The Bathroom Attendant

I usually get home from work at around six o’clock. And at our house, that can only mean one thing.

There’s a potty goin’ on.

For by that time, our triplets have finished their dinner and are required to take a turn on the potty before their bath. “You have a new and important role,” Lovie casually informed me the other night. “I’ve officially appointed you our Bathroom Attendant.”

Sounds good to me. I’ve been dealing with shit at work all day long. I guess it only makes sense that I should do the same at home.

Our potty-training initiatives have actually gone pretty well. So well that our toddlers wear their big boy and big girl pants every waking moment, only donning the diapers whenever it’s time for nite-nite. To get them to this point, we had to employ a reward system. They get one M&M whenever they go pee pee, and if they “make it happen,” they receive a cookie.

Recently, however, they discovered a pee-pee loophole. Since said discovery, whenever even a drop of urine hits their potty, they feel entitled to some candy. We reluctantly rewarded them with an M&M the first few times until we finally realized that they were doing nothing more than intentionally time-releasing microscopic amounts of pee every five minutes just so they could quadruple their chocolate intake. Our trio, it seemed, were turning into little sugar junkies. And speaking of junkies, if the trend continued, we feared their candy-coated teeth would eventually look like they belonged to two-year-old meth addicts.

Even worse than the candy pandering were the fights that ensued over who got the honor of flushing. Initially, the two non-flushers were content with the default honor of being an integral part of the pee-pee/poo-poo send-off committee. While the flusher flushed, they would energetically bid their bodily waste a cheery farewell.

“Bye bye, pee pee! Bye bye, poo poo!”

But when the fighting for the handle began, we decided to let each of them flush their own. Until we started adding up our water bill, that is, which prompted us to once again combine all of their efforts into the big potty and return to the single-flush policy. The resulting mad dashes to the magic handle resembled three hardcore gambling addicts wrestling for the lever of the lone, unoccupied slot machine at the Bellagio.

Funny. I thought their game was craps.

Whenever they jockey for pole position next to the handle, one of them often brushes against the open seat, inadvertently sending it hurtling downward toward the porcelain with alarming velocity, like a guillotine screeching down from above. We feared it was only a matter of time before one of the boys got beheaded. (sorry)

When they weren’t fighting over flushing, they were busy opening and shutting the bathroom door. It was actually quite cute. For the first four thousand times. But not only did the slamming grow old, so, too, did the shouting matches that went down by the bathroom door.

Fighting over flushing? Shouting over slamming? Such affairs were so foreign to us, that we decided it was time to implement a concept of foreign affairs. That’s right. We busted out our own Open Door Policy. All doors remain open. Period. It doesn’t matter who’s “making it happen.” And Lovie has designated me to enforce this policy and restore order to their bathroom endeavors. I am now the keeper of the door, the judge of which efforts warrant rewards, as well as the designated flusher.

So every day when I return from work, I take my seat on top of the closed toilet lid while my little guys hunker down on the three plastic potties immediately in front of me. They contort their tiny bodies while pushing for all they’re worth til their innocent faces turn red and the veins in their neck stand at attention, all in the name of frosted animal cookies.

Yep. That qualifies. Would you like a red or green M&M?

I offer words of encouragement during their valiant efforts and they respond with quizzical expressions, much like the ones I used to give those clowns who offered me a stick of gum or imitation Drakkar cologne as I washed my hands in the bathroom of a downtown Seattle hot spot.

I’m re-learning something I first learned when I was a twenty-something club-hopper. Being a Bathroom Attendant is a thankless job.

Only now that I’m forty, I’m wise enough to know that I’m the luckiest man in the world to have it. In fact, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    I bet they are lousy tippers.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    I bet they are lousy tippers.

  • http://mothereseblog.blogspot.com Kristen @ Motherese

    Perfect timing! Husband and I have just entered planning mode for Big Boy’s potty training. We are big into strategy (or is it tactics?) and so I am going to make sure to share your M&M/cookie idea with him. Big Boy is also a sugar addict in the making, but somehow I don’t think a baby carrot for pee and a stick of celery for a poop would do the trick for him!

    Enjoyed this post. Thanks, John.

  • http://mothereseblog.blogspot.com Kristen @ Motherese

    Perfect timing! Husband and I have just entered planning mode for Big Boy’s potty training. We are big into strategy (or is it tactics?) and so I am going to make sure to share your M&M/cookie idea with him. Big Boy is also a sugar addict in the making, but somehow I don’t think a baby carrot for pee and a stick of celery for a poop would do the trick for him!

    Enjoyed this post. Thanks, John.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Hah, that is funny. Kids will always find that loophole.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Hah, that is funny. Kids will always find that loophole.

  • http://www.buriedwithchildren.com Jen @ buried with children

    LOL, this was funny. And just reaffirms to me why I am scared sh*tless about protty training my 3. But guess it can be done, right?
    Overall, it seems you are winning in this battle.

  • http://www.buriedwithchildren.com Jen @ buried with children

    LOL, this was funny. And just reaffirms to me why I am scared sh*tless about protty training my 3. But guess it can be done, right?
    Overall, it seems you are winning in this battle.

  • http://www.beingmichaelsdaddy.com Tom

    Oh, what fun you have – and in threes. Parenting requires constant inventiveness. Sounds like you and your wife have it figured out. Just stay ahead of them, that’s all you need to do.

  • http://www.beingmichaelsdaddy.com Tom

    Oh, what fun you have – and in threes. Parenting requires constant inventiveness. Sounds like you and your wife have it figured out. Just stay ahead of them, that’s all you need to do.

  • http://ifmomsaysok.wordpress.com Tara R.

    I can happily admit I do not miss the potty training days. More power to you though, you seem to have it down to a science.

  • http://ifmomsaysok.wordpress.com Tara R.

    I can happily admit I do not miss the potty training days. More power to you though, you seem to have it down to a science.

  • http://joyco.wordpress.com joyco

    Ah, now I want to go play some craps.

    Good stuff, maybe I’ll employ some of your methods when my boys get big enough to use the toilet.

    And I love that your kids are smart enough to only produce a couple of drops for candy. Will pee for candy. Nice.

  • http://joyco.wordpress.com joyco

    Ah, now I want to go play some craps.

    Good stuff, maybe I’ll employ some of your methods when my boys get big enough to use the toilet.

    And I love that your kids are smart enough to only produce a couple of drops for candy. Will pee for candy. Nice.

  • http://richmondzoo.blogspot.com Captain Dumbass

    Potty training three at once?

    *shudder*

    You deserve some kind of reward for that.

  • http://richmondzoo.blogspot.com Captain Dumbass

    Potty training three at once?

    *shudder*

    You deserve some kind of reward for that.

  • http://thesuburbanscrawl.blogspot.com Melisa with one S

    The thought of pottytraining three at once gives me anxiety. You’re a much better man than I!

    (wait…)

  • http://thesuburbanscrawl.blogspot.com Melisa with one S

    The thought of pottytraining three at once gives me anxiety. You’re a much better man than I!

    (wait…)

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    You have to put up with a lot of crap. Admirable.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    You have to put up with a lot of crap. Admirable.

  • http://www.madd0g.org Mo

    Fantastic. My only (so far) child is just about getting to potty-training age. I live in fear and trepidation, I cannot imagine potty-training triplets! You, my friend, are a true man to do so.

  • http://www.madd0g.org Mo

    Fantastic. My only (so far) child is just about getting to potty-training age. I live in fear and trepidation, I cannot imagine potty-training triplets! You, my friend, are a true man to do so.

  • Pingback: Three Days Until Football, But Who’s Counting? « And Triplets Make Six