So you think toilet training is over once the child is out of diapers? And almost in junior Kindergarden?
We’re on to the next hurdle. The “wipe your own butt” hurdle.
Granted, he’s only 4. He just turned 4 a few weeks ago. And I realize that it will take a few more years to get him to be, shall we say, self-sufficient in that department.
But I do want to prepare him for the unlikely, but possible time, when he might have to “make poops”, as he calls it, and he’s on his own someplace. Like at summer camp. Or at a friend’s house. Or, as of September, at junior K for a few hours every day during the week.
So I thought I’d start talking about it with him. Get him used to the idea that soon, he will have the opportunity to take toilet paper from the roll, and clean himself up all by himself.
He remains rather silent during those talks.
I try not to freak him out. Really, I do. I try to make it seem a very normal thing, but something that everyone will learn how to do.
He can’t quite wrap his head around the whole idea though. And there is a very specific reason for this. One I’ve never really heard of before…
Well, actually, I have. I saw it on a sitcom once.
On Seinfeld, to be exact.
Remember that episode where George comes out of Jerry’s bathroom and he’s buttoning up his shirt? Jerry asks him why he’s doing that, and George admits that he takes his shirt OFF during certain bathroom visits.
I don’t recall if there was a reason, a la Costanza style, or not, but the show being quirky, it didn’t matter. The point was made.
And this same point is currently occurring at our house.
Because one reason why Benjamin can’t wipe his own butt is because he needs one hand to hold on to the toilet so as not to fall it, and the other hand he needs to HOLD UP HIS SHIRT.
God forbit you ask him to remove his hand from his shirt.
“Noooooooo mommy, I caaaaaannnn’ttt dooooooo thaaaaatttt!! I don’t want my shirt to touch the poops!!!”
No amount of reassuring that this will not happen has convinced him.
The only thing that he’s sort of considering is the removal of his shirt. I suggested this, remembering George from the sitcom. But Benjamin isn’t making any promises. He’s just thinking about it.
Tonight, I asked him again if he’d like to try and wipe a little. I would stay and finish the job but maybe he could get started.
“No mommy, I have to hold my shirt.”
I suggested he take the shirt off. He wasn’t interested.
I asked him this:
“Do you see me, or daddy, calling Grosmami (my mom) to come over and wipe our butts every time we have to go to the bathroom?”
He seemed genuinely perplexed. So I’m going to leave him with THAT image for the time being and re-visit this at a later time.