The words hung in the air, like a speech bubble. A friend had just remarked at how good I was looking, post-baby with 2 children at the park all by myself. “Thank you!” I replied, “I’m having a great day because Miles has been making really great choices.”
And then I looked over to the playground equipment, where Miles had climbed to the highest level, the level
he was too scared I was too afraid to let him approach last summer. He stood at the top, pulling down his pants and undies, and assumed the position to urinate through the safety bars onto the children below.
I need to back up a minute and explain that, while very pregnant, I opened up a jar I’m not sure I’ll be able to close. We have a Pittsburgh Potty in the basement and a bathroom upstairs, but no toilet on our main living floor. When I was largely pregnant, I was too tired/lazy/frustrated to climb stairs each time Miles had to use the bathroom.
I took to opening the back door and having him pee right off the deck. We even made a silly game where we’d try to see how far he could shoot the pee. Could he get it through the hedge onto the neighbor’s deck??
I see it now–how crazy it sounds.
So anyway, now he loves to pee out doors and through bars. He clearly thought the safety bars of the slide were just like the deck rails.
I wish I could have seen myself sprinting through the mulch while wearing Felix in the carrier, bellowing for Miles to pull up his pants and climb down. He slid down the slide on his bare ass while horrified parents looked on. We ran across the park to the bathroom building.
Because I’d had to take both my children into a port-o-potty the week before, Miles is now fascinated with whether bathroom facilities are “filthy” and if he’s allowed to touch anything. As I hovered in that port-o-pot, peeing & holding the carrier straps out of the way, chanting “touch nothing. Touch nothing! TOUCH NOTHING!!!! IT’S ALL FILTHY!” to Miles, I found myself wishing for a catheter bag.
(I have experience with catheter bags, so I know what I’m wishing for and the tradeoffs involved)
Anyway, this particular park had really nice, clean bathrooms. The toilets in the women’s room were low enough to the ground that Miles was able to pee into them while standing up. Sometimes, he has to prop his junk upon the rim of the public toilet because he’s too short to pee otherwise. I can’t really hold him up higher because I’m wearing the baby. He doesn’t like to sit to pee anymore so my purse potty is no use.
Corey suggested I have Miles stand on my feet to give him some more height and to prevent the spread of typhoid from his body parts touching the toilet rim.
The first day I ventured into public with both children, all by myself–the very day we had to use that port-o-potty together–I did a great job feeling calm while frightened. The children cooperated. All was going well until they both wet their pants at the same time.
I floundered on a drawbridge trying to change Felix’s diaper with one hand and help Miles pee in the mulch with the other, since he’d already started peeing anyway. We were all spattered with urine-soaked mulch bits. We all cried.
Compared to that incident from 2 weeks ago, I’d say an interrupted slide sprinkle followed by a successful toilet pee is major, major improvement. So why does it still feel so stressful? Why is it so hard to take small people out in public and factor in bladder emptying?
Additionally, how do parents go to the bathroom in parks without taking multiple children into the portable toilets? I’m open to suggestions that don’t involve leaving Miles unattended or putting Felix down in the dirt outside the port-o-potty.
Tags: potty learning