18/08/2015 7:27 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST

Potty Training For Dunnies

Fort Worth Star-Telegram via Getty Images
You can lead a kid to the potty but you can't make him use it. With some kids no matter what parents try they just have trouble with toilet-training and pediatricians don't get too concerned until the child is four. (Photo by Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

The day had finally arrived. The day I'd been looking forward to for two and a half years. The day I could finally breath a great sigh of relief that I would never again have to change another wet or smelly nappy.

My son Indy went on the potty. HOORAY!

He also went on the carpet, the tiles, in front of the fridge, under the table, on the couch, behind the couch, over the heat vent in someone else's house, in his pants, on my pants, in his bed and on his bed... Not in a sneaky I-shouldn't-be-doing-this fashion, but always with bold confidence and a spring in his step. Mind you, that could just be the mandatory shaking of the last drops. Which only leads to one conclusion...

He should wear pants more often. Or we're gonna need a bigger bowl.

To place this in the context of the animal kingdom, if he were a lion marking out his territory, the only place I'd be allowed to roam freely would be the top of the fridge. Which is not an easy place to access for either of us. There could be spiders up there. Plus, in such a confined space, it wouldn't take me long to go stir crazy. Not to mention the cold draft up my trouser legs every time the freezer door gets opened. I can already feel 'the lads' turning blue.

But who am I to criticise, as Mumma rightly pointed out: "You're 44 and you still can't get it all in the bowl."

The truth hurts.

Potty training is a trickly area. I had suggested rubbing his nose in it as you do with dogs and cats, but I don't want him digging holes in the yard or clawing the sides of the couch to shreds. So we're going with the positive reinforcement approach. We've tried stickers, chocolates, jelly beans and cuddles. All to terrific success with me! If we can just get it to work on him, we'll be laughing.

It can certainly be frustrating when he's gone through three pairs of jocks and pants in the space of an hour. But it's hard not to laugh when he smiles at you with that infant angel halo and says: "No change my jocks... me squish."


A version of this post first appeared on Justin P Bechtold's blog, You can follow him @40YrOldDad

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