Thursday, May 31, 2012


Last week I began laying the groundwork for potty training with Edith. She happily sat on the potty, reading books. She didn't produce anything, but I wasn't concerned since that's not what it's all about at this point. Just getting her to sit there is the important thing. (ignore blurriness of photo)

Things were going swimmingly. Until Thursday, that is. On Thursday I went to put Edith on the potty after one of her sisters (who shall remain nameless) finished their own business. Edith sat for a few minutes before deciding she was done. I praised her as I got her off and figured this time around I would let Edith flush the toilet and watch the water go down. You know, to hopefully make it more fun and add some excitement to the experience. Little did I know how much excitement.

I stood half-naked Edith by the potty and helped her flush the toilet, watching her face to see what she thought of the whole thing. After a moment, I turned to the toilet to pull off the potty seat and yelled in shock and dismay-- THE WATER WAS BEGINNING TO OVERFLOW THE TOILET!!!! Little did I know that the nameless daughter had left us with a sneaker toilet clog (you know, the kind where the water level is normal and you don't realize it's clogged until you flush it the next time).

As the water started to rush over the sides of the toilet bowl, I quickly whisked Edith up into my arms and began frantically grabbing towels to sop up what was pouring out so it wouldn't spread too much before I could work the tight knob to turn the water off. (thank goodness I happened to have a pile of towels on the floor of the bathroom waiting to be washed that day) 

While I was frantically trying to dam up the water I was screaming at the top of my lungs for the offender to come help. After throwing 3 or 4 towels around the base of the toilet I managed to wedge both me and the baby between the toilet and tub to try to work on turning the water off. Luckily, it took me only a moment to loosen it and give it a turn to stop the toilet water overflow. 

It really only took maybe 30 seconds, tops, for all of this to take place, but I was screaming for the offender to come the whole time. I was panicked. And mad (oh, boy was I mad-- toilet clogs happen waaay too often around here. I'm now seriously contemplating making a toilet paper dispenser that alerts me with a loud beep when a child is rolling out too much. And maybe a computerized vocal alert, too, "Toilet overflow imminent. Toilet overflow imminent.").

Unfortunately, that 30 seconds of screaming in panic and anger didn't go over well with the baby. Nope. Not at all. In retrospect, I should have just gently (but quickly) set Edith in the tub where she would be safe from the rushing water and then quietly gone about my business of damming and shutting off the flow, reprimanding the offender strongly once I located them instead of yelling for help wildly. (If only I hadn't been watching dear, sweet Edith instead of the toilet, I could have shut off the water before overflow even occurred!)

I think something about the pooh flecks in the water threw me off. Made me get a little crazy. What can I say? I was wearing new shoes.

Anyway, now not only does Edith refuse to sit on the potty, she won't even go in the bathroom. Even baths are more traumatic for her (she hasn't taken to the big tub). What have I done? On the plus side, I guess I don't need to worry about Edith drowning in the toilet like some other curious toddler might be in danger of. But, my hopes and dreams of having her potty trained by 18 months are most likely dashed on the rocks. Now I'll probably be lucky if I can even get her to sit on the potty again by then! 

So, so sorry that I traumatized you (probably for life), Edith. I've put some money in the therapy fund jar. 


jww said...

Drat!! That's too bad. :( Give it another go in a few months and she will have forgotten the whole thing???? Maybe??

We have terrible toilets in this house--3 of the 4 are ALWAYS clogging. We had some friends come stay with us and, having used our guest bathroom and requesting a plunger, we had a discussion about toilets always clogging. They had just added on to their house, and they added a bathroom. They HIGHLY recommended a toilet from Home Depot. On the box it says, "Can flush a bucket of golf balls." Yup, guess what's on our "to do list" RIGHT NOW. :)

The Laundry Queen said...

I think, jww, that if you saw the amount of toilet paper being used, you wouldn't blame it on the toilet. ; )

patti's place said...

Very good word pictures.I can really picture it. Hopefully she will get back"on the horse" sooner.