Not Enough Bleach
By: Boating Dad
Boating Dad: Dad of two active boys that keep me and my wife of 10 years on our toes.
I was home picking up the tornado debris that my children had left behind in the living room when suddenly my Dad Radar started to percolate. There was no noise that set it off, but more of a lack of noise. Being too quiet, as all parents know, usually means something is awry. I gingerly made my way up the stairs to the second floor, and started my systematic scanning. I surveyed my youngest’s bedroom. I found nothing out of place, just him sitting quietly with books scattered on the floor, so I moved my oldest’s bedroom. There I found my 4 year old trying to change his pants. This produced a red flag immediately. Changing clothes unprompted was usually a sign of a recent “accident”, we had been working on getting him 100% potty trained.
“What’s going on?” I said in the typical stern dad voice
“I went poop in the potty," he replied, struggling to put his last leg into a new pair of pants.
I turned on a dime and made a beeline to the bathroom. Though the bathroom is only the next room over, it still left my imagination plenty of time to draw up horrifying scenarios of what I was about to walk into: Shades of brown surrounding the white porcelain throne shot through my mind. Turds everywhere but in the toilet filled my head.
I walked into the bathroom ready for Armageddon only to find…nothing. Perfectly clean floor and an amazingly clean (and flushed) toilet. No turds in strange places, no shades of brown on the can.
My parenting low turned into an immediate high. YES! I’ve finally taught my son to successfully use the potty! I’m winning at parenting!
But as everyone knows, a parenting win is fleeting, and this was no different. My parenting “high” lasted all of 2 steps. Upon my exit to congratulate my son on his accomplishment, a shadow by the tub caught the corner of my eye. I turned toward the shower curtain, and things started to come into focus as my original tunnel vision faded. My white shower curtain had a shade of brown on the corner...or rather, a giant skid mark. Extreme bewilderment started to flow over me as my brain struggled to comprehend what had transpired in this bathroom. All I could produce was a “What the F**k” that I muttered under my breath. I asked my 4 year old, who appeared in the doorway of the bathroom: “Why did you use the shower curtain?” In a matter of fact voice he said “Because there was no toilet paper.” I glanced at the toilet paper roll, which was empty. Apparently, this is a 4 year old's logic: When the toilet paper runs out, use the next best thing; in this case, the shower curtain.
I could have yelled and screamed and snapped. But at the end of the day, a child going to the bathroom unassisted (or asked) is a win in many parents books.
Even though it caused an extra load of laundry.
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