Monday, September 30, 2013

The Potty Trainer

Hmm, now what to have for dinner? Ooh, leftover Bubmeat.

"Whoa-oh here she comes. Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up. Whoa-oh here she comes. She a maneater." --Hall & Oates, yo

So HP has this weird habit that I’m pretty sure is either helping or scarring Bub for life, you can never be sure of these things. It goes like this…

She’s something of a biter, but not any more than your average infant, I don’t suppose. She doesn’t bite randomly, or with malice—just innocent little nose-nibbling curiousity. Except for one very specific set of circumstances, and that is Bub getting his diaper changed. That triggers something curiously primeval in her, wherein she butt-scoots over to him and just gnashes her two blazing incisors into any available skinspace.

This doesn’t happen when he wears shorts, or even runs around in the nude after a bath. So it’s not like she just saw the stark white sheen of his skin and mistook it for a powdered doughnut. It must be something about the vulnerability. She can sense he is in a compromising position. Weak, unable to defend properly. And what she lacks in dexterity, she more than compensates for with sheer ninja resolve.

It probably didn’t help that the first time it happened, I started laughing my ass off. I just didn’t expect that. I thought she was coming over to play. Not snack. So I laughed. Bub cried. HP screamed. Lots of emoting.

After I collected myself, dragged HP to the other side of the room and finished wiping Bub, I thought, okay, that was weird, but she was probably just hungry and unable to express her needs using “socially acceptable” methods. So she ate her brother. Made sense, in its own way. It’s like Alive, but without the plane crash. Kind of.

Then it happened again, right after lunch. A big, starchy, carb-loading lunch, too. No way she was hungry. Bub started throwing a shitfit, which was valid. He was an overturned dinghy in the choppy South Pacific. And she was The Kraken.

As you might imagine, Bub is now gets a little, um, jumpy when diaper-changing time rolls around. Well, how would you feel if you had to enter the Witness Protection Program every time you took a dump?

It’s like he and I are robbing a bank, and she’s the daft security guard. I create some clever subterfuge (such as tossing her bankie across the room), and she’s all like ‘What was that? Better investigate…’ and by the time she gets back, BAM, we’re already halfway to the Diaper Genie, hahahaha.

Sometimes she’s not so easily fooled, though. Then I have to build a triangle of trust around Bub, using my two outstretched legs and the nearest wall. This is much less desirable for all parties. Bub can see her get closer and closer and tenses accordingly. He yells at her, I yell at him for yelling at her, and HP yells at my thigh, which she just can’t figure out how to possibly crawl over. Poor thigh—wrong place, wrong time.

Then I have to keep HP after school: "My brother is not a teething toy. My brother is not a teething toy. My brother is not a teething toy."

Yet despite all this trauma, Bub seems to prefer it to the alternative.

“Daddy, I’m not ready for the Big Boy Potty,” he announced after lunch the other day.

“Okay,” I said. “You let me know when you’re ready.”

My guess is in about a month or so, when HP wriggles over my thigh, violating the triangle of trust. That should make the Big Boy Potty look pretty cozy indeed.