Like the previous two children, when The Wife and I had our third, and final child, we didn’t know what to expect. It was great news and perfect timing (there’s only three years difference between each child). We were happy.
How can you know what to expect, really? Not to get all hippy dippy and weird, but everyone kind of is like a snow flake. Doubly so, for babies. They may seem like one-trick ponies, what with all of the neediness and crying and noise. But even with something as simple as teaching the kid to shit in the toilet and not their hand, your kid’s personality will shine through, every time.
Parents don’t consciously realize this (at least I didn’t…) until hindsight kicks in. No one is to blame if this is the case. Parenting is fucking hard. All of the time. Even when you think things have plateaued out and are hunky dory, parenting is still hard.
So when Little Bear was born, The Wife and I were blown away. Why? Because everything was easy with this fucking kid. Feeding, playing, exercising, listening… Everything.
And what’s more, she was happy. All. Of the fucking. Time. There was a good streak there when she would wake up with a smile on her face. We weren’t doing anything funny or exciting to get the kid out of bed, we were just waking her up. And she’d wake up like that for anyone.
Then one day the kid started reading. Out loud on her own. We didn’t prompt her. No one (to my knowledge) explained what the alphabet was and how it made words and how the words were also seen as well as heard.
Little Bear just figured that shit out all on her own.
It didn’t take long for The Wife and I to realize that we had a bit of a genius in our midst.
Eventually, Little Bear needed to stop shitting in the woods, as it were.
To recap her siblings similar journey:
- Thing One liked to wait until the last minute before she Jackson- Pollocked her Underoo’s.
- Thing Two was the Ninja Gaiden or Shinobi, if you will, of poo-hiding.
Much like her sister Thing One, Little Bear was incredibly hands-off when it came to peeing in her potty chair. At her young age, with her voracious intellect she knew that if she needed to ‘make water’ her little pink potty chair that was by the side door (going outside) was more than happy to catch for her.
Getting her to empty the damn thing was always hard. There were more than a few times when she’d use it without our knowing and then a day or two later things would be kind of foul smelling. Hence, my placement by the side door.
You’re goddamn right I dumped it outside. As long as there weren’t any Poop Snakes hiding in the Pink Throne, what the hell did it matter?
Also like her older sister, Pooping was always a hassle. The difference between the two was that Little Bear held on to her stinky-ness until she had the mid section of a malnourished Somalian child. (As I write this, I still don’t fully understand it. Everyone poops. Just because you’re a female doesn’t mean that your street cred diminishes every time someone learns that you don’t actually poot talcum powder).
To date, Little Bear’s inability to be reasonable and poop daily was only remedied within the past year and a half. ‘How did you fix that?’, you’re undoubtedly wondering.
When I would notice the tell-tale Somalian belly sign, I’d ask her in a calm and passive voice, ‘When’s the last time you pooped?’. If she started to hem and/or haw, I’d tackle her, yell out ‘POOP MASSAGE!!!’ and I would start rubbing her distended belly like a wad of dough.
Cruel and unusual? Hell no: The kid would be overcome with the giggles every time. Result? A svelte looking Little Bear the next day.
In short, you can consult any source that you want. The bottom line is that if you want your kid to use the john you need to do three things:
- Learn how to read them. Kids aren’t any different than grown adults: they telegraph the fuck out of most emotions.
- Lead by example. That’s right, they need to watch you go. Creepy at first but it’s no different than using a public restroom. Trade Secret? If it’s just you and the kid at home, leave the bathroom door open when you go. They’ll wander in if they want. Just be sure to give the Significant Other a ‘head’s up’.
- Set a routine. The success rate of any child doing anything at all is dependent on the routine that the parent(s) set up for the child. Reading, learning to walk, learning to do anything for that matter.. Want your kid to use the potty sooner, rather than later? SET UP A MOTHERFUCKIN’ ROUTINE.