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Catie Wilkins tackles nappies, potties + poopies

How should we react to our babies' nappies, asks Catie Wilkins

There was never any danger of us poo-shaming our tiny daughter. My husband is in his element:

‘Catie! You’ve got to get in here and see what she’s just done in the potty. It’s incredible! It’s two different colours and looks like a grown man could have done it.’

I mean, everyone has their favourite bits of parenthood, but I’m not sure anyone has ever greeted potty training with more enthusiasm and pride.

What can I say, we’re huge fans of crapping in our house. You take your early walkers and talkers, and shove them. Ours does the biggest multi-coloured poos imaginable. They’re probably on the 99th percentile, but for some reason don’t have their own chart in the red book.

People worry about potty training. They think it’s going to be a faff and they’ll have to overcome their visceral reaction to excrement, just to avoid psychologically impairing their offspring. ‘Babies don’t feel shame yet,’ say the books. ‘Try to avoid words like dirty or smelly. Don’t poo-shame your babies.’ (I’m paraphrasing).

It’s probably no coincidence that the other group of people who don’t feel shame are psychopaths. But we should let toddlers enjoy their shame-free years. (Then put them on a watch-list if it continues).

Because if toddlers ever decide to protest the poo-shaming and ‘reclaim the bathroom’ that is a protest march that is going to take forever. Seriously, they are the slowest walkers in the world.

My husband has frequently wanted to call me into the bathroom to show me his own impressively huge evacuations, but has luckily so far resisted. Now he gets to legitimately hail me from another room to get this satisfaction vicariously.

And the thing is, I am interested in her poos. They give me information about her health, teething, and tell me if she is drinking enough water, etc. Like a slightly more scientific Gillian McKeith.

And this is of some comfort to me, when I’m trying not to retch. At least I am more scientific than Gillian McKeith.


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