I have a dream, a dream of no more nappies in my life, a humble, somewhat silly dream, but after 5 years of changing my two kids arses it is quite simply the best dream.
Baby shit is one thing, toddler shit is terrible! Nappy changing ranks up to the next level when the former angel child begins to find genuine glee in terrorising you whilst you are changing them - I call this phase the extreme baby changing challenge - you end up with poo on the carpet, on your clothes, on their clothes, on your forehead, on your hands, I have even found it on my elbow, knees and earlobe. It’s just the worst! (well actually whats worse is said toddler with sickness and diarrhoea, but we’ll save that for another day) Now some people might ask what all the fuss is about, i’m obviously doing it wrong, i’ve obviously got very naughty children; to these people I ask for forgiveness at my ineptness, to everyone else, on the same poo spattered page I give you a high five (a virtual one as lets face it our hands are probably covered in poo) and say to you, we are not alone, we are not shit (pardon the pun) we stand united, it is the poo that binds us!!
My youngest is one week into using the toilet and I am so happy I could dance…I am aware however of the tight rope that I am on here. I would be a fool to announce to the world that she is toilet trained, I mean there is the universal humiliated mother code - as soon as you say your little angel is progressing nicely in a particular area, said little angel decides that actually you need knocking down a peg or two, and progresses to show off their superb skills in NOT doing these things. If I tell the world that she is toilet trained cue my youngest climbing up on to the table and protest weeing in front of as many people as she can!! So I am treading carefully with phrases like ‘isn’t she doing well’ ‘Its early days but she's showing an interest in the toilet’ ‘ I'm sure it wont last but so far she is dry day and night’ blah, blah, blah.
In all honesty I don’t care what people think of me and my parenting, but I do so want to be out of the nappy changing no mans land that I feel I have been in for half a decade. I really don’t want any set backs, I really don't want the expense of nappies to both my wallet and the environment i’ve paid my dues please let this be the end of nappies!!!!
Of all the motherhood milestones, toilet training has been the one I find most daunting, I literally never know where to start. This is my second time around this toilet training merry-go-round and I still feel clueless!! I gave up reading parenting books when my youngest was a few months old, i think they are sent to torment an ever vulnerable, sleep deprived parent, who quite frankly questions everything and is on the brink of insanity due to sleep depravation anyway. The last thing a mother needs is an army of know it all nitwits making you believe that everything you are doing is wrong and result in untold negative affects of your child’s development. I think most of the mothers I speak to know that children are not a one size fits all, and what works for one will categorically not work for another. If any new mother has had the time or inclination to read that many books to find ‘the one’ that works for them, then I truly without sarcasm salute them. Most people say that children will be dry between 2-3 years old, my eldest was well past the 3 year mark inwardly you feel like a freak, and wonder if you're doing it right, I was determined to forget what everyone else's children were doing and just focus on what he was doing, what was right for him and boom when the time was right he was in pants day and night within 2 weeks.
I have gone in to my youngest’s toilet training journey with much of the same attitude, just wing it and hope for the best, so far so good. I am a parrot of the continuous ‘do you need a wee?’ which quite tedious and annoying, but I am already so bored of repeating things generally as a mother, that one more phrase isn’t really going to break the soul too much! Long may she continue to succeed in this toilet training test so that I may fulfil my dream, stop smelling of poo, and carrying suspect stains on my clothing. I pray for all other mothers daring to believe that there is an end in sight to this nappy changing conveyor belt. Stay strong, stay hydrated and most importantly of all ‘do you need a wee?’