Hoist by my own petard...

>> Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Whisper it softly but it seems that the potty training is finally - FINALLY - working. We're down to one accident every 2 or 3 days, and Boy #2 seems finally able to 'produce' (for want of a less graphic word) on demand. Which is nice. With even his night nappies showing considerably less strain in the morning I can finally see the day when, some time in the future, this will be a 100% potty-trained house. Hurrah! (Although if you have shares in Pampers, due to forthcoming decrease in demand, now would be a good time to sell. You heard it here first.)

You might be forgiven for thinking then; 'Well, what is Potty going to write about now? Where will her source material come from? Will we subjected to a litany of gripes about the gym, the supermarket, and parking outside the nursery by those Yummies in big black 4x4's who STILL DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE THE BLXXDY THINGS?' (Sorry, got carried away there...).

Fear not, that won't happen. (Or at least, no more than usual).

Boy #2 has the situation under control.

It appears that he has been pondering the forthcoming change of subject matter for some time, and is currently in the process of coming up with a smorgasbord of 3-year old delights for you to partake in.

Because this brave new world of potty trained boys is something of a double-edged sword. It seems that encouraging him to be independant in loo-related matters has also resulted in him discovering his teeth in other areas too. "OK" I can almost hear him thinking. "You want more independant thought from me? You'll get more independant thought! No more Mr Nice Guy..."

Exhibit One

Last week I was stopped on my way into his nursery to pick him up. "Is anything wrong with Boy #2?" his class teacher asked me. "Noooo. Why?" I answered. "Well, he's been really naughty today. Refusing to do what he's told and shouting at all the teachers. It's really not like him." she answered. Swallowing my initial retort that it was exactly like him (at home), I promised to have a word - involving the threat of with-holding tv-watching privileges - and went on my way.

The talk worked, he's been good as gold ever since, but I can't help wondering if he was simply showing them what he is capable of, that's he's not afraid to use it, and preparing the ground for...

Exhibit Two

'You are invited to a Celebration of Spring' the invitation from Boy #2's nursery read. My heart sank. We already had a 'Celebration of Christmas' this term (yes, late, I know), which it had been decidedly tricky to get Boy #2 to participate in. Bribery by chocolate was involved in the end. And now, having thought that was all behind us for another year, we were to be treated to a repeat performance where, to cap it all, we were requested to dress our children as lambs, chicks, or bunnies.


Now Boy #1 'does' dressing up. Lions, knights, police-officers, pirates vets; he has even, on occassion, been known to put on the harness of his hobby horse and prance around the flat. Boy #2? Not so much. He will of course stamp around dressed up as Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder (aka 'Fixer Man' in our house), and any other suitably macho character, but ask him to put on anything that he doesn't consider manly enough and mayhem ensues. And so it was yesterday when I picked him up from nursery and started discussing the Spring Show we were going to later.

Me: "So it's your Spring Show this afternoon. Are you looking forward to it?"

Boy #2: "Nope." (Quite where he has picked up 'nope' from I don't know, but he seems to feel it is suitable for someone of his bloke-like qualities, uttering it in a deep 'don't mess with me, I am Fixer Man, have a toy Bosch power drill and am not afraid to use it' voice which he uses when he wants to be particularly emphatic).

Me: "Right. Well, are you going to sing us some songs and stuff?"

Boy #2: "Nope."

Me: "OKaaaay. Gran and I have made you a great rabbit costume. It's got a pompom on your bottom, a set of ears, and I've found the facepaints to finish the job. Isn't that exciting?"

Boy #2: "Nope."

And so it continued. When presented with the outfit at home, 'nope' deteriorated into 'Nooooooooo!', accompanied by many tears, body-stiffening, shouting and general chaos. The venue for the show was only around the corner from our flat and I had planned to walk there but within 5 minutes of getting home I knew it just wasn't going to happen, and shamefully, caved.

And before you think that I'm giving in to him and teaching him the wrong lessons about misbehaviour getting him what he wants, think of this; I get a similar - though shortened - reaction every time I try to brush his teeth. Now, teeth, I will fight for. Teeth is a battle I will not let him win; it's non-negotiable, even if I have to capture him and force him to open his mouth through tickling or other nefarious means so that I can do it myself.

But the 'Celebration of Spring'? When my little macho man had to dress up as a rabbit and hop around the church for nobody's good except making his drama teacher feel she had achieved something?

Not worth fighting for.

So I gave in. And five minutes later, when I found the victorious Boy #2 in his room playing with cars, what was he singing?

"I'm a little bunny, see me hop..."


Single Parent Dad 18 March 2009 at 21:24  

Brilliant. Well, not for you, but for us to read. My boy had a dressing up phobia, only Darth Vader would suffice, and his Shepherd's outfit for the nursery nativity a couple of years ago took some persuasion. But now, at four he is well into it, he is a non-reluctant frog in the Easter performance.

Tara 18 March 2009 at 21:49  

Good for him! No self respecting boy should be expected to dress up as a bunny - bum pom pom or not bum pom pom

Grit 18 March 2009 at 22:21  

good! i am in the pro child camp!

aims 19 March 2009 at 00:40  

Obviously the teacher wasn't giving this a ton of thought. Every herd of bunny needs a bunny herder. A perfect outfit for Boy #2

sharon 19 March 2009 at 01:55  

Snap, my boy No2 was just the same. I'm brushing over the pre-school efforts entirely as I still shudder at the tantrums until he realised I didn't care if he participated or not. Like you I chose my battles with care. His Junior school, however, had fairly regular themed (non-compulsory) fund-raising days where the little dears could go in sans uniform and 'dressed up' for a small fee. He, of course, wouldn't but we sent the money in anyway until he told me that his teacher was criticising him in front of the other children for not taking part. I saw red and told the teacher concerned EXACTLY what I thought of an adult who treated ANY child in such a fashion and when the activity was voluntary anyway.... you get the gist I'm sure. From then on my son did not attend school on 'those' days and we didn't contribute to the fundraiser either.

The Finely Tuned Woman 19 March 2009 at 07:53  

Imagine dressing a tough little boy as a bunny! What is the world coming to? Of course he isn't going to like that!

Anonymous,  19 March 2009 at 10:34  

Has the dramam teacher never listened to the words of the song "Run Rabbit"? What about the bit with "here comes the farmer with his gun, gun, gun".

The is a suitably macho part for the boy. Slthough it might reduce the rest of the cast to immediate tears.

Potty Mummy 19 March 2009 at 11:46  

SPD, Darth Vader? Wow. boy #2 would LOVE that...

Tara, you're right of course. But I had to try.

Grit, me too which is why I didn't push it. Shame to waste the pompom though - it took AGES to make.

Aims, if only I had thought of that at the time. I should just have given him a big stick to push them all around with...

Sharon, wow, good for you for standing up for your son. I would have been mad too.

Irene, I know; I have yet to find out how it all went...

Mud, you and Aims had the same idea. I may forward your comments to the school for future reference!

Rosie Scribble 19 March 2009 at 13:05  

Don't you just love it when they respond to everything with "Nope", or "I don't know!" I glimpse in to the future teenage years I fear!

Expat mum 19 March 2009 at 13:58  

Definitely pick your battles. My thirteen year old came back from the barber's on Sunday with a fauxhawk! (That's not shaved but still pointy). It stops him looking handsome, makes him look a bit aggressive, but I'm not saying a word as I know there will be a lot more to fight about as he gets older!

Milla 19 March 2009 at 14:14  

are you going to change your name, then, PM - although the mind boggles. I've just come from ExpatMum and the sadness of the end of the train days (tehy'll come, they'll come, you won't believe they will, but they will) and now the potty stuff ends. Again, something which you think will happen FOREVER and now seems but a distant dream. OK, nightmare!

Pig in the Kitchen 19 March 2009 at 18:12  

the fun with women in 4x4's is to drive up to her in such a way that the woman in 4x4 has to reverse, preferably on a suburban road with lots of parked cars and a queue of traffic behind her. Watch the terror in her eyes.

Potty Mummy 19 March 2009 at 20:04  

Rosie, I can't bring myself to think about that just now...

EPM, is that what gets called a 'Hoxton fin' over here? Tell him it's a style that gentlemen of a certain persuasion like a lot (it is). That should sort it...

Milla, no name change - yet... What other pseudonym could I come up with that would be quite so embarrassing to use in polite company, after all?

Oh Pig, you're good at this... You are my oracle.

Jonny's Mommy 20 March 2009 at 12:11  

Oh yes! He is going to give us readers so much bloggy goodness. I can not wait! Of course your amazing way of telling these stories will make it all the more worth waiting for! :-)

*(Plus I have to read to find out what I am in store for as JG grows! Yikes!)

Iota 22 March 2009 at 13:49  

I'm a little bunny, see me hop?

No wonder the poor kid didn't want to join in.

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