Yes, that’s me, sitting on the toilet with my toddler on my lap.
Allow me to explain: it’s a little parenting technique I like to call “whatever works!”
Parenting forces you into some strange situations.
This morning, the Hammer woke us at about 6:15, which is around 30 minutes before Detective Munch needs to get up and get ready for school (because the bus comes early and I’d rather put him on the bus at midnight then have to drive him every day).
I had a little leeway with my work schedule and didn’t have to head in immediately after the bus rolled away, so I took the Hammer along to the bus stop, something I do once in a while so Mom and Buried can try to shut her eyes for another hour before I have to leave for work and she’s stuck with our little Tasmanian devil for the rest of the day.
When we got back, I cuddled with and played with and shared some of my cereal with (and repeatedly wiped the constantly running nose of) my increasingly hard-to-please toddler, all in a desperate effort to keep him out of earshot of my wife.
And then nature called.
I was hoping the Hammer might be kept occupied by the empty bowl I’d left him – just moments before, he’d seemed to really enjoy shoving the accompanying spoon in my mouth over and over, which was SO MUCH FUN! But no, he quickly followed me to the bathroom, and, since the bathroom is adjacent to our bedroom, I had no choice but to let him in. You would think – you would *hope* – that that’s as far as it went.
Remember when I said he was getting increasingly hard to please? He wasn’t pleased.
In fact, he was adamant that I pick him up. And by “adamant” I mean “holding his arms out and screaming bloody murder,” all while in dangerous proximity to a hopefully-sleeping-but-who-are-we-kidding-she-ain’t-sleeping-through-this-racket Mom and Buried.
I should have known that letting him in the bathroom with me was a slippery slope. It was his gateway drug. It was something he’s going to tell his therapist someday, not long after I tell *my* therapist what happened next.
I put him on my lap. That’s right. I picked up my toddler and put him on my lap while I was sitting on – and using – the toilet.
The kid was so desperate to be with me – or at least to play with the toilet paper – that he was unleashing ear-piercing shrieks, and I was so desperate to stop him from waking my sleeping wife with those piercing shrieks, that I put him on my lap while I used the toilet. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it either. (I mean, I took a picture. I took *two* pictures. So you do the math.) When you have kids, you do what you gotta do. Whatever works!
Parenting is weird. MARRIAGE is weird. TODDLERS ARE WEIRD.
You find yourself being forced to do things you’d never expect, things that, if someone suggested them, would have you laughing in their face. “WTF? Are you high? Bring my baby into the bathroom while I go number two? And sit him on my lap? NEVER!”
But guess what? You’re going to do it. You’re going to do all sorts of bizarre, ridiculous, unheard of things to please your kids, to help your spouse, to preserve your sanity. It’s part of the gig. Some of you may find the picture and/or my actions crazy or gross or perverted or whatever, and that’s totally cool. You’re entitled to your opinion. Just know that I don’t care.
BECAUSE IT WORKED.
My toddler stopped screaming. My wife kept sleeping. Sure, I’ve clearly lost my mind, but let’s be honest, that happened years ago. Probably around the time I had to sift through a week of Detective Munch’s diapers to make sure he passed the penny he’d accidentally (read: intentionally, because toddlers are morons) swallowed.
tl;dr: I let my toddler sit on my lap while I went poop because WHATEVER IT TAKES TO STOP THE SCREAMING SO MY WIFE CAN SLEEP!
(This post originally ran as a status update on my Facebook page.)