Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dragon Training

So, awhile back I promised my child-free friends that I would never write or talk about potty training (I'm not sure if this promise was explicit, but I made it in my head. Why aren't y'all telepathic like me?). Why? Because potty training is boring, kind of gross, and to those of us who have been quietly doing our business on a toilet for the past 30ish years it doesn't seem like a major accomplishment. Congratulations, you're not a chimpanzee. Woohoo.

Thus, I am not going to be blogging today about what's going on in my house this weekend. Instead, I'm going to tell you a story about my pet dragon.

Yes, I have a dragon. I told you I was a badass.

A candid shot of me and my dragon buddy about to sit down to a nice game of naked checkers.
I've had this particular dragon (we call him Lil' Smokie) for about 4 years now. Lil' Smokie's a sweet dragon, very helpful around the house (he eats all the junebugs and cicadas in the summer). The only problem I've had is that I can't keep him from spewing fire all over the place at seemingly random intervals. After the 30th or 40th time of coming home to find the living room a smoking ruin and a singed, hairless evil Tobi pissing on our bed in vanity-inspired fury, I knew I had to do something. The only solution I could come up with was to strap a bucket of water to my lil' fiery buddy's snout.

This strategy has worked really well for the past few years, but I can't help but notice that when I bring Lil' Smokie out to socialize with other dragons his age, fewer and fewer of them are sporting water buckets. It's also become inconvenient and expensive to replace the bucket every few hours when it becomes clogged with ash and melted beyond salvageability. And my sweet dragon has begun to remove the bucket when I think he's napping and burning up his sheets and blankets. Clearly, I need to find a better way.

So I decided this weekend to take Lil' Smokie to the bathroom every time he has that unquenchable urge to breathe a little fire. I've filled up the bathtub and I figured he can stick his head under water and let loose every 30 minutes or so. I really thought that would be a wonderful outlet for him and train him that there are appropriate times and places to breathe fire and inappropriate times and places to do so.

Lil' Smokie does not seem to be responding well so far. There are little flames cropping up all over the house and the living room is a veritable lake of fire. I've spent my entire morning carting him to the tub where he refuses to make so much as a spark and then dealing with the aftermath of his eventual explosions of smoke and hellfire all over the house. I'm about to douse the entire family in flame retardant as a precaution.

The thing is, this isn't the first time we've tried to wean Lil' Smokie from his water bucket. Friends and family have been very helpful with suggestions. "Why not shame Lil' Smokie into breathing fire only in the tub?" they ask smugly (er, I mean helpfully), "Just tell him that breathing fire in the living room is a filthy, filthy habit that only degenerate people-eating dragons do." Lil' Smokie, however, is impervious to shame. It is his best and worst quality. Others have advised, "Give him a sign that he can make to let you know he needs to make fire." Unfortunately it is difficult to sign with dragon claws. Still others have said, "Just let him run around the house breathing fire freely for a few days, he'll get the message." Perhaps these folks would like to pay to replace my curtains...and my chairs...and couch...and television...and children.

As I survey the living room in its various stages of being-the-eff-on-fire, I wonder if Lil' Smokie will ever be ready to let go of that water bucket. I know he's smart enough and I know he's old enough, but maybe he secretly wants to burn the house down. Then he could revel in the ashes alone (oh all alone the glory of it!) and be just who he is without any buckets or tubs or expectations.


P.S. This story is entirely 100% true...except the dragon is Rylan and the lakes of fire are puddles of piss...all over my house. HA! Tricked you.

P.P.S. I know it was painfully obvious the whole time. Thank you for sticking with my laborious overwrought metaphor.

Here's my Lil' Smokie in (in)action:

I may be cute, but I'll smoke a b*tch.


  1. OMG that was hysterical. Lil' Smokie.

  2. Too funny. I can definitely see how this is an obstacle, especially how the typical potty-training by bribing route may not be so effective. Good luck!

  3. Oh Khaleesi, you love your dragons so much. ((HUGS))
    My non-autistic son just barely got potty trained and is about to turn 4. Perhaps you need to wait just a little bit longer? *ducks* I know.... easier said than done.

  4. LMAO. One day, it will just happen. :)

  5. best how to train your dragon story ever