Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to NOT Potty-train Your Child

In which our Heroine’s Child defecates in her Bathwater. 

              Over the past month I have gotten into the lamentable habit of letting my child sit in the bathtub every morning for 30-40 minutes.  During these coveted few moments I turn into a whirlwind of motion.  I start laundry, do the dishes, make bread, sweep, vacuum, or any number of activities that are easier without Eva’s help.  This works for me because Eva greatly dislikes getting her head wet, so I can trust that drowning won’t come easily.  Besides, I stay nearby.  During my convalescence last fall, my mother taught me the free-babysitting bathtub trick, to which I have directed many a grateful thought. 
              Or, maybe not so “free.”  Moral: there is always a price to pay. 
              I was happily folding laundry when my child began screaming “Poopy, poopy, poopy,” at the top of her lungs.  Sudden visions of the worst burst into my mind as I sprinted up the steep half-flight of stairs.  Sure enough, it was everywhere.  Well, everywhere in the water anyway.  First thought: “That’s a lot of poop.  Does she do this normally?  How does it all fit in her diaper?”  Second thought: “I hate cleaning the tub.”  And then, surely one of the most ironic dilemmas in the history of mankind: Where do I put my unsanitary child while I sanitize the unsanitary bathtub that should be used to (you guessed it) sanitize said child.  Later I would wonder which toys were actually in the tub at the time of defecation, and which she tried to save and put away in the basket herself (because she is the kind of child who would). 
              Eva was fascinated by actually seeing her poop in action for once.  She was also (thankfully) repulsed by it and understood that playing with it was NOT desirable.  Perhaps she noticed the putrid smell emanating from the warm waters.  I certainly did.  My sense of smell is particularly acute due to the whole tumor-in-head thing.  Eva’s been interested in toilets for a long time.  The signs are there—I need to get going on this potty-training excercise.  There’s a problem, though.  I have no idea how to actually do it.  Also, I have a lot of diapers still (darn Costco box!)  Oh—and the under-developed, adolescent part of myself has manifested, and I don’t want to.  Of course, another part of me is reminded that I’ll be cleaning up a lot more excrement in the end if I don’t suffer the inevitable. 
              Hats off to my sister-in-law Michelle, who once tried to bathe her three children all at the same time in my puny college apartment’s bathtub.  My terrible memory may be embellishing a few details, but here’s what I remember.  Eli’s tattle-tale voice: “Mom! McKinley just pooped in the bathtub!” and Logan’s accompanying “Eww!”  And from small McKinley, a giggle.  Poor Michelle.  She has recently written on Facebook that she is finally done with diapers, after a combined total of ten and a half years.  Again, the moral: There is always a price to pay.


  1. I feel for you. Naomi did that several times.

  2. Unfortunately, the incident in your apartment was NOT an isolated one. I have cleaned poopy tubs more than once for each of my kids, including a recent occurrence in Kansas when Luka and Jude were bathing together. Or maybe it was Roman. They all run together after a while, no pun intended. Potty-training's payoffs are definitely worth the effort in the end, however.