Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Toilet Bowl

Throughout life, there is instilled in (most of) us a challenge to be the best that one can. Abject perfectionists need not apply, I'm referring to each person's innate pride on a job well done, on whatever terms they think that is. (Not to be confused with haughty, puffed-up pride, which benefits no one). It feels good to do something right. Admittedly, for some the personal bar of "excellence" is set rather low in comparison to mainstream society ~ but, then again, that is not necessarily a bad thing depending on exactly what the situation is.

*soapbox* If "excellence" for one means never applying one's self and apathy to consistently cranking out a crappy job, then that's not an area to low-ball in. Part of (only part of) the driving factor in this economic problem in the U.S. is a percentage of the workforce is demanding larger paychecks, but they don't actually do the work that would warrant the salary. This idea that "the big guys" can afford it pervades nearly every large company on some level (sometimes quite close to the top), and when people take pens, merchandise, printer paper, etc., and don't do their work they're getting paid to do ~ yeah it seems like small potatoes but it adds up. And if the work isn't getting done correctly, whatever services or products the company provides likewise are going to decline in quality or sometimes literally in amount. This inevitably leads to lay-offs so the company can try to stay afloat. During which the same people who are robbing the company, both of quality work and literally in materials, are the first people who will complain about it. *end soapbox* Now, on the flip side, if "excellence" means the dismissal of religious ideas in favor of whatever the current scientific paradigm is, then count me in with the "slacker", low-baller crowd.

This quest for excellence can be on a personal level, whether it involves churchwork, classwork, artwork, jobwork, or housework. It can come in the form of sporting events, in which teams or individuals vie to get a place in the ultimate reward for a great season: the championship event. The best of the best are supposed to compete head to head to determine, once and for all (for that year, anyway) who is truly the champion.

I have decided that the epic ongoing battle of the potty-trainees vs. the potty-trained falls in this category somewhere ~ it is, after all, an internationally recognized, time-honored event ~ and therefore must have a name fitting of its place alongside other famous, often grueling events such as "The World Cup", or "The Presidential Election". Therefore I present you with the latest installment of what is coming to simply be known as: The Toilet Bowl.

In today's skirmish:

The potty-trained, "home" team: Mom!

And, the opposing potty-trainee team: A and K! Represented in today's play-offs by A.

This morning's colossal matchup was destined to test the patience of both teams. The home team had studied up on the various plays commonly made by the potty-trainees, and Mom's eagle eye had caught the unique posturing and grunting generally associated with what is commonly known as "number two". The first play was ugly: A absolutely refused to even sit on the toilet until he was physically picked up and put there by the home team. Out of defiance, he stood up and peed all over the floor. There was some controversy over the call; the refs threw yellow flags, but the home team was most definitely seeing red.

Thus began a long and sordid battle, but, hey, aren't they all in this exhausting series? Following the urination foul, A lowered his eyebrows and glared up at the home team in a move favored by the potty-trainees. In a rare show of pique, the home team arched one eyebrow, pinched her lips together, and put the recalcitrant rear end back on the toilet ~ in all honesty, perhaps with a little more force than was really necessary, although A did fight the play by Mom. Much moaning, crying, and strange howls interspersed with still more grunts and posturing soon emanated from the opposing team ~ but the home team recognized the tactic and refused to give into A's desire to get down off of the toilet with the obviously impending discharge. Today's game saw several more rear-end replacement maneuvers by the home team.

In the end, it was a draw: nothing went into the toilet, but A sat on it for twenty minutes until he had to go catch the bus for school ~ and Mom is sporting a couple of minor injuries. Potty training is indeed a full-contact sport.... Stay tuned; we might be in for a "double-header" if sister K decides to tag-team today.

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