Gross Lessons with Children

I have (we have) noticed a sharp upturn in the frequency of use of our Plumber’s Friend (plunger). As Alice is not yet fully potty-trained, all signs point to Helen.

So this morning, I talked to her about the appropriate amount of toilet paper one should expect to use during a trip to the bathroom (File this one under “Conversations I never expected to be having.”).

Always the creative teacher, I decided to explain things in terms that Helen can understand and relate to.

“Helen, if you put too much toilet paper into the potty at one time, the toilet can’t swallow it.”
“It can’t?”
“No. And eventually, if you do that to the poor toilet too many times, the toilet might get sick and throw up all over the floor.”
“It might throw up? What color would that be?” I love my child, always concerned about color. She’s obsessed with color.
“It would be poop. Toilets throw up poop.”
“Would you like me to teach you how much toilet paper you should be using each time?”

So we went into the bathroom, and I had two suggestions — the strip of TP should be no longer than the width of the toilet tank, or the length of her arm if there’s not a tank. And that she can put up to three strips that long into the toilet at once, but then she HAS to flush it so that the toilet can swallow it.

And now she’s obsessing. She’ll open the door and come out, panties around her ankles, and hold up a strip of paper. “Is this right, Mommy?”

And she’s directive. “NO, Alice, the length of your ARM.”

It’s very funny.

But hopefully the Plumber’s Friend can go back to gathering dust, as it used to.