I’m not going to lie. The topic of this particular blog post is probably going to make one or two of you a little uneasy. It shouldn’t – as it’s completely normal and we all do it – but I’m pretty sure that the more prudish among you probably prefer to keep your private habits exactly that. Private.
That rule doesn’t really apply to me though as I’m occasionally guilty of over-sharing and accused of talking crap. This is definitely one of those times as today I’m writing about how to entertain your toddler when you’re on the bog. Don’t pretend that it’s not an issue – it most certainly is. It’s one of those things that no-one tells you about prior to becoming a mum or dad. Instead you’ve just got to learn about it as you figure out how to parent.
I don’t know about you, but when nature calls, I’ve just got to answer that metaphorical phone – particularly after I’ve had my morning coffee. In the early days, I tried to wait for the sprog’s nap time and work around her, but when you’re turtle heading, you’ve got to do something about it.
I’ll admit, it felt VERY wrong doing my business in front of Toddler L. I’m not used to an audience when I go about doing my thing and I’m sure that it’s not the most pleasant of experiences for the sprog, but needs must. Therapy in the future should help her resolve some of the issues I’m currently implanting into her tiny head anyway.
Over time though, I’ve come to accept that I occasionally need to have a dump as eyes watch on – probably a realisation that the ‘stars’ from Two Girls One Cup soon came to as well. Although it’s not ideal for either of us, it’s the lesser of two evils. I have the option of leaving Toddler L downstairs on her own or bringing her upstairs and confining her to the bathroom with me. Considering that Social Services would call the former ‘neglect’, I have very little option but to implement the latter.
It may sound odd and a little crass, but I’ve found that there’s a number of ways to entertain the toddler when you’re curling one out. With a little bit of creativity, it’s possible for your kid to partake in fun and educational activities as you sit on the throne. Here’s a few favourites from the DADventurer household (the Missus would like me to point out that she’s had no input at all):
Babies and toddlers love to stack things. This makes Jenga a pretty perfect game for their tiny hands. However, as far as I’m aware, I don’t think that many people keep this particular board game in their bathroom. This means that you’ve got to improvise when your pants are down by your ankles.
I’ve found that toilet rolls are the perfect replacement for the wooden Jenga blocks. Not only are they bought in bulk – we often have 12 or more hanging around in our bathroom – but they are both bigger and softer than the original Jenga pieces, which means that they are more toddler-friendly.
Whilst I’ve been on the toilet, Toddler L has had hours of enjoyment stacking those rolls. Plus, there’s also the benefit that if you run out mid-wipe, you can get your kid to pass you a new roll.
It’s fair to say that kids are a lot like dogs. Not only do they do anything for food and defecate / urinate anywhere, but they also like many of the same activities. One of these – which works particularly well when you’re on the toilet – is fetch.
Using anything you can find in the bathroom – a bath toy, a bog roll, a towel, a tampon etc – you can keep your toddler entertained by throwing the item and getting them to retrieve it. This works particularly well in our house as the bathroom leads onto a hallway – if I close all doors apart from the bathroom, I’m able to utilise a reasonable amount of space for fetch.
In a society when more and more children are overweight – ITV News recently claimed that a fifth of 4-5 year olds are overweight and obese – I like to think that unconventional activities like this mean that I’m doing my bit to fight Toddler L’s flab.
It’s no secret that soft play is hell. I don’t just mean that as an expression. I mean it literally. Soft play is literally hell on earth. Even though I’m yet to meet another parent who enjoys spending time there, we all continue to go as it’s a necessary evil. Well, that was until I created the amazing idea of turning your home into soft play.
This point therefore takes my concept of allowing your toddler to climb up, jump on and fall off things in the house – settees, stairs, windowsills, dining table etc – one step further to incorporate the slightly dangerous bathroom. With unpadded floors, sharp edges and a hard suite, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is the last place a toddler should climb.
However, I’ve found that this actually creates the perfect distraction as you relax and contract your sphincter. Your kid is free to climb in the shower, jump in the bath, scale the sink and even climb up you as you’re sat on the toilet. Just remember to close the bog seat when it’s not in use.
We have a basket of bathroom crap – cotton wool, magazines, creams, nappy bags etc – on a ledge next to the toilet as it won’t fit into our overflowing cupboards. This was fine when Toddler L was immobile, but now she can walk, she’s straight over to it like a magpie to something shiny.
Therefore, when I’m on the John, one of Toddler L’s favourite games is to place anything and everything she can find from this basket onto my bare lap. Once a hindrance, I’ve now learnt to get on with the task at hand even when nursing what feels like half of Superdrug.
In addition, if she wants to mix things up, she’ll put everything she finds into my boxers as they rest by my ankles, instead of on my lap. I kid you not – the other day, I had over 20 items in my boxer shorts. In no particular order, this included shampoo, a doll, cotton wool, nappy rash cream, a book, shower gel, a boat, moisturiser and a duck. My boxer shorts must have wondered what was happening as they’re not used to being so packed…
So that’s my four suggestions of how you can keep your toddler entertained whilst you ‘drop the kids off at the pool’. Have you done any of these before? Do you have any other ways of entertaining your little ones whilst on the toilet? Let me know below!