Toilet Seat Cowboy
By: Jenny B.
A perpetual video of moments in my life as a mother to four children plays in my mind and heart. If only I could restore the memory to live film, I might be a grand prize winner on America’s Funniest Home Videos. One memory still brings a belly laugh some thirty-eight years later.
It was a normal morning. Well, as normal as my days were, kids fed breakfast, dressed for the day, morning dishes done, daily laundry started and a coffee-phone break with a friend. Normal, right? My 18-month old son Jay, straddle a stick horse and wearing a pretend cowboy hat galloped through the kitchen to the next room. Oh, I failed to mention the hat was a potty training seat, the kind that interconnects with the larger adult toilet seat. On his next round through the kitchen prairie, my little cowboy has a necklace instead of a hat, a fashion statement his older sister was creating.
“Oh, yippee-i-o-ki-ay!”, I whispered.
What goes on, must come off, right?
Unconcerned, I finished my coffee and my phone conversation.
With cowboy baby corralled, I made my first attempt to remove his hat-necklace in one swift jerk. As he stomped his rain boot clad feet, oops, I mean cowboy boots, screaming copiously in pain while clasping his ears, he gave me my first indication this feat was going to be tougher than I imagined. The potty seat, thick rimmed on the underside combined with Jay's protruding ears made it impossible to slip up over his ears without causing unbearable pain. As any mother will tell you, pain and children do not go together. My son would have none of it.
A quick phone call to Daddy at work or to Grandma with me screaming help seemed a reasonable solution. How dare they laugh hysterically during a catastrophic crisis? I hung up on both of them!
My coffee break friend Rose was my only hope. When I called her, Rose managed to stop laughing long enough to offer a practical suggestion, grease the little guy’s head and ears with Vaseline.
The idea failed miserably, but on the other hand, if I could find a greased pig contest, we might stand a chance of winning.
Ok, another call to Rose.
“Whack the seat with a hammer, cracked seat pulled apart, free oily baby,” she said.
“Got it,” I said , determination boiling in my voice.
With child safety priority, I lured Jay outside to our back porch landing, stood him on the ground, lovingly lay his slippery head down on the landing, much like preparing a chicken for slaughter.
Waiting for the right moment to sling the hammer, my arm raised to the air, "One-two-three!", I silently counted.
Do I need to go into detail why the scheme didn't work? Let it be enough to say a toddler seeing his mother coming near his head wielding a hammer causes great fear and no cooperation!
Noon time already. Oh, great.
Snuggly strapped into his highchair, I mean saddle, I fed cowboy baby his grub and watched as the tired child used the now perpendicular toilet seat for a head rest and bib.
Hmm! Maybe this would be a marketable invention as a no wash bib.
Head bobbing, eye lids batting, accompanied by a large yawn, signaled siesta time for Cowboy Jay. Propping the hombre on a stack of pillows, providing a milk filled bottle, darn, I mean canteen, I tipped toed away hoping Jay would sleep until daddy rode in from work like the Calvary to the rescue. How sweet, innocent and content the pitiful small tike looked in his modern day, Puritan stock.
To my dismay, even a baby wearing a toilet seat collar cannot nap!
Again, a call to my friend.
Ok slipping a nylon stocking over my son’s head, holding down his ears, greased like a tractor wheel, might make the seat slide off easily.
For Halloween the week before, Jay’s dad had worn a nylon stocking over his face. He scared poor pathetic toilet seat kid half to death with that prank. If Jay saw me even slipping into my stockings, he went into a panic attack. Getting Jay to allow my rescue was going to take creative planning.
In my defense, the following sequence of actions taken were purely out of desperation and mama bear instinct to save her poor child. Cowboy baby eagerly accepted my invitation to play Cowboys and Indians, with me being the Indian, of course. I sat him on top of the kitchen table, did a pow-wow dance, took his itty bitty hands and tied them together behind his back, sneakily brought out the dreaded silk stocking, pulled it over his head through the toilet seat, and liberally smeared Vaseline all over his head. His profuse amount of wailing and wriggling didn’t deter me from my goal. I was a mother on a mission. Nothing was going to stop me. With one quick yank, I got the seat up and over the ears to finally set my son free!
As I reflect back on this true life story, I still can see the tiny tot sitting on the kitchen table, hands tied behind his back, toilet seat around his neck, a silk stocking, pasted thickly with Vaseline, snuggly pulled over his face. I am thankful no one witnessed the event or this cowboy’s mother would still be serving time in the state penitentiary.
Eventually Jay learned to potty train. If you ask him if the incident left him traumatized, he will tell you no and laugh. I do wonder though if there is a connection for why he, as an adult, chose a padded seat for his home toilet.