Friday, January 29, 2010


Most people who don't have children don't understand those of us who do. Surprisingly, they don't understand our offspring, either. Even though they were children once themselves, they appear to have forgotten most of their own childhood and probably don't remember the joys of it or the trials and tribulations of their (very) patient parents.

I suppose those people who are young and single don't give too much thought to the bathroom, either. They just take it for granted. Parents of toddlers have to give it lots of thought.

For example, I was in the bathroom getting ready this morning and had just flushed the toilet and was preparing to shave when DS wandered into the bathroom in a dazed manner to use the toilet.

"What's that noise?", he asked.

"Uh, that's the toilet tank filling up with water." Being that I am an engineer by profession, I proceeded to explain to him the inner workings of the toilet and why it was filling the tank with water.

Then it dawned on me.

"Why did you ask? Have you never heard the toilet tank fill before?"

I got a particularly confused look from DS.

Probably not.

For the longest period of time, DS seems to have been imbued with some mutant predisposition that left him unable to flush the toilet. As a parent of a child this age, you must understand that this had both good points and bad points for DW and I. First, there is the obvious bad point of coming into the bathroom to find that the toilet has a "surprise" of some sort in it. Then, there are the good points. You can almost instantly determine both the gastric health of your child and know if he wiped.


Did any wiping occur? For the longest time, DS seems to have assumed that he has a Teflon bottom as he would tell us that he didn't need to wipe. A quick check of the laundry basket would always shoot this assumption down faster than a Scud missle over Tel Aviv.

'Skid marks'? Check.

C'mon kid.

We'd be ecstatic if he'd just use the papyrus as reliably as the kid below:

To be quite honest, I think that there is a distinct difference between the genders when it comes to potty training. I don't remember it being such a big issue for DD as she was growing up. As a matter of fact, it was the day that DS first came home from teh hospital that she managed to sleep through the night without a diaper and wake up dry in the morning. She just decided that was what she was going to do and did it.

At the moment, we have different issues with DD. She's at that in between stage. To borrow and excellent expression from one of DW's bloggy friends, Expat Mum ,(One of a group of wonderful ex-patriot, mostly British, blogging moms - do go visit her!) DD is turning into a...


While others find her to be a delightful and charming young lady when she is out and about, at home she can be much more, um, assertive.

She's decided that those things that she doesn't deign to do, she will not - and let you know that she won't.

In no uncertain terms.

At this point, her progress on the kayak that we've been building has ground to a halt and we're having a bit of a tête-à-tête in regard to the terms for doing the building work. As it is something that I know that DD wants to do, I've put a condition on when we can work on the boat. It's not extreme or anything. I've simply told DD that if we are to work on her boat, her room has to be clean. Not spotless, mind you - just neat. It still doesn't seem to be a great motivation for her even though I know she wants to work on the kayak.

I'm still looking for a motivational tool.

Got any ideas?

Oh yeah, I know what you're thinking, by the way - and no, it's not blackmail!


Bob Easton said...

There ain't no motivational tools!

We found it best to close the door to the youngster's room and go on with life. Some day, she'll either find it is a good thing to be orderly (because some peer expects it), or she'll find another bum to hang out with. :)

The mess doesn't really get in the way of life does it? ... other than putting a wedge between you two. Will it matter after she's moved on and you miss having time with her ... time you're cheating yourself out of just now?

Canoez said...

Well, I'll remember that there ain't no motivational tools.

I'm not looking for sparkle, I'm looking for a room that doesn't kill anyone who goes in there - i.e. trip/fire/rodent hazard.

You have to realize that one of my father's little gems as I was a teenager myself, "You can't make anyone do anything, but you can make them wish they did." As you say, I'm hoping that's not me!

Jenn said...

You're Dad is a genius! Can I use his words?

Canoez said...

You can try, Jenn...

We'll see if you have the same 'gravitas' to carry it out!