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Ready, aim…!

January 19, 2007

Call me naive.
I had no idea, none whatsoever, that little girls wanted to watch themselves pee.
(Let me interrupt for a second here. This is the third time I’ve edited this post since I put it up 48 hours ago. Don’t get the impression that I’m obsessed with peeing. I just want to try to get the tone right. This is supposed to be funny, a poke at my naivete and utter befuddlement of some of the less obvious details of parenting.)
Why would I? I didn’t have little sisters. I never babysat anybody, boys or girls, much less tried to potty train a kid.
Of all the baby-beware stories I heard leading up to he kid’s delivery the only pee mishaps were with baby boys. You know, wear a raincoat when you change a little boy’s diaper, etc., etc. In a way this makes sence, I mean, because it’s all out in front and everything. Nobody ever said anything about girls’ peeing.
Come to think of it, most of these stories are told by women. Maybe moms are as entrigued by their sons’ urinary escapades as dads are by their daughters? I don’t know. Maybe I’m digging myself a hole here. Maybe men are just not as involved, or they’d rather not discuss these things.
Regardless, it’s safe to say I’m learning a whole helluva lot these days.
The other night I put Myowndaughter on her toilet seat as part of the pre-bath ritual. I stepped beyond her to turn on the bathwater and stepped back into a stream of pee! What the????!!!
I figure it’s just a little slip. I clean her up, clean up the floor and the toilet seat and proceed with the bath.
Then it happens again, a few nights later.
Well, she just must not be getting the hang of it. I mean, she’s been using the toilet for many months now — not all the time, but regularly. I remember the first few times, and the puzzled expression on her face. ‘Ummm, what’s going on? Oh. Ohhhhh. That’s how I get wet. I get this little feeling inside, and it comes out … there? Hmmm.’
I think she has the hang of it now, but she’s also well into the age of exploration.
Finally, the third time this happens, I turn around in time to see Myowndaughter peeing over the rim of her training seat, and she’s looking down, watching it all unfold. Now, I’m sure she’s just trying to figure out how all these body functions transpire, where they come from and all that. But for a second, it looked like she was taking aim. Aim, for crying out loud. As if she’s trying to hit the wall! And she seems so serious.
I, of course, freak out and reach for the toilet paper, but the entire roll has been de-rolled, wadded up and stuffed on top of the toilet paper holder. This, of course, is funny to her. So while I’m trying to find the end of this jumblation of paper she’s having a great time.
Again, I thought only boys did this kind of stuff! I don’t know why. We haven’t cornered the market on ureters. Or pee, for that matter. Or even curiousity.
Well, if there’s a theme for my form of parenting it’s that I provide boudaries to protect her safety and to teach her a healthy form of respect for others. As long as she and others are safe the doors to exploration and adventure are pretty much wide open. I don’t want to damper her enthusiasm just because something annoys or inconveniences me.
I admit, this whole episode has freaked me out a little bit. Just because I never saw it coming.
But I’m over it now.
I’ll get more toilet paper.

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