Tonawanda News

Features

January 14, 2013

Reflections on potty-training from a parent

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Near the top of Penny’s list is engaging in long talks while taking care of business. I don’t mind talking to her, but these conversations seem to distract her from the task at hand — which suits her just fine. She’d just as soon spend a half-hour in there. But not me (at least when speaking about how long SHE should spend in there). Bathroom time should be in and out. Plus, she’s near the age where it’s just a little ... weird ... to be in there for any longer than need be.

Their whole fascination with the bathroom is a little weird, really. Bathrooms are usually tiny, a bit stinky and just not inviting as a long-term hangout. Yet they’d almost rather play there than in their bedroom, their play room — you know, the rooms that contain toys, carpets and stuff.

But no. Instead, Rigby would rather fill the sink with soapy water and pretend to drown the Lizard, the Joker and his other bad guy figurines.

Penny would rather sit there for 20 minutes playing a game on her little electronic device ... well, I’ve done that before, actually. But still.

Rigby would rather grab his little pirate bath toys and stage the seizing of a 17th century port town, dropping bombs on the poor settlers instead of the bombs he went onto the toilet to deposit.

Part of it is on me, as dad. If I want them to behave a certain way, I need to steer them in that direction, put my foot down and get ‘er done.

That’s not as easy as it sounds, though. The kids go in there for a reason, after all, and I need to allot time enough until they are relieved of their duties. Without looking (never a fun task), you just can’t be sure the mission has been accomplished. And I know enough to know it’s not always one-and-done in there.

I am getting better, though, at cutting out the nonsense. But there’s still a ways to go.

When will toilet time stop making such a splash with my kids? I’m not sure. But until then, it will continue to provide a flush of fun, I fear.

Contact Paul Lane at pjlnews@ymail.com.

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