Our only son turned three years old this week and great celebrations took place in our house, but we are also coming to the end of the most worrying period of his short life.
You can forget the teething, the night terrors and the difficulties we have in getting him to eat his dinner. Because what I’m talking about is much more serious. I’m talking about “Potty Training” as it was in my day, but now called “toilet training”
My wife spent time building herself up to the day when we would endeavour to get a toddler to stop peeing in his pants. We agreed that a potty was not the answer. We were going to be brave and forward thinking and go straight for the toilet.
Over a three-week period I lost count of the pairs of pants and trousers that appeared on our washing line. I am sure the neighbours thought that we must have at least three children.
It seemed that every time I turned around a river of wee was running down my young lads leg. I found it difficult to remain calm and having walked in the puddle a couple of times in my bare feet thought it best to wear waterproof shoes around the house.
There were times when I was taking my son out in the car where I thought “I’ll just stick a nappy on him for safety’s sake”, but my wife convinced me that we really needed to persevere and “go through the pain” it would be better in the long run love, she said.
At times like these I wished I had invested in leather seats in the car, but I think my lad got a certain kick watching me sponge wash the upholstery in the back of the car while up front he sat and beeped the horn, again and again and again.
Then out of nowhere two days before his birthday the “Eureka” moment occurred. I happened to be at work when my son walked up to my wife and uttered those faithful words “ Mammy I need to go toilet”
As she proudly placed my son atop the throne in the bathroom she called me to share the sheer joy she felt and also to confirm that she had been right. We needed to endure the pain of wet trousers, wet pants and wet floors.
I am not saying that we have totally cracked it yet. We still have the odd mistake, but as parents we are now confident that our son can overcome any challenge that is put in front of him. Well done son.
Now bring on the Leaving Cert.