On demand


The last few days of my life have involved the following ground hog day half an hour just after bed time.

“Need to go toilet Mummy.”

Really? Please no. I have just completed your 7 steps before bed bedtime routine and tonight is the night that I really hope that it is going to work, first time. I’m finally looking forward to sitting down and putting my feet up and having some down time. Either that or it’d be really nice to be able to cook dinner and negotiate a hot stove without a wailing over tired toddler clinging to my leg.

Instead I say. “Sure but it is bedtime, so let’s be quick.”

More excited than the proverbial kid at Christmas he bounds out of bed and makes his way to the childhood wonderland that we call the bathroom.

We undress him, carefully trying to get him out of the Houdini-proof night time baby grow without dislodging a limb. We place him on the toilet and we wait for his proceedings to proceed.

After what feels like an appropriate amount of time to pose the question I ask “Are you finished?”

“No, still busy.” Comes the far too rapid to have been considered reply.

My being there means that he has an available source of conversation and prevents any interest he might have had in ending the escapade of bathroom party fun so I leave the room.

“I’m finished!” he shouts at my back before it has even cleared the doorway, loudly enough to entice me back.

I re-enter the room.

Confronted with the imminent end to his ablutions he reconsiders. “Oh, still busy, still busy”

I leave the room.

“I’m finished”

I re-enter the room.

“Oh still busy, still busy”

“You are not still busy.” I reason. “You’re just saying that you are so that you can stay up longer. I’m going to get you off the toilet and get you back to bed.” I am the parent. I am in charge. I call the shots here Mr, let us not be in any doubt about that young man.

His face contorts, then his face turns a slight shade pinker. PLOP.

I leave the room.

“I’m finished”, etc. for a solid half hour with no abatement in his ability to manage a perfunctory plop from his seemingly endless supply every time I have decided to veto his toilet pass. It’s a gift. I have no defence against this line of toilet combat. Who can fight a child that poos on demand.

*Original image from http://www.scdigest.com/ondemandsoftware.php


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