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How Much Therapy Would My Kid Need If This Happened When He Flushed the Toilet?

Most of the time, I feel like my family is just like any other. But then once in a while, I remember, oh yeah, we’re totally not. Our day-to-day life is so normal to us, that I forget that many people don’t live with issues like sensory dysfunction and massive anxiety in their kids.

At first glance, the new “reality-style” diaper commercial, First Flush, is just a spoof (I hope) on reality TV and the tendency of most parents to go a little overboard when celebrating potty-training success. You know what I’m talking about: those somewhat cringe-inducing, TMI Facebook posts of Timmy’s first poop. Some things don’t need to be Instagrammed, people.

I’m not judging here: potty-training my four kids was so freaking hard that I would have totally thrown a parade when it was finally accomplished, except that my son, who has Asperger Syndrome, is terrified of parades.

Instead, I bought him a LEGO Star Wars set and awarded myself a mocha latte. Yay us! Potty-training has been, hands-down, the absolute hardest part of parenting for us. I am all for celebrating. And, as long as there’s no photographic evidence, I’m even for Facebooking  about it. I’m just saying that it’s entirely possible that I once posted something to the effect of “Houston, we have poopage.”

Because potty-training is really, really sucky, and success should be celebrated. And while I applaud Huggies’ efforts to make it fun, all I can think of when I watch First Flush is how incredibly traumatizing this would all be to my son. The gist of the commercial is that once little Eli flushes the potty, all hell breaks loose there’s a big surprise party with a parade, a band, acrobats, jugglers, a toilet-shaped cake — you name it.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself (or my son) over here. In  fact, when I watch the behind the scenes video from the commercial, I actually can’t stop laughing. It’s like there was a focus group to determine exactly how many things they could jam into one event that my kid would freaking hate. Let’s take a look:

nggallery id=’129491′

  • Surprise! My kid hates surprises! 1 of 11
    Surprise! My kid hates surprises!
    Here we see little Eli coming outside after his "first flush" to find a brass band, acrobats, a cheerleading squad, dudes on stilts, and an enormous camera crew waiting for him. In other words, hundreds of people quietly creepin' around the house whilst he pooped. Because that's totally normal.

    My kid hates the idea of people creeping around the house so much that I had to tell him the truth about the Tooth Fairy before he even lost his first tooth. The idea of a tiny flying person mincing about in his room--even to bring him money--was so terrifying that his first wobbly tooth brought on panic.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Speaking of creepin’ around the house… 2 of 11
    Speaking of creepin' around the house...
    This guy was purportedly making sure flush had just the right "pitch" before Eli even used the toilet. The only right sound a toilet could make, in my son's eyes, is silence. At least this isn't an automatic flush toilet, though. I carry Post-It notes at all time to cover the sensor on automatic flush toilets when we use public restrooms. To someone with sensory integration dysfunction, that enormous woosh sound is torture.

    Related thought: could this Toilet Sound Technician also adjust the noise of those G-force level hand-dryers in public bathrooms? Or do you think he only handles plumbing?

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Mommy, why is there a camera in the bathroom? 3 of 11
    Mommy, why is there a camera in the bathroom?
    While all four of my kids embrace the pants-optional lifestyle whenever possible, they only walk around pantsless when no one else is over. Not one of of them would be down with having a camera in the bathroom. For kids who hate to wear pants, they are actually suprisingly modest and private.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • OMG. 4 of 11
    OMG.
    So, here we have a brass band (loud) and what appears to be a clown on stilts. Because obviously clowns aren't terrifying enough without being crazy-tall and wobbly.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Guess who doesn’t love a parade? 5 of 11
    Guess who doesn't love a parade?
    My son is super-sensitive to crowds and loud noises, so parades are not exactly his thing. So a parade featuring a giant float of himself without pants would probably not be his fave.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Just no. 6 of 11
    Just no.
    A horse is a horse of course, of course, unless that horse is right near my kid. Then it is an unpredictable, giant pooping beast inexplicably being ridden by a woman dressed as the guy from Aladdin.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Stilts. 7 of 11
    Stilts.
    On the extensive list of things that freak out my kid, stilts are right up there with face paint, masks and mascot costumes. There's just something about things not being what they seem that sends his brain into implosion mode.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Oh, good, mascot heads. 8 of 11
    Oh, good, mascot heads.
    No matter how snuggly you think you look in there, my kid wants no part of it. Also, ask yourself this: how would you feel if you discovered this guy loitering in your backyard, waiting for you to sit on the toilet?

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Nope, nothing creepy here at all. 9 of 11
    Nope, nothing creepy here at all.
    Certainly not those lifeless duck eyes.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • Balloons of doom. 10 of 11
    Balloons of doom.
    Little Dude hates balloons. He doesn't like loud noises, and he doesn't like things that are unpredictable. So balloons popping are pretty much the worst. I say pretty much, because the actual worst is balloons being held by a guy in a mascot costume.

    (Screencap via YouTube)
  • I stand corrected. 11 of 11
    I stand corrected.
    This is like some kind of Trifecta of Doom. Parade float of the kid himself, pantsless, a crapton of balloons, and a guy on stilts breathing fire is actually the worst. One time, my parents took our whole family out to a cool Hibachi restaurant. Little Dude took one look at the flaming cook-table and bolted. In his defense, everyone knows that tables should not be made of fire. And if they are, that it would be incredibly stupid to sit down at a table o' fire smiling happily. He and I spent the evening eating our dinners out of styrofoam containers in the minivan, pretending to be spies.

    Oh. My. Gahd. There is, in fact, not enough therapy and/or medication in the world that could get my kid to poop on a toilet again after something like this.

    (Screencap via YouTube)

Here’s the actual behind-the-scenes video. Watch it (but not with your sensory-dysfunctional child).

http://youtu.be/jda-uZzIWOc

Read more from Joslyn on Babble and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow Joslyn on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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