“Your money or your life”
“Remember me? I am pregnant”
“That Trump guy seems rational”
“Have you seen my shotgun?”
All of these 5 word statements pale in comparison to the immediate heart racing, situation changing, panic inducing effects of these five words: “Daddy, I need a wee”.
After a recent experience at the local public swimming pool I thought I’d recall a few of the highlights of my children’s bowel movements. I post this with without underlying moral message or searching self analysis. I post this in simple solidarity with other parents out there.
This week I ventured to the swimming pool with both kids. 1pm slot on a Wednesday, the pool was not busy at all. We had a fantastic time, whole pool to ourselves. I was watching the clock tick down on our allotted slot and informed my son that this would be his final two times down the slide before we had to go. “OK Buddy, that’s it, time for us to head in”.
Cue immediately standing up and informing me “Daddy, I need to wee”. The first thing that crossed my mind was “Dude, literally 90 seconds ago you could have done this in the swimming pool and absolutely no one would have noticed or cared!” Deciding this wasn’t the time to try to justify this idea to him we now had to speed walk along the side of the pool, soaking wet, dragging armbands and buoyancy rings behind us to get him into the cubicles.
His shorts were wet and sticky so they weren’t coming down as swiftly as they should, the spirit takes him and the re-enactment of a fire hose that has slipped its restraints begins.
“Oh oh, Daddy, that is not good” he says with impressive refrain and understatement, as he starts spinning around coating the floor and cubicle walls with 60 minutes worth of recycled pool water.
Baby (ever smiling) in one arm I manage to grab him and throw him onto the toilet.
Of course, I haven’t had time to get the kids toilet seat from the locker so he immediately folds up and disappears down into the bowl, ankles up around his ears, he looks at me confused, now peeing on himself.
I hook him under his armpits with my spare arm and manage to hold him at a height more akin to a normal toilet position.
It seems the rush is over, three of us, getting increasingly cold, now wet from both pool water and a fair amount of pee, I’m leaning over to the side, 3 year old supported in my left arm, baby clinging to my right, obliques starting to burn as I hear the other five words we all dread, “I need a poo too”.
Please return to your seats
When we started potty training, it is safe to say my son wasn’t a fan of No.2s (I suspect he gets that from me). It was a very emotional experience for him to do a poo. Often I had to kneel down hugging him while he did it, overtime we paired this back to hand holding and eventually just keeping him company. Through these iterations the event was accompanied by blood curdling screams and a tearful running commentary.
The most memorable of these being on a transatlantic flight where we got up from our chairs and retired to the tiny toilet cubicle. I lifted him onto the toilet, tried to find a way to squeeze myself, kneeling, between the toilet and the wall, held him under the armpits so he could do his wee and of course the inevitable follows. “ARRGGGGGHHHHHH, ARRGGHHHHHHH!” (consider at this point how thin the walls on an airplane are) “I’M HAVING A POO DADDY, AAARRRGGGGHHHHHHH!” This screaming goes on for a good 10 minutes when I hear the bing-bong, I don’t even need to look up to know that we should be fastening our seat belts, “Buddy, are you almost done?” “AARRRGGGGGGGHHHH, NO, I HAVE SEVEN MORE POOS!” I consider it important to use every opportunity to teach him the importance of maths.
Just nipping into the shops
We didn’t venture out of the house much in the first few weeks of potty training. Early on, however, my wife and my mother decided to brave a trip to Tesco. My mum just had to nip in very briefly so everyone else stayed in the car. Of course, mum had just disappeared from sight when my son announced “Mummy, I need to wee”. Only 10 mins drive from home my wife threw the car into reverse and headed for the nearest toilet she could think of. They made it, but it did involve my wife having to text her mother-in-law and inform her she was now stranded in Tesco as my wife had deserted her and was now holding hands with a small boy during one of his infamous 20mins long movements.
One minor oversight.
After a while we got to the stage where he could take himself off to toilet by himself. The untold parental joys of the announcement of “I need to wee Daddy” being followed by “Go on then”. Early on he took himself off and my wife and I sat there smugly cuddling each other as we heard our “little man” clanging around with requisite equipment. There was the obvious dragging of the step across the floor, the clanging of positioning and re-positioning of the Lightening McQueen toilet seat, the noise of a small child having a wee, the fumbling for toilet paper and finally the flush and running of the tap before he re-entered the room justifiably proud of himself.
It wasn’t till a few hours later that my wife called me into the downstairs loo to discover that he had put all his equipment in the right place, except that the toilet lid had been down and he apparently hadn’t considered this something that would hinder his achievement. We have one of those toilet lids with a small dip in the middle so there was now a small pool of little boy wee ON TOP of our toilet lid with a single square of toilet paper floating in the centre. He had been so proud of himself, there was little I could do but laugh and head into the kitchen to fetch the rubber gloves.