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Posts Tagged ‘The Camel’

Having touched lightly on this delightful subject in a previous post (see “Poo-tential“), it struck me the other day while I was scrubbing skid marks off the children’s underpants how there was so much more to say about the art of Toilet Training. To help guide you through this veritable minefield, where at any moment a chocolate bomb might go off in your face, here are some random musings straight from the desk of the Not Drowning Mother. 

“Denial is a river of piss in your son’s pants”
Let’s be honest here: the male of the species is in deep denial when it comes to the fullness of their bladder. There is some fundamental break-down in communication between their brains and their nether-regions, which, early on in life, leads to what I affectionately refer to as “piss-pants” and, later in life, leads to embarrassing text-message scandals in the tabloid press. 

To this day, I’ll often find Mr Justice standing in the most awkward way, clutching his penis and sticking his bum right out like a baboon on heat. It always begs the question: “Do you need to go to the toilet?”

And yet the answer is always an emphatic “No”, shortly followed by the sudden – but not surprising – appearance of the Wet Patch of Shame (although, as a mother of two boys, I know there will one day be other kinds of wet patches for me to deal with, but thankfully I’m not there yet and I’m sure both my boys will be praying I’m not blogging anymore when I am). 

And then when he does make it to the toilet in time, the phrase “to paint the town yellow” springs to mind. As recently as yesterday, he said to me “I’m sorry but I did a wee in the bin by mistake.” The bin. Which is in the kitchen and nowhere near the toilet. And people wonder why I’ve aged so much these last six years. 

Beware the Camel
In stark contrast, The Pixie has superior bladder control which has earned her the nickname of “The Camel” in these parts. That girl can go from 5pm one night through to 10:30am the following morning without conceding a single drop of urine – and as someone on the other side of three pregnancies from my little girl, she completely blows me out of the water I’m invariably sitting in. However, just when you come to rely on the exceptional urine-retaining talents of The Camel, she’s still prone to play the “I’ve got to go to the toy-ah-lettttttt” card at the most inconvenient moments. And in her case, when she’s got to go, she’s really got to go, floodgates opening and all, so you’d better move damn fast. 

Night-time dilemmas
The overnight nappy presents a parent with a double-edged sword: on one side, the longer you use the night nappy on a child who emits a steady stream of piss throughout the night, the more sleep you will get; on the other side, you run the risk of one day still trying to shoehorn a 18 year old into a pull-up with Bambi on it. 

I’ve heard tell of little electric mats that you can buy or hire which, the minute a drop of urine hits it, sets off an alarm to wake the child and remind them to go to the toilet. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t sit well with me. Perhaps it’s the combination of liquid, electricity and my child’s bed and its strong overtones of electroconvulsive shock therapy that does it. There must be another way. But before you start offering me advice, read the next section. 

Be careful who you give toilet training advice to
Having had an easy-breezy time toilet training one of my children and an excruciating time with the other (Tiddles is only just starting to form a relationship with the potty, and so it’s too early to call), I can appreciate why some people might like to give “useful” advice like “Just put them in underpants, it will sort itself out”. These casual advice-givers obviously had the easy-breezy experience where the moment they chose to toilet-train was at precisely the moment the child was ready, the stars were all in alignment and someone was mooning Uranus (or some-such).  

In my checkered history as a toilet trainer of ill-repute, I’ve been driven to posting on online parenting forums where I’ve swapped horror stories with other mothers experiencing the Extreme Sports end of Toilet Training. 

One poster helpfully interrupted our merry banter with some unsolicited advice about “Early Elimination Control” – where you’re supposed to start waving your baby’s bum over a potty the moment they’re born and you never EVER let them sit in their own excrement for even a nano-second, even if it means pulling over by the side of the road and changing them IMMEDIATELY.

And how old was her little one and did she have any other children? one other poster asked sweetly, no doubt sharpening her claws in readiness to pounce. 

The answer? Eight months old. And yes, the baby was her first. 

What ensued can only be described as internet forum carnage. The lesson in all that: you just don’t mess with mothers at the Extreme Sports end of toilet-training. You’ll get the shit kicked out of you.

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