The smell was noticeable, wafting from across the room where my nephew sat, face scrunched up and red, grunting. Crap… I knew what that face meant. I put the remote down and called over to him, “do you need to use the potty?” My sister was trying in vain to toilet train the kid. They’d got peeing down to a fine art; he liked to aim at the sticker in the bottom of the portable potty, cheering himself on and laughing every time he hit the little smiley face with a splash of wee. So far he’d refused to do a poo, opting instead to hide away in a corner or behind a chair, do his business and then run out happy as a clam to tell you he’d “done a no-no” and needed changing.
He looked up at me, grinning, eyes bright. “No. I farted.”
I sighed. Lovely. “Ah, well, just in case, let’s go sit on the potty.” I knew he was trying to con me. He could sense my fear of having to change a poopy diaper and wanted to deliver in spades. He’d probably been saving up all week just because I was sitting for him for a few hours. He was probably calculating his next sneak attack move that very second. I wasn’t taking any chances.
“Nuh uh!” He stood up and ran to the couch to grab the remote. His diaper looked relatively smooth from behind so I wasn’t too concerned. The damage had yet to be done. “Wanna watch SpongeBob!” He held up the remote and waved it at me for me to change the channel. His blonde hair stuck up wildly in places, refusing to smooth down and there was a dribble of blue Kool-Aid staining the collar of his dinosaur t-shirt.
“Ok, we can watch SpongeBob, but first we’re gonna go sit on the potty.” He began to whine. I felt a temper tantrum brewing. “Just for a minute, buddy. Come on.” I took his hand and led him down the hallway to the bathroom. Breathing a sigh of relief at the clean diaper, I sat him down on the potty and waited. He looked up at me as if he expected me to entertain him as he did his business.
I perched on the rim of the tub, scrunching my bare toes into the lavender colored shag bathmat and waited for the grunting to recommence. Nothing. He just sat there, grinning. No tinkle, no poo, no nothing. I sighed again and stood up. “Ok, then. Let’s put your pants back on and wash your hands.”
“Nuh uh.” The imp looked up at me, some sort of mischief brewing in his sea-blue eyes. He was looking more and more like my sister every day.
I covered my mouth and tried not to laugh. “Why not? I thought you wanted to watch SpongeBob?”
“Wanna go poop.”
Hm. This could be progress. He was actually wanting to poo on the toilet. As far as I knew, this was a first. I could be a hero in our family–accolades being showered upon me all because he’d done a poo on the potty on my watch. Fantastic.
“Ok.” I resumed my perch on the bathtub and waited. The grunting began and his chubby little legs tensed up. It was almost cute in a really gross sort of way. A few minutes of this went by. “Well,” I asked. “ Did you poop?”
“Not yet,” he replied sounding almost distracted.
Well then, I thought to myself. This is really happening. He’s going to poo, it’s not going to be as bad as a shitty diaper, and everyone’s going to be totally impressed with your child rearing skills. Maybe they’ll be so impressed they’ll forget to ask you when you’re planning on having one yourself. Yes! Score!
I heard my phone going off in the next room. I looked at my nephew who seemed to be off in another world, trying to do his thing. Surely it’d be safe just to run out and grab the phone and bring it back in? I dashed out of the bathroom for the phone, feeling slightly guilty for leaving him alone but it was more than likely my sister calling to check up anyhow and if I didn’t answer she’d probably assume we’d been taken hostage by the local axe-murdering-maniac and call the police, National Guard and the CIA.
I picked up my phone just as the caller hung up. I was right, it had been my sister. I immediately dialed her back and the call went straight to voicemail. Of course. The house phone rang–that had to be her. I picked up the phone from the wall.
“Why didn’t you answer your cell phone? I was worried!”
“It’s OK. I had it in the living room and we were just on the potty.”
“Yeah, I think he’s trying to poop. Or at least that’s what he keeps telling me. How awesome is that?”
There was silence on the end of the line.
“Tell me you haven’t left him in the bathroom on his own?”
“Well, my phone went and I ran to grab it and then you hung up and I tried to call you back and here we are on the house phone.”
“Oh my god, get off the phone and go back to the bathroom and call me on your cell.” She hung up. Clearly there were going to be no thanks there. When was nap-time again?
The smell was noticeable and unmistakable as I went back down the hallway to the bathroom. My nephew sat bare-butt on the the no longer lavender bathmat and grinned proudly up at me.
Taking a quick break from the International Women’s Month fun to hangout with the cool cats over in the speakeasy.