I am not a plumber. I have no experience with weepy faucets, drippy pipes or trickling garden hoses. So why did G-d put me in charge of regulating six free-flowing urinary tracts?
By the time my little spritzers turn 12 months, people start urging me to introduce them to ‘The Toilet.’ I wouldn’t normally introduce my children to a stranger who gurgles water in his lungs, stores sewage in his brain, and flushes each time you touch his funnybone… but when my son’s diaper floats in a flood, and relatives start calling him ‘Noah’; When people mistake my child for a watering can, and use him to sprinkle the lawn; When the meteorologist predicts the tail end of a storm, and people put their raincoats on to hold him: It is potty time.
On my boy’s second birthday, I took him to Coney Island. There were booths spread out on a fairground near the boardwalk, where fun-seekers could test their skills. I stopped at a table that had clowns lined up, with balloons attached to their heads. The challenge was to squirt water from a toy gun into the clown’s mouth, fill the balloon until it popped, and win a little stuffed snake. I figured that booth was my opportunity. I gave the man a buck, put the gun in my son’s hands and said, ‘Point your pistol, and aim in that hole…’ The clown should have come with an umbrella.
I vowed to keep my kid in Ultra Leakguards until he was old enough for combat.
Kids love water. If I let them, they will happily stand at my kitchen sink for hours, letting their hands dangle limply under the flow. They will fill ceramic mugs with water and shower each other with brotherly love. They will fill our inflatable beach ball with water, and puncture it inside the car on the way to a volleyball game. They will fill the laundry basket with water, and wash their doll’s hair in it with Murphy soap. So why does this particular bowl of water literally frighten the doo doo out of them?
When it’s time to train my daughter, I sit on the bathtub rim for hours, making sure she doesn’t fall into the commode hole. We just sit there, looking at one another until fungus starts growing between our toes. But it isn’t until I finally give up and let my child stand, that her bowels band together and form a movement.
Toilet training does for mothers what pigeons do for windshields.
As the drill sergeant for mini-marine corps basic water training, I have the dubious option of laundering 20 urine-soaked tidy-whities a day, or letting my recruits run around bare bottomed until they graduate from bathroom boot camp. Either way, I’m constantly running after them yelling ‘Hold your fire!’
Leaving the house during the potty period is a mother’s wet dream.
Once a toddler learns to outgrow his dread of the bathroom, the bathroom becomes his lifelong friend. To this day, my husband visits the John far more often than he does any of his other buddies. I know where to find him when the chaos level in our house hits a 10 on the Richter scale…
Just a few days ago, I applied for my NYS Master Plumber license. With 12 years experience in the field of leaking bladders, water pressure, clogged toilets and backup sewer service, I will graciously be serving the Brooklyn community for as long as my kids’ hind quarters keep turning into saturated fat…