Sunday, February 24, 2008

Necessity Is The Mother

The potty training is going very well, thanks for asking.

We did have that one 'wanna get away' moment in Longs Drugs last week, and a couple of accidents at school, but other than that she's being a little star.

As with all developmental milestones though, new accomplishments lead to new challenges. Now that we've chucked all her nappies we're now having to deal with the horror of our potty-training fledging and public toilets.

As most of you know, one of the tricks to keeping your day and your toddler urine-free is to ask them every hour on the hour whether they need to go to the loo. Then when they scream and say no, their tiny little arses heading for the hills, you ignore them and make them go anyway. This is all very well at home, but proves much trickier out in the real world. Fortunately, any mother of a toddler will have developed an excellent working knowledge of all public toilets in her home town during her last month of pregnancy when it was necessary to be no more than five minutes from that Nordstrom bathroom at all times. The problem is, even with the nicest public loos, they tend to have that little hygienic cut-out at the front of the toilet seat, which happens to be the perfect size of a toddler's pelvis. It puts a whole new meaning to 'mind the gap'. I could never do that to her.

Unfortunately, neither will I hold her over the loo until she performs. She's still getting the hang of the controls as it were, and despite several months of 'Body Pump' at my gym I would defy anyone to be capable of holding a 28lb toddler at arms length for more than five minutes while she tries to remember how to do a wee-wee.

She's pretty adept at straddling a 'grown-up potty' but that always leaves her clutching the underside of the toilet seat to hang on, and urrghh, no thanks. Another option was to go everywhere with her bulky toilet-seat insert, but there are some parenting lines I will draw. I mean, who wants to be the 'I've given my life and my dignity over to my child' parent toting a miniature loo seat with them everywhere?

OK, that is me at a winery this weekend with a glass of Pinot Gris and a toilet seat.

How times have changed.

I can't be too drunk to care about embarrassment all the time though, so I thought, there has to be a better way. Necessity is the mother of invention, and lo and behold I came up with my million dollar, guaranteed to lift us out of financial penury idea:

A blow-up toddler toilet seat (acronym BUTTS). Genius!

Until LK reminded me I'd be putting my lips near something that went in a public toilet (said the actress to the vicar).

Hmm. On second thoughts.

Actually, I did come up with a solution, and I know that all you seasoned parents out there will no doubt beat me to it with your time-tested tricks, but here's my offering; I worked out that if you use the disabled toilet, cover the seat with bum-protectors (thanks America, I love you), and have your toddler turn sideways she can hold on to the disabled bar and support herself while her bum overhangs the porcelain precipice. Bingo!

You're welcome.


Amy said...

butts!!! i love that. best of luck with this milestone. sounds like she is well on track!

Rachel said...

I like the butts idea. haha!

We always use the disabled toilet with Noah and I hold his hands while he sits on the seat so his hands don't touch it. Works pretty well.

One day, an angry man in a wheelchair tried to tell my husband that Noah had no right to use the disabled toilet. He quipped back "How do you know my son isn't disabled?" He grew very embarassed and apologetic. Not that I advocate faking disabilities, but I feel the disabled toilet is for special needs, like a nine-months pregnant mother taking her two year old to the toilet - there's no way I couldn't have fit in a regular toilet!

Expatmum said...

Gosh I'm glad I'm a few years beyond all that, but you're right, the thought of where your hands have to go is enough to make you scream. I always used to carry disinfecting wipes along with the baby wipes. I do remember one time using the diabled toilet, and my little one almost fell in bum first.

jenny said...

great post! i've thought about this since i'm about to start potty training (eeek). glad you offered up some thoughts. oh, the butts idea - brilliant. that picture you shared - priceless.

Anonymous said...

The backdrop in that picture looks fake! Looks like you managed to find a little bit of sun for your cousin Earl... I mean... Ruth. Nice scarf, you look hot!

Anonymous said...

I bet if you give that potty seat to my daughter she would be able to use it as a crudite tray or artfully arrange some kind of dip in it

nancy305 said...

I hope you know that the above comment was from me

AliBlahBlah said...

Fluffy, there's only one person on earth I know who could make a toilet seat into an appetizer tray, and that would be your daughter - so yes I did know who you were!!

The New Mrs. Rue said...

Oh wow, this post was great to read! And "butts"! what a great idea. It would be good if you could have disposbale ones that inflate by a drawstring, kinda like the life vests on airplanes...and then you could throw them out or flush them down the toilet. That way you don't have to worry about germs! (by the way, I'm Christy, Rachel's sister)

Mary Alice said...

That was pretty darned genius....and may I say you look marvelous holding the seat and the wine. Not a look everyone could pull off, but you managed it with panache! Thanks for stopping by my blog and the good thoughts for my sister.

It'sgrimupnorth said...

Anonymous is right, that backdrop looks like a scene from the wizard of Oz!! You look like you've clicked your heels together three times saying 'there's no place like home' and ended up in a winery!! I'm not sure where the toilet seat fits into this though.

Iota said...

That gap is such a pain. I never came up with any clever way round it, so thanks for the suggestion. My daughter is just 4, and the gap is still too big for her.

You could include a tiny, pocket-sized pump to blow up the seat, to save the lips.

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