The Stand Up Routine

by Jill Veldhouse
Originally Published: 

After months of preparation, weeks of pep talk, several readings of lift-the-flap books that make flushing noises, countless rewards, endless tears, $20+ worth of little boy underwear that made their way into the garbage versus the laundry room, repeated unintentional accidents, and a handful of accidents that were the exact opposite of unintentional, I think my son may have finally turned a corner.

I am being cautiously optimistic at this point, but I think we have mastered the concept of “urge = big boy chair.” He makes a bee-line for the bathroom when he has to “go” and performs the proper behavioral sequence that one would expect of anyone capable of independent toileting.

Here’s where we’re struggling: Technique and follow-through. The perfect gooseneck form at the free-throw line when the championship game is on the line with .5 seconds to go. Our reality is, there is no gooseneck, nor does he win the game… ever.

Better luck next time I guess… or the next time, or the next time, or the time after that. Air balls. Every. Single. Time. “Yeah, you’re benched for the season kid. No offense, but you suck.”

Of course my son insists on performing the “stand up routine” like his daddy. It’s cute, but he is physically incapable of achieving success given his short stature and inability to stand on his tippy toes for the minimum amount of time required to get the job done. Nonetheless, he is fully committed to this less than desirable method. Things would go much more smoothly if he wouldn’t refuse to sit on the chair that was specifically designed to contain his tiny, yet dangerous manhood from flailing about. That chair cost me forty bucks. I will never see that money again. It got rave reviews on Amazon, yet there it sits, beside the toilet, clean, unused, and ironically the only thing in the bathroom that doesn’t get sprayed by my son’s weapon of mass destruction.I don’t know how to teach aim. I am a girl. We sit, we go, it sprays all over the place (much more so if you’ve had a few kids like me), but it is contained to the target area because we are sitting. We wipe everything from the waste down and move on with our lives. It’s not pretty, but it works.Standing to pee is the stupidest idea ever.

The pee never goes in there completely. It’s gross, insensitive, and I honestly would rather the men in my life find a tree in the yard so I don’t have to dip into my reserve stash of rubber gloves and disinfecting wipes once again. “Sorry next door neighbors, but they’re your problem now.”

I digress.We’ve tried several approaches. I give full credit to my husband for coming up with the best idea to date, “target practice.” Throw something in the bowl and proclaim with enthusiasm, “Hit it!” One square of toilet paper, a marshmallow, a cheerio, anything that floats. “Hit it Buddy! You can do it!” But alas, he cannot. It’s a fire hose on full blast with no one behind to direct the flow. “The house is burning down Buddy! Redirect! Redirect!” He will never be a fireman. Maybe a famous abstract artist that throws paint from across the room like some sort of a mad man, but never a fireman. The fact is, I will be proud of my son regardless of what he grows up to be, so long as he doesn’t grow up to be one those guys who doesn’t lift the seat and wipe the room down after he takes a piss. Then all bets are off.

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