Potty training has been a strange journey. Stranger, I would say, than any other part of my parenting experience thus far. This was starkly accented last night when I had to have an imaginary telephone conversation with the poop inside my daughter's bum. I'll set the scene.
Duchess and I were 95% through her bedtime ritual and well into what I like to call "The Danger Zone." I don't call it "The Danger Zone" because that is when I sing a lullaby version of the Kenny Loggins' song from Top Gun, which I do, but because when we're five percent away from bedtime Duchess will look for any excuse to reset to 0%. Last night the excuse was poop.
Poop is a valid excuse for stalling bedtime. Duchess looked at me with her droopy, bedtime eyes and said, "Daddy, I have to go potty so I don't go poop in my bed." Enough said. She could be lying 9/10 times, and if it prevented 1 bed wetting, or worse, pooping incident, it would be worth 10 trips to the bathroom. Away, to the bathroom we went! She peed right away. Trip validated. Then things got weird.
"Hello? Poop? Are you there?" She was talking to what looked to be an imaginary phone in her hand.
"What are you doing honey?"
"I'm calling the poop in my butt. Helloooo? Poop? Are you coming out to play?"
"We don't play with poop."
"I know that daddy."
The best part of her response was that she moved the imaginary poop phone away from her face so that the poop in her butt didn't hear that she actually had no intention of playing with it. She was lying to her poop to get it to come out. Sly devil.
"Do you want to talk to my poop daddy?"
"Nope." That answer was not hard to find. It just kind of fell out of my mouth.
"He wants to talk to you!"
"Your poop is a boy?" I don't know why I asked.
"No. He is a poop."
This was getting too weird. She was obviously not going to poop. I decided I would need to hop on the line to end the poop conference call. So I took the imaginary phone out of my daughter's hand and had an imaginary conversation with the imaginary(?) poop in her butt. Sometimes being a dad is SO GLAMOROUS.
"Hi daddy!" Oh. My. God. It answered me. Duchess had upped the pitch of her voice and was going to be the poop side of the conversation. Aaaand the poop was calling me daddy. Awesome.
"Hi poop. Are… you… going to come out and play?"
Oh Jesus. Was I seriously going to have to address my kid's poop's depression in order to help it overcome its fecal agoraphobia? No. It was too much. I am not a poop psychiatrist.
"Why are you sad?"
I should have said "I have to go now. Bye poop." I should have said "Duchess, it is time for bed. Quit doing your creepy high-pitched 'I'm a poop voice' and let's go sing songs from the hit movie, Top Gun." But nooo, I said "Why are you sad" because, honestly, at this point, I was kind of curious why her poop was sad.
"I hit my head." Bed time could wait. Now it was getting interesting.
"Where did you hit your head?" (More importantly, does my daughter think little poop people live in her butt with arms and legs and heads?)
"I hit it inside Duchess's butt." Well, I guess that was the obvious answer. I don't know what I expected.
It was at this point that I realized that I had been talking to Duchess's poop longer than Duchess had been talking to it. I WAS THE WEIRD ONE. I decided to end it.
"I'm sorry you're sad poop. Are you going to come out?" Please remember, I am holding an imaginary poop phone to my ear this ENTIRE time.
"No. I think I'll come out tomorrow."
"Ok. Good night poop."
"Good night daddy. I love you." Ahhh shit. Really? OK...
"I love you too poop."
And that was it. We hung up our poop phones and Duchess went to bed. She slept through the night with no accidents, and I went to work before she woke up in the morning.
I'm not sure how her poop is dealing with his depression, or if he has come out to play yet. I might try and call him on my lunch… just to check in and see if he's feeling better.
Love, Dad (John)
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