Having children with a 16-month age difference means that I have been successively potty training for a year now. Teaching two toddlers to use the toilet has turned me into somewhat of a birthing coach, except rather than bringing new life into the world, I deliver old, digested porridge into the sewer system. Here are seven similarities I've noticed between potty training and One Born Every Minute.
1) False labour
You've encouraged your son to listen to his body, so with a sense of urgency you both rush to the delivery suite. When he climbs onto the porcelain birthing pool, he realises it was merely gas. Disappointment and crying ensue.
A bowel movement is days overdue, and you become worried about your patient's wellbeing. It is time to induce. You start with mild prescriptions, like prunes and bran, before considering more serious medical intervention.
3) Broken waters
You live on the edge because your child's waters can break anywhere. You've cleaned up puddles in your home, Tesco, and even church, so you always keep a spare pair of underpants in your handbag.
4) Checking dilatation
Active labor has begun. Your child is worried that there will be pain, so you peer beneath to see if labor is progressing. Sure enough, he is crowning! You go through various Lamaze breathing techniques, and then encourage him to bear down and push.
With a splash, a little turdlet makes its way into the toilet. You offer hearty congratulations and a celebratory song and dance that rivals Carnival in Rio de Janiero. You both beam with the kind of pride you previously thought was reserved for Grand Slam winners.
6) Messy afterbirth
There are few things in life as disgusting as cleaning up another human's body fluids, but, like a champion healthcare professional, you get in there and tidy up. This isn't as beautiful as the miracle of life, but it is a testament to the miracle of unconditional love.
7) Push present
Celebrities these days are getting diamonds and Ferraris from their partners after childbirth. Your son will settle for a sticker on his potty chart or a Smartie. It's a good thing he is so easily pleased, since dung doulas get paid zero pounds an hour.