For the most part I love raising kids. I enjoy watching them grow into the outstanding young humans they are quickly becoming. I find joy in their childish exploits and satisfaction when they conquer the milestones we as parents all anticipate to see.
There are however those certain child rearing tasks in which I cannot wait to bring to fruition.
For those of you who have been reading my tales from the beginning, you well know the trials I have had with the potty training endeavor. In past moments of frustration, I have wondered if I am the only parent on earth who struggles as much as I do with teaching their children to use the toilet.
Who would have thought that teaching a human being to relieve themselves in a sanitary and socially acceptable manner would be so difficult!
But in the last month, I have had the sheer joy of living with children who are diaper and accident free. I have been thrilled to be able to send them off to play-dates, or take them to the grocery store without the dangling fear of them soiling themselves when I am not looking. It is a truly beautiful thing indeed.
So there I am on an outing with the kids, both of them riding their shiny new bikes and me trailing them as they cycle. We are meandering down a fairly busy path when I realize that Lars has stopped and stepped of his bicycle. Before I can comprehend what the boy is doing there is a surging stream of urine exiting my child, falling with a weighty thud on the tarmac beneath him.
“Bah! What are you doing Lars?” I am stunned by his exposure as there are other patrons on the path that are now staring at us with what I can only describe as uncomfortable expressions of judgement.
“What does it look like Mom? I’m taking a pee.” He retorts back loud enough to give the onlookers a chuckle.
“You can’t just pee anywhere you like Lars, there are other people walking on this path.” I try to keep my voice as even as possible as I do not want to chastise him for an act I’ve never explained was inappropriate.
He hears my reasoning and moves a few inches to the left to remove that last of his pee stream to the grass instead of the pavement. He then shakes off and looks up to me and says in the coolest of voices, “I don’t know that the big deal is Mom, Papa (Grandpa) and Uncle Dustin always pee wherever they like when we are out on the farm.” He pauses for a moment then adds, “And so do I.”
Ah my parents farm- my son’s favorite place in the entire world. Well it makes sense I think, but realize I must explain the difference between the rules of the farm and the rules of town.
“Lars when we are at the farm it is fine to pee outside, but here in town we must use toilets to pee in. There are a lot more people out walking and we can’t just…” I search for the right words, but cannot find them, so say between a suppressed smile, “whip it out and pee wherever we want.”
The child looks perplexed as he pulls his pants up and contemplates the information I have just provided. He doesn’t argue and I take that as a good sign.
In the end we agree that he can pee in the backyard as long as it is not on my flower beds because when he is playing, making the trek all the way inside to use the bathroom is just way more than he should have to bear. I’m okay with it though, as long as he is not peeing in public for all to see, I think I can make a few exceptions.
So once again I have prevailed through another awkward moment in the potty training endeavor- at the time what I had hoped would be our last.
Today as Sophie, Lars and I played at the park I hear that distinct sound of stream hitting pavement. I look to my left where Lars is fully clothed and swinging happily on a tire tube. I look to my right and see Sophie squatted neatly on the sidewalk relieving herself.
And I think, “Well, here we go again…”