Even the closed bathroom door could not dampen the exuberance of the voice inside.
"Daddy! Reading on the potty is awesome!"
Like this was an idea on which I'd been trying to sell her for weeks.
Kathryn and toilets have a complicated relationship. Kathryn will never, truly never, sit on a toilet without being told to. She will dance, jog, hop from foot to foot, and squeeze her crotch together with one hand so tightly you'd think her fingers would touch through where her girly bits ought to be before voluntarily sitting her butt down and peeing. But then, when she finally does give in, she will easily spend half an hour or more, sitting there on the john, her business long since finished, just swinging her legs to and fro as they slowly grow cold and numb, doing nothing but consorting with the butterflies in her head.
Until now. Now she reads. She reads fairy books, with titles such as, and I'm not making these up, Jasmine the Present Fairy, Lucy the Diamond Fairy, Polly the Party Fun Fairy, and my personal favorite, Georgia the Guinea Pig Fairy. Kathryn eats these books like candy. Candy for the toilet. Most days now, when I call her down for dinner, she emerges from our one working bathroom, flat on her belly, books gripped in her teeth, and propels herself to the stairs on her elbows because her legs fell asleep somewhere between Katie and Bella, the fairies for cats and bunnies, respectively. And in those moments I am truly the happiest dad in New Jersey.
As the daughter of a writer and an editor, Kathryn resisted reading with the same gusto that a daughter of a preacher resists her virginity. For years, she refused to read anything that didn't have three letters and was "cat," and the idea that she would voluntarily pick up a book to seemed about as remote as her voluntarily picking up a car. Or her dirty clothes. But in the course of one weekend, a weekend that culminated in visiting every library and bookstore in the area for more and more fairy books, (there are dozens of these books and they must--oh yes they must--be read in order, because god knows what chaos would be unleashed if you read the tale of Willow the Wednesday Fairy before Tara the Tuesday Fairy, and I'm still not making these up) Kathryn has finally crossed the border into literacy.
And her butt has the oval indention to prove it.