I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for years, but two things stopped me. First, I’ve only been writing a blog for one year, so I really had no appropriate forum for this post and it wouldn’t have been a post without a blog to put it on, so it would have really just been me walking up to strangers and telling them this disjointed story for no reason. Even I’m not that needy. Second, I forgot to take a picture of the object in question back when I still owned it so I really had no good visual aid to go with this story, but then I remembered that this is the Internet and I can just Google it to find a picture.
Of my daughter’s potty chair.
Yup, the only thing stopping me from telling this awesome story about potty training was lack of a picture, and thanks to the Internet I now have one. You’re welcome.
(NOTE: This is the autistic daughter we’re talking about here, so yes, she was a little late potty training. I didn’t want to slander our older daughter by making anyone think she didn’t potty train within a normal time frame and by slander I mean scar-for-life-by-talking-about-teaching-her-to-pee-on-the-Internet. Older daughter did her business in completely record time because she’s gifted, younger daughter learned to potty in completely record time for an autistic person because she’s also gifted. We’re good.)
I took an entire week off from work to potty train our second child (which you would know if you’d bought my book AND actually read it, not just bought it like all my supportive friends and family members who only told me they’d read it then completely failed the written test I handed them) and was mostly successful because I bought her the Lamborghini of potty chairs. You’re in trouble when your child’s potty chair clearly states on the box, “Batteries not included.” Unless this thing had a built in bidet-slash-air-dry feature, I couldn’t imagine what the batteries were for. This thing had a seat warmer, an installed book light, and sound effects. Whenever the child actually pees or poops, the “matter” passes over the infrared eye and causes it to play a royal fanfare song as a reward
Unfortunately, the song scared her and whenever “matter” began passing over the infrared eye and the music would start, she would jump up off the chair screaming, spraying “matter” all over the floor. I had to take the batteries out and even then I had to make her older sister use the chair several times to convince her that the music wasn’t going to play ever again.
Whenever you’re potty training, it’s a good idea to have the chair handy for any time the child might need to go (I read that somewhere), so we had our chair in the living room so she could watch some TV and have a seat as nature called. Our home was also lucky enough to be old and drafty, which meant we also had those giant palmetto bugs that look like they have already survived the nuclear holocaust.
One evening, the kids were snuggled in bed and my husband and I were watching some television. A nuclear-holocaust-roach ran across the carpet and hid under the magical potty chair. We organized our strategy like a finely tuned Navy SEAL team, in which my husband sat ready with a large shoe for smashing and I was to yank the potty chair out of the way in order to give him a clear aim for the death shot. After a series of silent military-looking hand gestures to relay my orders, I yanked the potty chair out of the way but my husband totally choked on the trigger in mid-squish.
Instead, he rolled around on the floor, rubbing at his eyes and screaming. The potty chair had not been empty. Our youngest had taken it upon herself to pee–apparently several times–and the chair didn’t alert us that there was “matter” in it. Because I had taken the batteries out. In my defense (and here is where a picture would come in handy…we would have to call it “Exhibit A”), the basin part of the chair was lime green. Who does that? Who makes a chair intentionally designed to camouflage urine? Do adult-sized porcelain toilets come in various shades of poop brown so no one ever knows if it’s been flushed? I don’t think so.
As my husband sat up to shoot me a murderous look for leaving a plastic basin full of a small human’s waste in the living room, glaring at me as tears of pee ran down his face, all I could think to say was, “Dibs on cleaning up the bug.”