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MoonDragon's Realm - Parenting Humor


Date: Tuesday, November 26 @ 15:59:57 EST
Topic: Slice of Life

I used to brag that our daughter, Annie, got her first teeth before she was a year old. Then her dentist told me her teeth would wear out sooner than other kids'. I did not brag about toilet training. She didn't catch on until she was three.

Other parents bored us silly with their experiences. "Elisabeth was so smart, she toilet trained herself right after she wallpapered her bedroom and completed her first Mozart recital and she was only 18 months old." To this day, I watch those children for signs of twitching.

I had no interest in learning about toilet training. I had business reports to read that were more interesting than potty training. One day, racing between meetings, I stopped at a bookstore and browsed the 'worried' parent aisle. When I stumbled on a book entitled, 'Toilet Training in a Day,' I realized that was exactly what I had in mind: a day.

The book said to set aside one entire day. That day was to be spent sitting in the bathroom encouraging the child to drink all the liquids possible. Every time the child needed to potty, the parent should guide her / him to the toilet so she / he would understand what was expected.

The author emphasized the use of encouraging statements, loving hugs, and verbose peals of congratulations. In an attempt to keep the child thirsty, he also suggested industrial quantities of salty junk foods. I have actually housebroken a dog based on the same concept eccept you can put the dog in his kennel when he's not hungry or thirsty.

Saturday arrived and the bathroom was full of eats and drinks. After a bag of Doritos, a half bag of Cheetos, and a ton of peanuts, I was getting indigestion. Annie still had a big smile on her face and apple juice all down her front. I was thirsty because I was eating the salty junk food. Who could tolerate sitting in a tiny bathroom with a three year old and NOT eating everything within reach? I wanted to get my hands on the author. Had he been successful using this method on his own children?

Within the first hour, I decided toilet training in a day sounded possible, just not by me. I threw in the towel and decided to offer a reward to anyone who wanted to prove the theory and I would loan them the child.

I ran on the treadmill at full speed for an hour to lower my blood pressure. Then I decided shopping was an improvement over sitting in a bathroom with a toddler. Searching the long aisles at Home Depot, Annie and I became separated. I was frantic. I called out her name in my highest pitch, enlisted help from other customers, and had her paged over the speaker system. I heard someone call out, "Hey, Lady, over here."

I ran through the aisles and there she was: sitting on one of the display toilets with her pants around her ankles.

Susan Guill has writen a monthly humor column, Perspectives, for the Main Lines Times newspaper for over four years. For the last three years, she has taught a course at Main Line School Night entitled Writing for Writers. The purpose of the course is to help people who already write well to put their submissions in an envelope and mail them to the correct source.

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