Thursday, April 27, 2006


There's always more to it.

You think you're going to give your uncle's invisibility ring to the elves for safe keeping, but no . . .

You think you're going to have a nice reconciliation dinner with your wife at her company Christmas party in Nakatomi Plaza, but no . . .

You think that potty training means training your kid to go in the potty instead of in a diaper. But no. There's always more to it. Let me count the ways.

Find a bathroom . . . in time.
This now means that the downstairs bathroom and the upstairs "Boys' Bathroom" are pretty much off-limits to anyone else except Sam. Because if someone else is in there when Sam has to go, that person has to leave, and fast.

It also means being able to interpret nervous, non-verbal cues (such as The Grab) that signal your child is about to go. Which means you better have located the bathrooms when you walked in the door and identified the least obstructed path to that bathroom in case of an emergency.

Turn on the light.
This was one of Jonah's biggest problems. He wouldn't go into a dark bathroom and was too short to reach the lightswitch, so he would have to find the step-stool (or a sword or lightsaber) for help. And frequently, by the time the light was on, it was too late.

Thankfully, Sam doesn't care about going in the dark. Several times now we've startled each other when I walked into the bathroom and turned on the light. It's a good thing he already was . . . where he was.

Drop trou.
Sam's been working on this one for quite some time, so no problems there. Still, it has to be done, and it takes precious time. Peeing outside is a great way to practice.

Climb on the potty.
This is why there is a step-stool in a bathroom both upstairs and downstairs. Stephen and Jonah wouldn't "get on board" without one. Sam, again, doesn't seem to care; he's a bit of a climber.

The Holy Trinity
Flush. Put the lid down. Wash your hands.

Nobody who's been around my kids will believe me, but we really do try to teach these. Still, boys ages 8, 6, and 5 who've been through this already, we've still got one who doesn't flush, one (or more) who doesn't wash his hands, and one who leaves the lid up but manages to close the bathroom door after he leaves. And no, I'm not telling you who does what.

I have no prediction as to which camp(s) Sam will join. I'd put a sign in each bathroom if my wife would let me.

Get dressed.
The instigator of such famous phrases as "Lines in front, tag in back," this is Sam's hardest task. I'm a big fan of the new tagless clothes, but not for kids. Children's clothes should have giganormous labels that are neon yellow.

Honestly, this is the part that's driving me up the wall. Sure, they're semi-related tasks, but who'd have thought that I'd have to teach a kid how to go potty and dress himself at the same time. He's ready for one (and quite good at it), but not so much for the other. Nonetheless, we soldier on.

You know those folks whose toddlers run around without any pants on? I know why. I don't condone it, but I sympathize.

Alright. Next post, something other than potty training. Probably.


At 8:34 PM, Blogger fiorinda said...

My sister devised the Ten Steps to going Potty for my son. We're hoping to turn it into a best seller for children who need lists. He still remembers most of them, but lately we are getting lax about flushing. At least he is neat and doesn't go on the floor or all over the seat. I'm already trying not to hyperventilate at the thought of two little boys learning to pee. They can have all sorts of fun contests that only boys can have.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger 4BoyDad said...

You have no idea.

At 1:42 AM, Anonymous kilsan said...

And people wonder why we stopped at one (and a girl at that) ? :)

Liked the LoTR and Die Hard references, by the way.


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