Will is pretty good about it, although he’s not fully there yet. He doesn’t crap in the toilet. Never has. And it feels like he never will. The silver lining is he doesn’t like pooping in his underwear, so when he has to take the Cleveland Browns to the Super Bowl he tells us and we put a pull-up on him. Hey, it’s a start.
But peeing in the toilet is a whole different story.
He is great about not peeing his pants and I’d say he’s 95% potty trained in that regard. We remind him about it and ask him if he has to pee every hour, but he’s pretty good about telling us he has to go. That and he grabs his junk and walks around squeezing it like he’s trying to put a crimp in a garden hose.
What can I say? My extensive daddy observational skills allow me to pick up on the little things.
Despite weeks of success, the last few days have been a little bumpy. Will steps on the stool, pulls his pants down and looms over the toilet like usual. Except nothing is coming out.
“Dad, it’s not working,” he says in the cutest way imaginable.
At first I just told him to try again. Didn’t work. So then I ran the faucet thinking the sound of water would make him have to pee more. But I forgot he doesn’t like noise so that just pissed (pun very much intended) him off even more. In one of my more desperate and ill-conceived moments, I actually told him to blow on it. I know, I know. I’m an idiot.
But then I had a Eureka moment.
“Hey bud, how ’bout if Dad pees with you and we race?”
This must have sparked Will’s competitive spirit because he immediately brightened right up and rose to the challenge. I moved his stool to the right so I could fit in next to him, and we prepared for a phallic duel of epic proportions. We each held our weapons firmly in hand and I told him we’d fire on the count of three. But my little cheater jumped the gun.
I didn’t even get to two before he let loose a stream into the toilet bowl. Not wanting to lose, I quickly followed suit and the race was on. Will was laughing hysterically and I was silently patting myself on the back for coming up with such a great idea to make potty training fun.
But it turns out it was a little too fun.
Will was laughing so hard and getting so excited during our pee race, he began listing to his left and coming dangerously close to falling off the stool. In mid-stream. And I was still going as well. Now for those of you with lady parts, I will tell you stopping once you start is hellish. And, quite simply, out of the question. So I did my best to use my right hip to keep Will balanced on the stool all the while making sure our respective streams stayed within the porcelain target.
Easier said than done.
Will’s left foot slipped completely off the stool. I was somewhat able to catch him and get him back on, but not before he instinctively turned his whole body toward me. Yup, that’s right. He sprayed me full on. A good dad would’ve just taken the punishment and avoided further catastrophe. But what can I say? I’m squeamish when it comes to getting peed on. So I jerked my body away from his pee stream which meant I momentarily directed my own urinary arc away from the toilet and onto the wall. I was relieved initially because I thought I missed Will, but come to find out the pee ricocheted off the wall and got him in the back.
The stunned silence in the immediate aftermath of this fiasco was broken by my son.
“Dada?” he said quizzically.
“You pee on me Dad.”
“To be fair, you peed on me first.”
Then the two of us just started cracking up laughing. Belly laughs. Guffaws and hysterical cackling to the point I would’ve peed myself all over again if I hadn’t just soaked my toddler.
When we turned our attention to the bathroom it looked like a crime scene. Will peed on me and himself. I pissed on the wall and—thanks to the splatter—Will’s back. What started as a fun way to approach potty training had turned into an episode of CSI. Or the back room of a really disgusting fetish club.
The worst part is a precedent has now been set and he wants to race me every single time he has to pee. Anyone have a haz-mat suit?
—Photos Top: nicolasnova/Flicker Bottom: Aaron Gouveia.