The TMI Files.
AKA How To Get Your Four Year Old To Wipe Their Own Bottom.
Politically Incorrect Creative Parenting #34
If you are of particularly sensitive turn of mind, please read no further.
If you are from the Dept of Human Services, this also means you.
The fact that I even have to consider such remarks demonstrates exactly how ridiculous it is here in Melbournistan, but the pendulum is swinging.
Back to the topic at hand.
Regular (even irregular) readers should know that Magilla and toilets fit together hand in glove, as is to be expected when kids are young.
I've commented here and here on adventures with toilet paper, but today's lesson is a bit different.
Today we are learning how to use paper. Actually, she knows how to use it, but had been choosing not to. It was just easier to bleat at mum to wipe her bottom.
Mum being tired and harassed as ever usually complied.
Last weekend, however, I put my foot down and it was tanty time!
She sat on the loo complaining and whining at me. And I mean serious bleating about how I have to, she's too little and can't do it, and I'm supposed to.
All of this got a resounding no! in response, with the added comment that if she's so incapable maybe I'd better start treating her like a little baby again.
More wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued, and the tears were actually turned on. I was very impressed, as she usually has difficulty with that aspect of tantrums, and I was also having a hard time keeping a straight face.
I did ask her if she wiped her own bottom when she was with other people. Depending upon who was mentioned, she either shook her head in the negative, or just looked at me while she figured out if she could lie to me and get away with it (she couldn't, of course lol).
After a few minutes of this, I tired of her histrionics and told her to wipe her bottom or just sit there.
More bleating, and she got off the seat, hiked her dress around her waist and presented her backside to me with an order to wipe.
I had to walk away I was laughing so hard.
I went out to the lounge, and she followed.
With a roll of toilet paper in her hand, which she tried to thrust into my hands.
She didn't succeed there, since I had my face buried in my hands and tried to stay upright. I was laughing so hard that I nearly fell off the chair. I couldn't look at her.
At least I didn't make any noise. Then it would have been over.
For the record, I did consider caving in once or twice, but the thought of having to deal with the subject matter again and in an escalated situation kept me focussed. Thank you, Dr Phil, for all those years of reminding me that if I didn't deal with it, it would only get worse later on.
I did suggest to her that I would wipe her bottom, and we would go out into the front yard and everyone would see me cleaning her up.
The look of horror said it all, and when I opened the front door she bolted like a rabbit into her own room.
And cried even more.
Apparently I'm not nice, but I was damned if was going to give in to a four year old. I'd never be able to look in the mirror again.
In the end, I modified things slightly.
I told her that I wasn't going to wipe her bottom any more as she was a big girl - she knows she is, because she keeps telling me so, but I would help her clean it.
I took her out into the backyard, told her to turn around, and turned the hose on her.
It was 35c, so there was no danger of pneumonia, she was clean and got to play in water, so she was happy.
Until she realised that her dress was wet, and it was on again!
She was ordered into the tub since it was heading for bedtime anyway, and she shot me some seriously greasy looks.
"You wet my dress!"
"And the problem with that is? I told you I would hose you down. You should have wiped your bottom."
"I don't like you."
"That's okay, you don't have to like me, I'm your mother. Are you going to wipe your bottom from now on?"
"Good, then we don't need to worry about this happening again, do we?"
I've not had to wipe her backside since, and while I'm sure the PC Parenting Police are horrified, no children or animals were harmed in the creation of this post.
No smacks, no shouting, no naughty corner.
The naughty corner doesn't work on my rugrat anyway. I've never met any kid who can find entertainment in damned near every situation they are placed in like mine can.
Sometimes, you've got to think outside the bog.