I will never forget the taste. As soon as it hit my mouth, I instantly knew what it was. In all its slapstick, comical glory, I finally felt what it was like to have entered the territory of, “will do anything for my kids.” Potty training was a whole new game I couldn’t learn to play by reading books or watching YouTube videos. I had to learn the hard (wet) way.
I thought I already had basic knowledge of the ins and outs of being a new dad. I was prepared for anything my son would throw at me. For diaper changes, I knew a baby wipe needed to cover his mini-p to block the fountain-like stream of baby urine. During bath time, I had prior knowledge that babies and toddlers have zero regard for dry people outside of the bathtub and it would be a huge mistake to wear anything but a poncho. Finally, during feeding times (yes, I sometimes refer to my sons as caged zoo animals), I had the insight and the Polaroids of my own high-chaired dinners from the early ’80s to confirm that most of the food lands on the floor for the dogs or in mommy’s hair.
However, I was not prepared for potty-training. Before embarking on this magical journey of sticky floors and overused laundry machines, my wife and I scoured every website, read every book, and bent the ears of as many past potty trainers as we could. We had all the information one could gather on the subject. We were walking encyclopedias of pee. With all this data, we were sure to succeed, right? Well, it will be almost eight months and we have gone through more wee-wee pads than a puppy with an overactive bladder. I’ve scrubbed the equivalent of an Empire’s State building worth of flooring and have gagged more than … oh, never mind.
There is a little bit of light at the end of this potty-training tunnel. My little man is pretty much accident-free at this point and only needs protection at night. It’s like he dreams of putting out fires with his penis.
So, how did my kid’s pee end up in my mouth? Well, there’s absolutely nothing that stops a little boy from grabbing his little eggroll and changing the trajectory of his pee to the complete opposite direction of where you would like it to go. On this day in toddler history, we were using the solo cup method, or what I like to call the “Much Rather Be Playing Beer Pong” method. To encourage him to stand while peeing, I would take a little red solo cup you normally see at picnics and just let him pee into it. Clean up is easy and it’s also great for when we are out so I don’t have to sanitize the hell out of any public bathroom we find ourselves in. But on this particular day, my coffee hadn’t quite kicked in yet and my half-assing literally left me with a bad taste in my mouth
I didn’t quite have a full “cupping” and, mid-pee, he pulled up like he was trying to water plants on the ceiling. Too bad my face and my open mouth, perfectly shaped like a round target from shrieking, “Nooooo,” were the only things there to stop it. Or, in this case, catch it. To add insult to injury, as I ran out of the bathroom with a puzzled screech, trying to find the number for poison control in our area, my wife immediately started to follow me around and lecture me on how I should have held the cup. The only thing worse than a mouthful of warm pee is a mouthful from your not-so-warm wife. It’s safe to say this wasn’t the best of mornings in the BellaVilla household, but it’s one I’ll never forget.