Potty Training and The ANC

Waiting for the ANC to make a decision regarding Jacob Zuma is much like potty-training a toddler. You spend ages patiently watching a process you are mildly disgusted by, while the object of your attention vacillates wildly between whether or not he will just go. At least I think it is. My son is 19 months old now, and unlike Jacob Zuma, looking ever more like he wants to take charge of his own exits.

Judging by the TV adverts for Pampers in which a teenager can be seen toddling off into the garden in his own, “New, stretchier big boy nappies for kids between the ages of 12 and 15”, the nappy companies would like nothing more than for me to put these thoughts of potty-training out of my mind. Increasingly parents are being encouraged to leave teaching their kids about toilets until they have graduated, but I am not so sure I want that.

Reports suggest that in this modern, bustling world, the essential art of taking a poo, not in your pants, is being left more, and more, to nursery school teachers, and this is a mistake. Nursery schools are rarely anything other than a normal backyard, if it was painted by a disgruntled clown and dotted with instruments of toddler death, watched over by four ladies who have made a few terrible life choices. Expecting these already harassed individuals to take care of your child’s rear-end education is putting horror cream on an already overly-sweet anxiety cake. There is absolutely no way these people can be expected to have the necessary patience to guide your infant through one of the phases Freud suggested was most likely to leave a psychological stain.

Recently I met a woman at a party who does not have children. She very wittily suggested that toddlers must be dumber than dogs cause you can potty train a dog in just a few days. Sure Marion*, but the toddler would probably learn a lot quicker too if you were allowed to literally rub their noses in their mistakes. Marion is a nursery school teacher.

And with that we are back to Zuma, the toddler, who is unwilling to realise that people are sick and tired of his shitting all over the place. Jacob, if you wanted to exit without humiliation you would have done it a lot sooner. Now we have to hand you over to the nursery school teachers and they may just rub your nose in it.


*Not her name. I can’t remember her real name. I didn’t care to.