Yesterday was day number 8 in the further potty training adventures of EJ. Day 6 had left me traumatised after I happened to detect the familiar eau d’excrecment wafting in my general direction post –breakfast as several magnetic Chuggers and two engrossed children crossed my path. I had one of those anti-eureka moments when the rolodex of emotions in your brain suddenly clicks from ‘medium alert – nappy change gear up processing’ to ‘HIGH ALERT – Oh Sh*********t!!!!! Fire in the hole!’. Not only had he failed to recognise the signs or mention the nature of ongoing events in the pant-department but he had done so in *brand new* *pristine white* pants. FFS.
For a brief moment there I ran up and down the corridor holding the offending article in my hands whilst muttering “I don’t know what to do!” in a panicked (and possibly slightly demented) fashion, whilst the known offender managed to encrust every inch of the potty with the remaining fallout (probably looking a tiny bit bemused and little bit apologetic). Then reason kicked in and I went through all the necessary steps to ‘get things sorted’ whacking the washing machine up to 120 degree setting (OK 60, it’s a Bosch not a Bugatti).
One bottle of Vanish stain remover and 35 baby wipes later, and order was finally restored.
My faith, however, was shaken – what did I take from the experience? A sense of doom – he hasn’t got it, it hasn’t sunk in, the mental ‘switch’ you always hear about hasn’t flipped and I will spend the following 6 months up to my neck in effluence.
I am thrilled to report however, that Day 7 proved me completely wrong. Perhaps my headless chicken routine did the trick – shocking him into conformity for fear of losing his primary carer to a padded cell? Who knows. All I can report is that he did not one, but two Number twos in the potty – the first at my suggestion, the second later in the day and completely unprompted. He had no accidents of any kind on Day 7. Hooray for Day 7!
I woke up on Day 8 quietly optimistic, and gave myself a little pat on the back for surviving the first week and feeling like it was all finally on track. Then I happened to spot EJ climbing behind the table in the dining room, into an obscure corner. Before I continue I should explain I’m calling it the ‘dining room’ but it could equally be labelled ‘the tip’/’’the dumping ground’ (no pun intended)/’the junk room’/ or, on a good day ‘the storage space/work in progress’. I have built up some impressive piles of ‘stuff’, much of it former baby gear, gym mats, unused party wares, empty boxes which once housed expensive electronic items formerly returnable under guarantee etc, etc.
So. I followed EJ into this little hidden corner and discovered him pulling down his pants ready to have a sneaky little tinkle. I’m replaying this scene in my mind in slow motion, picturing myself flying bodily across the room like a soldier attempting to haul an unwitting colleague out of the path of an IED. In reality it may have gone down a little more prosaically with me yelling “don’t even think about it!” before whisking him off to sit on the potty and then gingerly returning to survey any potential damage.
What I discovered was the fact that this was not the first time the far corner of the room had been transformed into EJ’s personal urinal. There were several buckled old paper plates, part of a baby gym that I had to immediately bin off, even an old pop-up copy of ‘Dear Zoo’ had been blessed with the yellow baptism (perhaps EJ had decided that the reek of stale urine might add to that lion enclosure authenticity).
In an effort to remain ever hopeful, I’m going to put this down to my child being ‘spirited’, ‘playful’ and ‘cheeky’, but I’m already starting to calculate the ever decreasing saving on nappies weighed off against all the Vanish, Febreze, Ariel and 1001 Troubleshooter we are currently getting through. Fingers crossed for Day 9 eh?
*as an annex to Day 6 I have just remembered another anecdote from later that same day. We visited a pub with a garden for lunch and took the potty along for the ride. Fortunately EJ was literally ‘on it’ this time round and broke off his hard work on the bouncy castle to sit and wee several times. The first time I looked around for a suitable place to deposit this little liquid offering and picked the far corner of the garden. The second time EJ took it upon himself to transport the potty to the same place. The third time a fight broke out between EJ and JJ and my five year old cried real, bitter tears about the fact that he missed out on the potty transfer (which was, frankly, hilarious and will definitely be recounted with glee when he hits the age of 15 and/or his wedding reception). In hindsight perhaps this whole ‘wee should be deposited in unseen corners’ thing is what triggered the following events…