Life is full of achievements and it’s about time we started
recognizing more of them. Not all of us can run a marathon,
climb Mount Everest or date Angelina Jolie, but our
achievements are still worthy of recognition. My wife and I,
for example, have been eager to congratulate our 3-year-old
daughter, Lekha, on her wonderful achievement. We are filled
with pride whenever she screams from the bathroom, “Mommy,
Daddy! I pooped! Come and see!”

I’m sure the neighbors are proud, too, for Lekha screams
loud enough for them to hear. Such phenomenal success, she
figures, must be shared with the world.

And I tend to agree — that’s why I’m mentioning it here.
For years to come, people will stumble upon this column and
applaud the little girl who cast aside her diapers and
learned to use a toilet, saving her parents millions of
dollars. Lekha’s achievement, I can confidently say, is one
of the greatest of the past year, right up there with Lance
Armstrong winning a seventh Tour de France and Ricky
Williams passing a drug test.

Armstrong had conquered the Tour six times before and knew
what to expect. His biggest worry — losing his balance and
falling off his bike — was nothing compared to little
Lekha’s biggest worry: losing her balance, falling into the
big hole and getting flushed away.

That’s why, whenever she’s done climbing Mount Lavatory, she
runs to me and shouts, “Daddy, I pooped!” or “Daddy, I
peed.” And I say, “Good job, Lekha! You’re a big girl now!”

Having readily shared her success with everyone, Lekha is
always eager to find out about other people’s success. As
soon as I walk out of the bathroom, she questions me about
what I accomplished in there, making me feel like a star
athlete at a post-game interview:

“Daddy, which one did you do — poop or pee?”

“Uh … well … the first one, sweetie.”

“Good job, Daddy!”

“Thank you, sweetie.”

“Let me go tell Mommy. … Mommy! Mommy! Daddy pooped in the
potty! He’s a big boy now!”

“Yes, he is, cutie.”

“Let me go tell the neighbors …”

It’s been many years since anyone congratulated me for using
the toilet, so needless to say, I appreciate Lekha’s
thoughtfulness. Given her creativeness, I won’t be surprised
if she soon sends me a greeting card, using her crayons to
draw a stick figure of me perched atop the porcelain bowl,
with a congratulatory message below:  “Way to go, big boy!”

Perhaps Lekha can create an entire line of greeting cards to
recognize various achievements that adults take for granted.

The eating card: “Congratulations, big boy! You ate all the
food on your plate, including all that green stuff. You
deserve the Nobel Peas Prize.”

The toothpaste card: “Good job, big girl! You brushed your
teeth all by yourself. That’s a big achievement, never mind
that you missed the opportunity to paint your shirt with
toothpaste.”

The shoe card: “Well done, big girl! You tied your shoelaces
without any help from your mommy. And you managed to put
your left shoe on your left foot. You must be good at
guessing!”

The bathroom card: “Nice going, big guy! You used the
restroom and remembered to not only flush the toilet, but
also wash your hands. You deserve the Presidential Medal of
Honor. By the way, big guy, which one did you do — poop or
pee?”

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 (c) Copyright 2006 Melvin Durai. . All Rights Reserved.

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