Dad vs. Potty: Confronting Number 1’s No.2s

I found it in the kitchen.

Framed and contrasted by a garish-pink potty, its placement (just in front of the fridge) served only to underline the offence. It stared at up me: Solid, defiant – and very smelly.

I know this sort of thing is to be expected: infants come with an implicit guarantee that you’ll spend several years elbow-deep in doo-doo. And personally, I’ve never been squeamish about nappies and their contents.

But a nappy is a comparatively controlled environment. Full ones announce themselves by smell, well before you get a visual. You must also make a conscious effort to change one. By the time you get to ‘nappy-off’ you are, frankly, ready for the shit.

Whereas, unexpectedly shuffling into a potty-full by the fridge feels altogether more disorientating. Despite having spent many weeks training our eldest to do exactly what she’s done, it’s a challenge I’m quite unprepared for. Bemusement leads me to over-analyse the situation. Does this represent potty-training success – or a tantrum? Why do I feel compelled to inspect it more closely? Do I really need to build a forensic picture of yesterday’s meals?

This kind of potty-ambush looms large in my immediate future.

It also represents progress. We’re training the old boss well, MsUrbanDaddy and me. Every day, our eldest gains a little more control over what she does, when and where.

And for her right now, freedom is sneaking off to do a huge poo in her potty and then sneaking back, leaving us to stumble into challenges we haven’t entirely prepared for.

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