I know where the potties are buried

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Does a bear poop in the woods? I'm assuming it does, although whenever I've encountered one I've been too busy running in the opposite direction to confirm.

However, I do know my two-year-old boy, who lately pretends he's a bear, will gladly take care of business in the woods, in the grass, or anywhere in the great outdoors.

He just won't do it in the house. He won't use the commode in our abode. (Sorry, I had to.)

Our approach to potty training has been pretty casual to this point. The philosophy: "When he's ready to go, he'll go."

We recently started thinking he was there, after he squatted behind a bush at his grandparent's and did No. 2 without an Elmo Pamper.

He did it again outside our house a few days later.

So, to help with the transition to a toy toilet, the next time he asked to "go," I set up the potty where he had previously pooped - under our front deck, behind a snowball tree that's only flowered once in eight years.

He gladly agreed to sit on it, perhaps because he had long been enticed with the reward of a new dinky for graduating out of a diaper.

He planted himself on the potty for what seemed like hours and waited.

No one is allowed to watch on his throne, so I stood back on in front of the #$%^! snowball tree the whole time.

After a while, in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure and get this done, I asked if he wanted me to sit alongside him and read a book.

He liked the idea, and I fetched Dr. Seuss's "ABC."

It didn't take long. The poop hit the pan at "Big H, little h, hungry horse hay. Hen in a hat, hooray, hooray."

He stood up and proudly showed me the results, and I went "hooray, hooray" myself.

I then performed a dance I had been saving for a lottery win. Some rap mogul was driving by and spotted me bustin' a move behind the no-ball tree, and now I'm one of Beyoncé's backup dancers ...

OK, that's not quite what happened. The boy danced with me, with no pants on and clapping like he had achieved something great.

In his mind, and mine, he had. After being encouraged to go potty for a year, he had finally done it.

It was a giant poop for boykind, we hoped, the start of diaper-free living.

Or so we thought.

Two weeks have passed and he still refuses to use the pot in the house, but he continues to have no problem going outside. He'll even ask to do so - even if we're at Sobeys.

I thought for a moment about digging and building an outhouse, but quickly decided against it to avoid being banished there at some point.

And, really, there's nothing wrong with him wanting to go au natural, right? After all, it's only been the past few generations that have had the luxury of a flushing loo.

The situation reminds of the rhyme we sang as kids: "In days of olde when knights were bold and toilets weren't invented ..."

To ensure the boy eventually walks away contented, we're not pressuring the lad to take his act indoors, continuing our "when he's ready to go, he'll go" approach.

The problem now: instead of changing his bum on a table, I'm cleaning him up outdoors, and that can get a lot messier, especially if he decides to intentionally step in it or pick it up.

I get a little frustrated when he does stuff like that, and my focus switches from potty training my son to training myself - to be patient and to keep my potty mouth shut.

 

Steve Bartlett, unfortunately, finds himself singing Olivia Newton-John's "Physical," and singing, "Let me hear your potty talk." Email him at sbartlett@thetelegram.com or follow his tweets at SteveBartlett_

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