The email subject line halted me mid-keystroke: The Wiggles Tackle Toilet Training With New Song/Video.
Now don’t get me wrong: I love The Wiggles as much as the next mother, and I did my mini mosh-pit time with the boys in the band and Dorothy back in the mid-/late-2000s when my kids were young. But an anthem for potty training?
I am far too quick to leap to derision in general (not a good character trait — I’m working on it), but what kind of monster would I be if I didn't give the song a fair hearing? It’s The Wiggles!
The “New Wiggles” are as ultra-buoyant and kid-cajoling as ever, as they sing:
Can you take the toilet challenge?
Can you sit on the toilet for this whole song?
And at the end you can press the button … to flush — how does that sound?
First, are you sitting on the toilet? Oh, great!
Are you ready? Okay! Here we go!
Arrrrrrrre you sitting on the toilet?
Seeeeeee what you can do
Nooooooow, you’re sitting on the toilet
You can do a wee or a poo!
Well, try it! Do you feel it coming? Any luck?
Oh, that’s okay! Let’s try it again.
Well, it’s an earworm, I’ll grant them that. I guess being celebratory about doing a “wee or a poo” and flushing that puppy down with great aplomb and ceremony is kind of, well, sweet. Triumphant, even. It had me reaching jealously for the Metamucil.
To think I was so ready to contradict this hopeful, encouraging ode with my own sarcastic playlist of bowel-encouraging ballads!
But wait a minute. There’s the bit about challenging apprentice trainees to sit on the throne for the duration of the song, which is over two minutes long? That’s an eternity for the under-3 set. Is that really a good idea?
I seem to recall some medical advice (maybe dispensed by my mother, an old-school RN who only used the term BM when referring to eliminations of the solid variety) that parking your fanny on the toilet for extended time periods maybe isn’t actually all that good for your undercarriage. So, I decide to confirm this understanding with a currently gainfully employed medical professional (my mom also thought that most ailments just shy of fractures and cancer could be cured by an even application of Vicks VapoRub, so a second opinion seemed warranted).
I text my best friend from college, who is a hospitalist and mom of two:
She replies, “Straining can lead to hemorrhoids and fissures. Most healthy is to try for regular, soft poops. Fiber, water, exercise and P fruits: pineapple, pears, peaches, prunes and plums.” It’s adorable and medically sound advice, but not the opinion I’m looking for to justify my position in the matter.
I reply, pettily: “Yeah, well, I still don’t think we need to be encouraging boys of today to become the next inevitable generation of men who camp out on the throne for ages!”
Five minutes later, it occurs to me: If I’m going to go after the world’s most poopular (ha, see what I did there?) children’s entertainment group, I’d better gauge the risk with an unimpeachable source.
I DM my dear Australian friend — I’ll call her Zelda to protect her from any potential backlash or risk of deportation:
Hey, sweetie! I thought of you when I got an email from a PR guy encouraging me to cover the imminent debut of “The Toilet Song” by The Wiggles. Over two minutes of tuneful “motivation” for young toileters around the world to, uh, drop the kids off at the pool. I was inspired to write a humorous response in the vein of “10 Things I’d Rather Listen to While Pooping Than ‘The Toilet Song’ by The Wiggles.” But, made me wonder about my friends Down Under and what they think about The Wiggles. Would that just be a shameless and unforgivable attack on a national treasure (and, worse, by a woman who dared to call her own daughter Matilda!)? What say you, my friend?
She responds: Whoa, what an honour! — for you 😭. I must start by mentioning that The Wiggles are featured in one of our SYDNEY museums. But Australians are a down to earth mob & often take the piss out of ourselves. The fact that they have come out with a song about going to the toilet says it all — smart marketing & keeping it real! Xxxx
Okay, first: Australians “often take the piss out of ourselves”? I am not exactly sure what that even means, but that is the best expression I have heard in a long time, and it sure fits the subject at hand! Trust Zelda to have just the right attitude.
I should quit while I’m ahead, er, behind. But I’m not convinced just yet to retract my claws. Besides, I can’t afford to go to Australia anyway, so who cares if my wanted poster goes up at customs?
Potty training is a poopy proposition, no joke. And, to be fair, it’s been over 10 years since I dealt with it myself, but honestly, I just do not recall that my kids’ success at “doing a wee or a poo” required dinner and a show. (Well, dinner, but not a show.) Sure, there was the “aim” problem with the boy — target practice is probably a better reference for his potty-training days. But I never once thought, “Hmmm … I wonder if there are some good tunes to poop to that would help flatten out this particular developmental challenge.”
A simple Google search reveals to me just how wrong-headed I am: There are scads of scatting songs for potty-training children! All of them toe-tapping and PBS-friendly. For the millionth time, it is revealed to me that maybe I am just a really clueless parent! I’m kind of sheepish and sad that my poor children had such unheralded, uncelebrated evacuations all those years. I am flooded with the zeal of a new convert!
But just in case “The Toilet Song” doesn’t work for your toileting tot, here are 10 additional sonic colonic stimulators that just might do the trick:
- A didgeridoo-doo orchestra collectively playing the fabled “brown note” (I know it’s out there on the interwebs somewhere…)
- The Alka-Seltzer jingle — way shorter, to the point and a perfect Pavlovian trigger (With editorial license: Plop, plop, whizz, whizz, oh, what a relief it is!)
- “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen”
- A soundtrack of bowel-baiting bookstore background music (it’s apparently a real phenomenon)
- For all the little "Bob the Builder" fans out there, this 12-hour-long jackhammer sound effect loop should get the job done (think of the stool-softening effect!)
- “Alexa, open Sleep Sounds.” (“Babbling brook” inspires a urinary karaoke response in anyone.)
- Go with a classic: “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys
- A pack of howling dingoes? "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash?
- “Sweet Victory” from “SpongeBob SquarePants” to cheer a job well done
- And when that eventual clean-up on aisle no. 2 is needed, why not conclude with “Wipeout” by the Surfaris?
“The Toilet Song” video debuts this Friday, January 18, on The Wiggles YouTube Channel. It will also be available as a music single for download on most digital music services such as iTunes and Google Play, as well as streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.
We love you, Wiggles! Thank you for celebrating every endeavoring child.