first time you see it squirt out of a moses basket and up 3 metres into the air), or when your struggling to make said child feed and your breast milk lets loose and squirts your partner in the eye. Not dirty nappies, “sprinkles” next to the toilet, and bogies on their sleeves I’m talking about the proper stuff.
“WHAT?! WHAT CAN BE MORE GROSS THAN THAT?!” I can hear shouted…obviously from people who don’t have children.
Shall I tell you?
There are three main types of gross. Snot, Sick and Poo. Everyone his their danger area. But my biggest gross-out is poo related, this has never been an easy situation for me to deal with. The first two I’m ok about dealing with, although I’m not pretending that witnessing the double candle stick bogie that’s touching the top lip being licked hasn’t made me throw up a bit in my mouth…or in fact having another human being throw up in MY mouth hasn’t made me want to kill myself.
From the early days of it shooting out of nappies and seeping through a sleep suit onto my jeans, or it hiding away quietly in a pair of jeans, at the early stages where it’s not lumpy, just the consistency of Angel Delight, and you only discover it when you put your hands in the trousers to pull them down. I’ve had to hold my breath and get over it.
But here’s the thing it’s got worse. As soon as they are on the move, they can literally spread the shit further away, and recently it’s just not been an enjoyable experience.
I’ve wiped it off the wall, I’ve washed it out from between my toes, I’ve witnessed it falling out of pants during potty training stages and bounce across the floor and under the fridge, but I have to say my lowest ever point , even more than waking up to it on my cheek one morning, was discovering what I thought was a Malteaser on the stairs one morning before school.
It was just after Mr Aimee’s birthday, a particularly bad time for sleeping for The Chunky Monkey. He was waking up constantly through the night, then ridiculously early in the mornings. At 5.30am that morning I’d instructed Mr Aimee he was going to have to take over just for the hour so I could function and get some sleep.
At 5.33am I kicked him 3 times as the wailing on the landing above us kicked in, I heard him go upstairs, have a chat, go downstairs and return with what I presumed some milk. I heard the tv remote being fumbled about with and the annoyingly perky sounds of Nick Jnr kick in (seriously CBEEBIES, whoever is in charge of you obviously doesn’t have kids if you believe that we don’t need you until 6am – and with DUCKING Tikkabilla too).
Anyway, at 6.45am, after pressing snooze 3 times I finally caved when I heard a scrap happening on the landing and dragged myself upstairs to let the monsters loose.
There on the stairs, was a lone Malteaser…similar to the topping on Mr Aimee’s birthday cake. I saw it from across the landing, and as I marched towards it I began to construct my finger wagging that he had been foolishly lazy enough to give the child CAKE rather than discipline him. I stood and glared at the offending ball of chocolate, thinking at this point that I would quite like some cake for breakfast. I bent down, I plucked it off the carpet ready to go and wave it at Mr Aimee who was already in the shower, thinking I could have a sneaky taste since I hadn’t even had a cup of tea yet, that’s when the smell hit me.
Not putting two and two together I kept hold of the chocolate, and marched up the stairs to see if The Chunky Monkey had done a dirty nappy. The smell got stronger, and I spot another Malteaser on the landing…then another leading into his bedroom and right near where he’s squatting a pile of them.
“I done a poo”.
Needless to say, I did take a mouthful of gin to get rid of the taste of vomit in my mouth before making myself a cup of tea.
I’m going to say this now, and please hear the venom in my voice I hate potty training.
When I think back two years ago, when I uncover the memories I worked so hard to forget, when I make myself remember toilet training The Beast, it seemed like an age away before The Chunky Monkey took us through the same stinky trial. But now, here we are, and I hate to type this but I guess I’m going to have to face facts…it’s nearly time.
He actually showed the signs of being ready back in June when we were on holiday and we did do a few toilet sessions, after all, the best (HA) time to do it is apparently in the warm weather (I’m thinking more like when HELL FREEZES OVER), however, as we all know I’m not very good with pooh, in fact, that blog even tells you I was totally intending to chicken out potty training The Chunky Monkey over the summer. I used the excuses “he was too young” and that I “didn’t want to ruin The Beasts summer before he started school”. Down. Right. Lie. I didn’t want to ruin MY summer. After all, I remember witnessing The Beast doing a pooh on the lawn, right next to my deck chair, I wasn’t ready for that so soon.
You see, as I said, I’ve done this all before. It’s not a pleasant experience. In fact – no pun intended – it’s shit.
Last night, as we were doing the old early stages of “sitting on the toilet before bed” I was zoomed back to one of those life scaring memories. I remember squatting on the floor of the bathroom, I remember making the PUSHHHHHH noises and motion (for those of you who aren’t aware of this – SHAME ON YOU – you rest your hands on your knees, and you say “puuushhhhh” in a deep pushing tone. Oh and you push). I was working extra hard to keep The Chunky Monkey on the toilet. You see…I’d caught him mid pooh. I’d pulled his pull up up after the bath, and it had torn a bit, and so I’d let him wander around while I did a few jobs, I heard the grunt of the early stages of pooh pushing (I HATE that I know these things), and I quickly whipped him onto the toilet seat that was luckily already strategically placed on the loo. Unfortunately, a bit of the pooh had already come out, so on yanking the nappy open it fell on my bare toe. That’s right. TWO rookie errors resulted in boke worthy consequences. You see, if you read the earlier blog about pooh, I have had a pooh land on my foot before. It’s not an enjoyable experience. I should have KNOWN to check the nappy, I should have KNOWN to wear SOMETHING on my feet. But I didn’t. I’m out of practice. I’m complacent. I’m naive.
So there I am, I’m squatting, I’m pushing, I’m letting The Chunky Monkey poke me in the eye because he REALLY wants to get down, but I REALLY want him to stay up there, I’m trying to block out the wet trumping sound, I’m trying to block out the smell. So rather then him come down and risk another pooh on foot debacle (bit of sick in mouth) I actually let him poke me in the eye. I even make a OUCH noise. He even laughs. MY CHILD LAUGHS WHEN HE HURTS ME. Then all of a sudden, I need a wee. But what’s a mum to do? I need him to stay on the loo. I can’t leave him as he’s precariously placed as it is. So I have to hold it.
We managed to get away fairly unscathed after all that. he did a pooh, we took him off the toilet, we clapped and waved goodbye to it as we flushed the chain (bork), and whilst he refused to bend over and touch his toes while I wipe his squidgey bum, he did lie on the changing mat while I cleaned him up. WELL DONE CHUNKY CHOPS.
Later, after they were both in bed, I sat, shaken at a solo potty training moment, sipping my wine, consoling myself that it’s going to be another month or so until we REALLY start doing it. Until the actual potties come in use, until I have to slosh wee down the loo (if I’m lucky), or if I’m unlucky, if I discover a wet panted child in one room, but have to go on a wet puddle hunt to try and find the location of the offending wee. The wet pants, the peeling off the wet jeans, the additional laundry. I consoled myself that he still tells me AFTER he’s done the pooh usually, so it’s ok.
Then this morning, whilst in the shower, he runs in, I’m midway through attempting to shave my legs along with explaining to The Beast how to delete photos from his ipod (Matthew is out having his eyes checked, the lucky bastard), the Chunky One shouts POOH, before dragging a potty into the room (I didn’t even know there was a potty on that floor anymore, let alone where it was), and attempting to pull down his nappy. Luckily it was a false alarm, and even more luckily I’m pleased to note, his bum is so fat that pull up nappies don’t go down very easily. HA! But it looks like we’re moving forward quicker then I’d like.
Even now, while I’ve locked the door of my study, claiming 5 minutes peace while all three boys are upstairs destroying their bedrooms, I hear the words “DADDY POOH”, and I’m pleased to note, the slightly panicked sound to daddy’s voice, while he rushes to put the Chunky Monkey on the toilet, and The Beast tries to get him to help do up his Spiderman suit. But in the pit of my stomach. This isn’t good. After all, do they make pants big enough for Fatty?