Nowhere is it more evident that the world is a man’s toilet than in South East Asia, spiritual home of the squat pot! When it comes to these – unless the urge to purge is of the number two variety – boys really do have it easy. They just need to point and shoot. But for girls, especially little ones, things can get a little more complicated.
And though your kids may initially be disgusted, scared or even think you’re taking the piss when they come across their first squat pot, they’ll have little choice but to give one a good hot go when nature calls. And let’s be realistic, with children and their hummingbird size bladders, that will be fairly often. And finding a more luxurious throne for your little prince or princess can prove to be a truly epic quest.
But fear not, they, and you, will survive the squatty potty. Some of you may even learn to love them, though I doubt that I ever will count myself amongst that number. Regardless, here we have the scoop on poop, squat toilet style, with these 13 tips for squat toilets and kids.
1. Bog standard – Your kids will follow your example so try not to make a big deal about the situation, or else they will too and then the shit will really hit the fan, or whatever else is nearby.
2. Paper, mate – This is purely a BYO situation, though we’re not talking booze here. Although it must be said a stiff drink afterwards certainly wouldn’t hurt. I’m talking toilet paper, as squat toilets never stock it. NEVER! If you’re lucky there may be a communal roll on the outside of the cubicle. So make sure everyone is stocked up before the event or you’ll be reaching for the hose or bucket. More on these later.
3. When toddlers toot – Younger children will require assistance, which will generally result in feet getting wet. Yours! Unless you wear gumboots or follow the correct pooping procedure.
4. Get your gear off – It is advisable to remove the entire bottom half of your clothing so it won’t be in the line of fire of poorly executed ablutions. Or from the damp – and it will be – floor. This is especially important with kids, who aren’t renowned for their aim! Hooks for clothes are generally in short supply so you may need to embrace your inner coat hanger and just lob clothes over your head or shoulder.
5. Know thy place – Squat toilets generally come with grooved foot areas on either sides of the bowl on which to place your feet. Use them.
6. Brace yourself – Lower yourself as far as you can go into a squat position with your weight back on your heels, your knees pointed toward the ceiling and your legs spread over the hole of the toilet opening. Give your legs a wee cuddle if it helps. Then hold this position until your legs go numb. Which is a given as Western muscles aren’t as evolved when it comes to this position.
7. The support squat – While we sent our eldest in to battle for himself, our youngest required support. This requires lowering said child in to the squat position, and holding them from behind so as not to become a target.
8. Slippery when wet – The good news is that the floor of the squat toilet is more likely to be wet from fresh water used to wipe and flush and not from poor aim – the locals are pros at this. The bad news is that they can be quite slippery so keep a grip on little ones at all time unless you want them to end up in the bowl.
9. Relax – Once you’re in position do like Frankie and relax! Then just let gravity do its thing. It’s actually better for your colonic health.
10. Shoot and score – Do not place toilet paper in the bowl as the plumbing is not designed to take it and will clog up. Instead practice your basketball dunking and shoot for the basket or bin supplied.
11. Wet and wild – You forgot to pack the toilet paper even after we warned you? You’re going to need a plan B. Short of using your clothes and setting fire to them afterwards, that will inevitably be turning to either the hose or water pot provided to spray or splash away any leftovers. The preferred etiquette is to perform this with your right hand while wiping it clean with your left. If you’re with a younger child, guess whose job that’ll be! You got it! Afterwards just shake the excess water off and drip-dry for a minute or two before getting your gear back on.
12. Flushed with success – there’s no fancy flush mode here. You’ll need to scoop more fresh water out of the water bucket provided and wash it down until it looks clean.
13. Hands on – Finish up by washing your hands with soap and water and then liberally douse yourself in anti-bacterial hand wash, a bottle of which is the squat toilet users best friend. No shit!