It was probably the last thing that Seth’s nursery teacher said to me as I picked him up for the final time before the summer holidays that really made it hit home:
“And will he be out of those nappies when he comes back in September…?”
Ah, yes. The nappies.
It was said in jest, of course, but made us realise that procrastinating the potty training would have to come to an end.
So, last week I took Seth to the supermarket, told him to pick some big boy pants (Thomas The Tank Engine & Spiderman, obviously), grab some chocolate and a sleeve of well-done stickers, because in a few days’ time he’d be taking his nappy off.
Actually, he never got the chance to eat the M&M’s because that night, when the little fella was tucked up in his bed, I may or may not have eaten the whole packet by myself. As such, the M&M’s bought to reward my two year old for piddling in the right place may or may not have been replaced the following day with a packet of giant Milky Buttons.
I’m not proud of what I did.
Although I am proud that I managed not to eat the replacement chocolate as well!
Friday was earmarked as potty D-Day (or as I prefer to call it Wee-Day). Regardless of how it went, the nappy was coming off and we’d just have to muddle our way through the next few days hoping for a miracle.
The first afternoon I went straight to work, shirking all responsibility for the task, leaving my wife in charge of Mr Tinkle.
And do you know what? Seth was a little star. An accident here and a small puddle there but nothing too major. I was receiving half-hourly updates from my wife on WhatssApp to keep me in the loop of his regular potty action.
‘We’ve had a successful wee!’ it would read.
‘No poo yet babes’ said another.
And ‘Woohoo. There’s been a movement in the right place!’
I can’t help but feel that if anyone ever saw our messages without knowing the context then they would think we had some sort of incredibly weird fetish.
Around 5.30pm I saw my phone flash up with ‘Nay has sent you an image’. I opened it up to find out the latest and was left aghast. Never in my wildest nightmares could I have imagined what I was about to witness.
My wife had decided to inform me of Seth’s first No. 2 on the potty by way of PICTURE MESSAGE!
WHAT ON EARTH WAS SHE THINKING?
COULDN’T SHE JUST WRITE A MESSAGE?!
OR AT LEAST GIVE ME SOME FOREWARNING?!
Now obviously I would never want you to view something as hideous as that, so I’ve slightly amended the picture for the purposes of taste and decency.
You cannot even begin to imagine what was lurking beneath that emoji!
Day One complete and the boy done good. Four tinkles and one poo on the potty. Hurrah!
I’d promised my wife that I would take a more active role in proceedings on Saturday so I got the kids up, gave them breakfast and asked Seth every 30 seconds if he needed a wee. He was on good form, heading to the potty when he wanted to and telling me when he needed to go.
We even felt confident enough to take him out on Saturday for a bit, with the necessary equipment in tow.
Then, as Saturday afternoon drew in, my wife requested a break from the potty training. Her argument was reasonable:
I had to deal with it by myself on Friday afternoon so you can sort it out for a couple of hours today.
Couldn’t really argue with that. My wife & Daisy went out and I was left in the playroom with a half-dressed, smiling urine machine.
For two hours we had the same conversation over and over again.
Me: “Sethy, do you need a wee wee?”
Seth: “No, daddy”.
Me: “Well when you do, remember to tell me and we can use the potty”.
Seth: “OK, daddy.”
Swiftly followed by:
Seth: “Look daddy, it keeps getting bigger”.
Me: “GET OFF YOUR WILLY!”
It was relentless. An hour of this same conversation over and over again. It felt like a week. And my wife wouldn’t be back for another hour still. Not only that, but Seth kept trying to give me a cuddle (something I never turn down) but with beige trousers on and his poor record whilst I was in charge, he was kept firmly at the opposite end of the couch!
Before she’d gone out, my wife had left a present for him if he was doing well. And although he wasn’t ‘performing’ brilliantly on the potty, he’d been really cute and well behaved so I decided to give it to him.
He was over the moon.
Obsessed with the gift, he insisted on having it with him the whole time. In fact, he was so keen on this particular present that he wouldn’t use the potty without it.
It was all a bit odd…
I never anticipated that I’d be potty training a half human, half turtle. How on earth was I meant to take this whole malarkey seriously?!
My wife was right though when she said we should just give him whatever he wants.
If that meant Seth would be a Donatello-mask-wearing-sticker-collecting-chocolate-eating-iPad-watching-ninja-turtle tinkler, then so be it.
It’s been a loooong weekend but, overall, a successful one.
My wife returns to work tomorrow morning and I have both kids… ALONE.
Wish me luck!
#lad2dad lesson For this parental task; ANYTHING goes.