26 February 2010

Law of unintended consequences

A few months ago, I may have mentioned that I was finding it a bit challenging to toilet train Sacha. Those days are behind us, and now, he is a lean mean shitting machine.

The way we trained him was a textbook example of classical conditioning, substituting television and feces for a bell and saliva. Wherever he is, I imagine Pavlov is either nodding in approval or burrowing deeper into the ground.

Here is a typical exchange:

"Mama, can I watch tv?"

"No, not now."

Sacha to starts to protest, and then, he remembers he has a secret weapon.

"Mama, I need to poop."

What a marvel his colon is, because just when I think he is cleansed, he manages to eke out a bit more.

It's gotten so that I've had to issue yet another of the absurd fatwas that are part and parcel of parenting. The nomenclature will be familiar to anyone who has read Everyone Poops once, twice, or a thousand times. 

Television will be offered in exchanged for elephant poops; a skittle will be issued for mouse poops. 

When I deem a movement insufficient, we have a spirited debate on its merits. Frustrated, Sacha chants, "Poop for TV; POOP...FOR...TV!"

Clearly, my plan has worked all too well, and it is time to develop an exit strategy. If we go on like this much longer, given the ubiquity of television in public places, I envision a scenario in which wherever we go, Sacha cannot avoid being constantly tormented by the call of nature. Walking into Costco and confronting the flat screens could become an assault.

Such is the farce that is my life.

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