I was at Ikea Tampines last week, shopping for some kitchenware with my mother. We were passing through the kids section when I saw something that made my heart wither away.

A young dad and his two year old daughter were nearby, looking at some child-sized chairs and potty-chairs. He picked up one and started lecturing the small girl.

“Ah girl, this is a potty. You sit here to do your shee-shee and ngg-ngg (pee-pee and poo-poo)”.

I was like, hey we’re at Ikea, the child’s having fun looking through the markers and other kiddy stuff so why torment her like this?

But he didn’t stop there. He took a seat, put it on the ground, and made the girl sit on it, pants and all. The child, too young to understand what was happening, happily sat down with a smile. Wait till potty-training starts, I think to myself.

Oh you just wait, you lucky kid. You are one of the rare people for whom toilet-training started in an Ikea store! How about that? Never mind the colour-markers and shelves full of cuddly stuffed-toys. Daddy saw a random stack of potties and the rest was history.

The man continued to lecture his child with things like ‘you are a big girl now’, ‘must take off your shorts and pampers first, ‘must sit until you finish’, and other stuff that makes DLs die a little on the inside listening to.

I feel that the worst part was that the kid was happily nodding away to what her daddy was saying. She didn’t realise that she was in such an embarrassing position. She probably didn’t understand what he even meant.  Would she cooperate when Day 1 of toilet-training arrived, (perhaps that very night itself)? By the looks of it, she probably would.

Don’t get me wrong. Toilet-training is an integral part of human development. But I feel that you shouldn’t start it in such a public place, in a place where you are supposed to feel happy (Ikea in this case). And of course, everyone was looking at them, including mothers with their own diapered kids. I wouldn’t want to subject my children to this kind of humiliation. (If I get a Little Girl as a life partner, then maybe, I might reenact this scene, consent withstanding.)

As the dad put the potty-chair into his shopping bag, the kid wandered off to the shelves with the colourful markers.

– Selv

P.S. Lilla, the IKEA potty-chair that is the little girl’s first potty, is the Swedish word for ‘small’. Of all the things in their gigantic store to call small, they chose a potty-chair.


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