If that has scared you off, I apologize and have a great day.
Back in my days of potty training, I wrote a piece at my blog with this title complaining about the state of living with boys. I had thrown away the Diaper Dekor and wept with joy. Finally, the stink of diapers would no longer scent my children’s rooms. My bathroom would be relatively clean. I would no longer have to carry a diaper bag or changes of clothes. I was ready to launch into the next stage with my children.
Then I realized little had changed.
Yep, the diapers were gone. And replaced by a bedwetting five year old who caused more laundry pile ups than humanly possible. Blankets, bedsheets, and water resistant mats were thrown into the basket each morning. A morning bath became a new ritual to remove the scent of urine, and forced me to get out of bed early. He lounged in bubbles while I ran around like a maniac making sure he had enough time to catch the bus. I tried limiting fluids, making him go before bed, and even using a pee pee beeper. Oh yeah. A mommy friend gave me hers and told me it helped her son stop wetting the bed. It’s this great device that you hook up one side to his underwear and clip the other side onto his shirt. When he wets, the sensor goes off with a loud beeping to wake him up.
Now, the whole idea of this beeper is to wake the kid up BEFORE he pees, so he can get to the bathroom in time. My son, of course, is lazy. The beeper woke him up – hell – it woke up the whole household and all of the neighbors because it sounds like a fire alarm. But MY SON finished emptying his whole bladder through the loud beeping, then got up to shuffle into my bedroom and say “Mommy, I peed.” I left my still snoring husband (how do men sleep through pee pee alarms and viruses and all night crying for God’s sakes?) where I had to wipe him down with baby wipes and change all of his clothes and tuck him back into bed. The pee pee beeper is a great concept, but unfortunately, not for the lazy at heart. The doctor said he’d outgrow this stage and nothing was wrong.
Then there’s the bathroom. I am puzzled by women’s complaints of the toilet seat left up. I pray all the time for that problem, because then all I would need to do is flick the lid down and sit. Not in my house. My children pee with the seat down. Why? Because they are too lazy to lift the lid. So, if I even think of just sitting myself down on my toilet seat without looking, I am usually drenched. I’ve tried improving their aim with Cheerios and contests, but it never works.
One day, I discovered my little one at the toilet, door wide open, swaying his body back and forth while he sprayed the lid, the floor, and the wall. Of course, I completely lost it and yelled at him all the things I thought I’d never say to my children like, “Mommy is not your maid!” and “You know better than that!”
My son looked at me with wide blue eyes. “But mommy, you said if I hold my pee pee, I have to wash my hands.”
I peered suspiciously at him. “Yeah?”
He beamed. “I figured out a way I never have to wash my hands again! If I don’t hold it, my hands are not dirty. See!”
Yes. I see. My son is lazy and thought of a sneaky way to get out of one essential step of going to the bathroom. I had threatened him with disease and needles if he didn’t wash his hands after holding his penis. (Yes. Bad Mommy!) The kid had completely turned it around on me, and now I had to backtrack and come up with another lie.
The whole thing was exhausting.
As for the poop, well, I discovered boys like to go in public restrooms and do number 2. All public restrooms. Parks, McDonalds, rest stops, Target, and supermarkets. When you have two of them, they both like to go. So, I find myself frantically in the big stall, lining the toilets with paper, and chanting, “Don’t touch anything, don’t touch anything” I am completely amazed at their ability to go several times a day in as many places as possible. My son also times himself to coincide with the bus coming to pick him up, so most mornings I’m in a cold sweat to see if we will make it on time.
Finally, let’s talk about penises. I have three in my household – my two sons and my husband. Boys love to touch them. I don’t know why – I may never know, but every night in my house you can find my husband with his hand down his boxers and the remote in the other. My sons will be in their matching Cars chairs, one hand resting on their crotch, while the other holds a sippy cup. All staring at the television.
The only difference I detect in the older versus the younger is the ability to keep this habit away from the public. My husband has controlled his urge to touch himself when we are outside. My sons have not learned this yet. So, you will see me in every public arena frantically whispering the question “Do you have to go to the potty?” at least a dozen times before my mantra changes to “Take your hand off your pee pee!”
The other day I watched my older son on the soccer field. With mounting horror, he stood by the goal out on the field and began pulling up his uniform shorts so high his Sponge Bob underwear flashed the world. He then adjusted himself to a better position. A few laughs broke around us, and I bowed my head in sheer embarrassment. I caught his gaze across the field, pointed to his crotch, and shook my head frantically.
He beamed and waved.
If you have boys and a story to share, drop me a comment. I need some support. If you have girls, let me know the challenges you faced during your potty training years and beyond. Click the number at the top of the post and leave me a comment!