When you’re three, bums are hilarious. The mere words ” pee poo bum bum” are Akka’s favorite joke right now. She livens up dinner parties by trotting in, sticking her bum out, naming it, and shrieking with laughter.
I get it: bums are funny. I don’t mind the joke. My only concern with pee and poo has to do with ensuring that it gets into the toilet. Akka has this all figured out. We did part-time elimination communication with her starting at four months old. (Elimination communication is an absolutely ridiculous term which simply means doing what the majority of mothers do worldwide: aiming your kids’ waste where you want it to go). By the time she was eating food, and therefore creating actual human poo, it went directly into the toilet 99 times out of 100. We were terribly proud and quietly judged parents who spent any time cleaning feces off of skin. Dealing with soiled diapers seemed to us to be a completely disgusting and optional endeavour.
Then came Malli.
With him, we missed an elimination communication window. We had a rhythm for a while, lost it, and couldn’t get it back. He arched his back and screamed at being put on the toilet. So we gave up, embraced the diapers, and settled into the wildly extended North American diapering timeline. In a cruel twist, he’s remarkably fecally prolific. Three or four dirty diapers a day is normal. Six is not unheard of. Now that he’s two and seems ready to learn how the rest of us do it, I find myself ill-equipped to guide him. This is my first time. When we’re home, he proudly wears underwear. I’ve downloaded a timer that plays the sound of a meditation bell every half hour. It’s our potty timer. I’m training him like Pavlov’s dog. I just hope he doesn’t do a meditation retreat one day and find himself running for the bathroom at every chime.