Monday, June 11th, 2012
I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a public toilet. I squat, but I don’t let my legs touch. My quads get a good workout. So does my brain. I will myself not to look at or think about the grime, the hair, and god-knows-what-else that is lurking. I have already been in hypnotherapy for my compulsive cleaning addiction. But training Fia to not only go into a public toilet, but to SIT on one, is going to be tough. However, doctor’s orders: Get over it!
At her 2.5-year check up last week he really set me straight.
“How’s she doing with potty training?” he asked.
“She does great with the poops, but we haven’t worked on pee as much.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because she will pee a lot more frequently, which means I have to deal with public bathrooms. And I’d prefer diapers to kneeling on a disgusting floor with her on a disgusting toilet. So I’ve been putting off the inevitable. With poop, it’s only once a day and usually in the evening, so we’re at home.”
“Ahhh…. this is very important to discuss then,” he said.
The short of it is: if you don’t train your children to go the bathroom–#1 or #2–in every scenario, then they will develop an aversion to using the bathroom outside of the house. He knows people who are prisoners to their own potty. They literally won’t leave their dwelling until they’ve shat.
“There’s a fire? Sorry, I can’t evacuate. I haven’t pooped yet.”
Basically, if I don’t teach her to go everywhere and anywhere, she could end up with a bathroom obsession. And lord only knows she probably already has many obsessive tendencies/genes. She doesn’t need anymore.
My next meditation will consist of positive imagery. I will envision us walking into the bathroom, dressed in fatigues, my head held high. I will properly line her toilet seat with paper. I will cheerlead. A cockroach might run past with a pubic hair in its mouth. “Look Mama look!” she’ll shout with excitement. “Wow, how neat!” I’ll say through clenched teeth. “Are you finished yet?”
My face will never show disgust.
We will sit for 15 minutes. She will pee a teaspoon. And damn it, I’ll enjoy every minute and drop.
Another good example Fia’s pediatrician gave:
He hates salmon. Every time they have it, his girls whine, “Daddy, do we have to eat the salmon?” He replies, “Of course you do. Salmon is yummy!” and puts a forkful in his mouth (even though he is cringing inside). If he took a different approach, i.e.: “I don’t like salmon either,” they may never eat that fish again. If they end up disliking it, fine. But don’t let it be because of you.
We all know kids are little mimes. As parents, we are asked to do the impossible: show them the way, even if it’s not our way, our preference. But when it comes to bodily functions, there really isn’t a choice.
For me, I want to travel the world with my kids. She’ll have to learn to squat over dirt holes in India, on bushes in Africa, and in outhouses in South Dakota. And I get to lead the way. From now on, I will see the filth and squat right next to it. I will smile at it.
In short, I will embrace the gross.
Grungy toilet via Shutterstock