Toilet training. Anyone with kids gets to live this dream at some point. It is a magical time full of fresh triumphs for our little ones as they master the daunting task of going potty. Along the way there are usually plenty of tears, fears and cheers where the tears and fears usually involve some combination of pungent bum chocolate (poo) and whizz. If our little ones are the stars of this show, the collateral damage is definitely Mum and Dad’s olfactory senses, sense of cleanliness and potentially beloved pieces of household furniture. Or perhaps the walls themselves take a beating if your little one is a budding artist intent on producing finger painted masterpieces for your viewing pleasure. What follows is my top three most traumatic toilet training memories, presented in ascending order.
Coming in in third place on my list is an incident that occurred while we were toilet training Spud (my eldest). It was a cold and dreary winter afternoon in Albury back in 2013 and my wife and I decided it would be fun to go for a walk down to the main street to go to one of our favourite cafes to get some warming brews (a coffee for me and a hot chocolate for her). We decided that Spud, who was toilet training at the time, should give it a whirl without a nappy and instead go in his big boy undies. After all the walk was only about 1 km each way so we would be no more than an hour (allowing time to walk at toddler speed and to faff about a the café). He should be good to make it, surely.
So off we went meandering down the road toward Dean Street. Along the way we played some of our favourite walking games, such as the one where he would hold one hand each of my wife and I count to three and then swing from our arms. Or the one where I would pick him up and put him on my shoulders for a bit. It was this second one that caused the trouble.
Shortly before the end of the first leg of the walk I decided to chuck him up and give him a ride on my shoulders, blissfully forgetting that he was not wearing a nappy. Needless to say, his bladder wasted no time in promptly jogging my memory. No sooner had I hoisted him up there than the warm stream began to trickle down my back soaking my shirt. Spud was inconsolable, I was ill impressed and we still didn’t have our drinks yet. Begrudgingly I walked the rest of the way to the café and got our drinks all the while having my white T-shirt a semi translucent yellow colour and sopping wet plastered to my back. Given that it was a cold evening and I didn’t have jacket, it soon turned from warm, to tepid, to cold. As if this wasn’t bad enough, I still had to walk the rest of the way home.
Number two on this list is a recent inclusion. It occurred the day we went to Lego Land Discovery in late December 2017. The day itself was a magical day full of amazing Lego displays, rides and play areas all Lego themed. Particular highlights was the Melbourne city scape that had been taken over by Star Wars characters and machines as well as the Nexo Knight ride where you sit in a car and ride around a tunnel circuit with laser pistols shooting the bad guys as you go. Spud loved this although Missy Moo didn’t quite understand so I had to hold her hand on her pistol and shoot it for her. In effect I was a total bad ass dual wielding pistols. As you can see, this was a good day. They even had actors dressed in the most exquisitely detailed and accurate Star Wars costumes I’ve ever seen (see the title picture of this piece as well as the picture I used in my previous post).
Then things went awry. My wife, who was still heavily pregnant at the time (read about the labour here), needed to go and visit the lady’s room. Leaving me with the two children (aged 6 and 2) to watch on my own for a few minutes. This would be easy because Spud was engrossed with playing with the Star Wars actors and Missy Moo was busy running around the bright pink fairy princess Lego area (inclusive of big multi level cubby house with slide).
There I was happily minding the kids, watching Missy Moo go running and casually snapping some pics of some awesome tie fighter Lego displays (above) when I begin to realise something is wrong. Missy Moo had stopped running, she had stealthily crept around behind the magic fairy tree, she was slowly bending down to play with some blocks with a look of concentration on her face, then I heard her softly grunting. That was it, I knew right then what had happened.
While I don’t enjoy dealing with dirty nappies, when you have kids you realise that funnily enough poo happens so I was not overly concerned by this. Upon my wife’s return we rounded up the kids, which was no small effort because Missy Moo was hiding up in the cubby to avoid being changed. Retrieving her was difficult because my knee was still in a heavy brace following my surgery in October (resulting from a motorcycle accident which you can read about here). Disaster really struck when we arrived in the parents room to change her, as it was here that we realised that we had left her nappies in the car, on the other side of Chadstone Shopping centre. I also didn’t know if they’d let me back in to Lego Land if I left. To make matters worse, our daughter was already trying to ditch the dirty nappy which risked getting poo everywhere.
Short of options we decided to improvise, ever so carefully my wife and I took the nappy off, used a large amount of paper towel, water and ingenuity and cleaned the nappy as best we could. We then fashioned what was effectively a panty liner out of paper towel and used it to line the nappy before putting it back on. The whole time random farm animal noises played in the room….I still have flashbacks.
Needless to say, Missy Moo’s day of frolicking fun was curtailed and she only got to watch her brother from the pram after that as we didn’t want to risk her ditching the recycled nappy in the middle of the play centre.
Number one on this is another recent entry, this time dating from November 2017. This time my wife and I were struggling to get our previous house clean ready for the bond inspection prior to moving out. The kids kept trashing the house, and I couldn’t help because I was on crutches and in a restrictive brace. Then I struck a genius idea, if my wife drove the kids and I to the local soft play centre, I could sit about and read my book all day, the kids could play and she could get the house done. Genius. Until it wasn’t.
My wife kindly agreed to my scheme and took us to the centre, however I was in charge of packing. After having been there for about 30 minutes Missy Moo came running over upset telling me she had done a poo. No worries, I’d just change her and she’d be good to go. Only I’d forgotten the nappies. Despite the fact that every time she gets excited she poos, I had forgotten the changing gear.
There I was, propped up on one crutch trying to clean up a messy toddler without but paper towels which she wanted to use herself and with nothing to put her back into. I managed to get her clean. But what would I do, I couldn’t put her back into the play area. But as soon as I went back out to get my son she would make a break for it and I couldn’t follow because of my leg. I then accepted the fact that I’d have to call my wife for a replacement nappy which she agreed to bring up. It would take her 15 minutes to get there. This was a risk I was prepared to take because she was pretty good at holding her bladder at home for lengthy period and she had just gone. Surely she would last 15 minutes. I was wrong.
I had just got settled back into my book when I see one of the ladies who worked at the centre heading down the play equipment with hand towels and disinfectant. Poor lady, some kid must have spewed. Then I saw where she was going, up on the third level was my daughter calling out “Daddy, Daddy, I did wee!!!” pointing at the puddle on the floor. I had run the gauntlet and lost, and what was worse I was unable to help clean up the mess because I couldn’t stand or walk properly because of the crutches. Thankfully it wasn’t too busy and the staff were understanding (I think they took pity on the lonely injured Dad out of his depth) and my wife came in wife a fresh nappy. Needless to say though, we didn’t go back for a while.
Have you ever had any disastrous public toilet training incidents? If so, leave a comment with your story below, I’d love to hear it. Also if you enjoyed this piece you can find me over on twitter here or on Instagram here. Lastly if you found this post enjoyable or informative and would like to subscribe to get updates when new content is posted, you can do so using the follow button.