Conventional wisdom states that babies can’t be toilet-trained until they are at least 2 years old. The reasons given for this range from the psychological to the physiological, with most agreeing that the necessary reflexes and muscle control take that long to develop. This is total crap! Trixie undertakes pooping with unbelievable precision. Since we starting giving her solid food, she so far refuses to do it while she’s wearing a diaper. Without fail, she decides that the best time to take a poop is right after I’ve taken off her diaper.
I’m torn on whether this is a convenient behavior. So far it has meant we haven’t been caught off-guard when traveling around town. But on the homefront it makes for an unbelievably trying — though predictable — routine. First, buck naked from the waist down, she has to grab her feet and pull them back as far as she can — if possible into her mouth. Second, secure in the knowledge that she is, in fact, naked, she gets right to work.
After throwing down an open diaper, I stand by and watch the horror of it all. There are so many terribly vivid metaphors. Some days I imagine a Play-Doh Fun Factory. Other times it’s a soft-serve ice cream machine. Less abstractly, it reminds me of catching an unlucky glance at one of those yippy dogs out in the park doing their thing. The latest challenge is the unfortunate discovery that my gag reflex almost isn’t strong enough for the job. The smell a couple of days ago brought me within a hair’s breadth of actually throwing up. This is bad because nobody wants to throw up on their baby.
Why subject myself to this? Why not quickly seal up the diaper and run when my spider-sense starts tingling? Because it’s actually easier to clean up if it doesn’t get smushed all around the diaper. Even a light poopy diaper can necessitate a bath if it gets smeared around too much, and that’s 10 times the work. So, this is the best we can hope for under the circumstances. More importantly, I’m convinced that she knows exactly what she’s doing. Toilet-training starts tomorrow.