I'd read all the books. I'd surfed all the websites. I'd taken advice from young mothers, zookeepers, and taxidermists. The signs were all there, and my precious Dead Baby Monkey had reached the age that seemed appropriate. It was time.
Time to toilet train my sweet little mummified angel.
I didn't look forward to this task, not really...but the transition to solid food deemed it a necessity. I'm a bit squeamish when it comes to poo, but truth be told it hadn't really been a problem up until now. I mean, think about it. It's a Dead Baby Monkey...how much poo could it produce? My diapering skills consisted of running my finger down the back of his tiny nappy and checking for moisture...if there was none, then why change the thing? Common sense, really. Now, I know that most infant books will tell you that a diaper change is necessary at least once a day...but those same books also tell you that every child is different, and that variations in your own youngster should not be seen as abnormal. I take such advice to heart, because I know my sweet little bundle of parchment-like skin and desiccated fur is a special case...not to mention he's not even human. I know he's an ape, and I don't expect my sweet Dead Baby Monkey to adhere to all the rules. And I'm prepared for that.
But I wasn't prepared for toilet training, or the dangers it posed. Oh my goodness, no. Not at all.
First there was the whole process of introducing this new concept to my perfect little angel. I opted for the "watch daddy do it" method at first...propping the Dead Baby Monkey up on the clothes hamper while I "did my business" in front of him. It was uncomfortable and a bit embarrassing, but I had to have the mindset that I was simply teaching my tiny charge one of life's simple facts. Grown-ups (or those heading in that direction) needed to "go potty" in a grown-up fashion, and this was how.
Mind you, I'm glad no one had a camera handy. I mean, imagine the scene: Me, with my pants down around my ankles, sitting on the toilet and pretending to go poo, all the while chatting in reassuring tones to a tiny, mummified monkey baby with glued-on googly-eyes and a blue, stuck-on PlayDoh™ ear. To make matters worse, he just sat there, tilted to one side against a stack of dirty towels, seeming not to understand the purpose of the whole thing. I began to feel decidedly foolish, so I decided to change my approach.
The next method suggested to me by many parents (and one animal behaviorist, before she hung up on me) was to wait until one of those moments when the infant would "make the face" that meant a potty moment was imminent. Evidently, when a young child (or even a young simian) is about to have a pee or a poo, they squinch up their face in apparent joy, because what they are about to do will feel very good, and seem to be a relief to them. It's only as they get older that they are taught that "going pee or poo" isn't really something to celebrate so obviously with a grin or a coo, and they lose this endearing behaviour. But until then, it is evidently a reliable indicator that something is forthcoming...so I decided to give it a try.
Well...you can imagine what has happened. My formerly pliable and cooperative tot has finally launched himself into his recalcitrant years...and has deduced my intent and set about foiling me at my own game. He sits there, poker faced, unwilling to let on that he needs to go potty. My perfect, darling Dead Baby Monkey has decided that he's going to go head-to-head with me over this potty thing, but I'm going to be strong. I'll wait him out...watching him for the slightest tell-tale sign that he's about to soil his diaper, and then I'll scoop him up and rush him to the toilet, allowing him to learn by his own example how this potty-training thing should work.
I've been watching him for almost two days now, but I think I'm winning. I'd swear that his left googly-eye (the one that sticks, sometimes) just jiggled a bit...a sure sign that a bathroom moment is soon to come. After not sleeping for two days, staring eye-to-googly-eye with my stubborn little pumpkin, I hope that he realizes that I'm doing this to help him grow up...and that I'm doing this for his own good.
Yes. I'm doing this for the good of my sweet, lovely Dead Baby Monkey.
to be continued....