My “things I never thought before being a parent that I’d get so excited that I’d order a parade” list has grown yet again. My 7-month-old son did his important business while my wife had him hovering over the toilet. I’m sure a non-parent would think something like, “Hmmm. . . neat. Do they normally use the toilet at that age?” While a parent who changes diapers on a regular basis and has a strong understanding of what a 7 month old baby is capable of, knows why I was almost ready to do laps around the house and almost explode into a cloud of Skittles.
Everett doesn’t crawl (and definitely doesn’t walk). He has just figured out this sitting thing in the last month. He thinks talking is a high pitched squeal or a succession of “whoos” or “oohs”. He doesn’t have any teeth (but please oh please, come soon!) and his food of choice looks like it was run over by a speeding truck. Flashing my fingers in front of his face is what he considers premium entertainment. His best form of exercise is spending an hour in his Jolly Jumper knock off. My point is that for a non-parent, I can understand how using the toilet is not worthy of a gigantic celebration. The fact we’ve been able to get my 7-month-old and 16 something pound son to use the toilet is. . . well, you’ll have to excuse me while I scream for joy.
Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t toilet trained. His face of deep concentration and his constant grunting alerts us to the fact he is in the process of making some baby magic. But he doesn’t formally notify us he has to go. Even if he knew the toilet was the place to deposit his digested avocado, it isn’t like his rolling from stomach to back and back to stomach would actually get him to the toilet on time (yes, my son has finally mastered the tricky stomach to back roll). He doesn’t actually sit on the toilet but is held in place by Emily.
So, why is this even worthy of excitement?
Imagine you’re only 16 or so pounds and about the height of a standing Boston terrier. That toilet starts to look pretty intimidating. Your head is barely above the seat even if you’re standing. The hole in the seat is like a giant chasm that opens to a toxic pool of nastiness. Everett could jump right inside the toilet—if he could actually jump into anything. How many people like the idea of being dangled over the edge of a cliff? It isn’t really most people’s favourite Saturday afternoon activity. Well, this is essentially what has been happening to Everett, and he has successfully done his business every time.
He is comfortable enough with the giant porcelain beast that he is ready to do one of life’s most personal things. He also does it while his parents cheer him on—which can be a lot of pressure. Even though he is nowhere close to being toilet trained, he has used the toilet and is beginning to get comfortable with it as an alternative to his diaper. The less times I need to see a diaper surprise, the much more joyous my days will be.