by Rebekah Schneiter
Oregon author of Just Moms
Little boy pee, anyone who is the mother of boys is familiar with this conundrum. It starts very young, from the very beginning of their existence. A mother must always be on guard during diaper changes, never leaving a naked son unattended. Little boy pee takes on new significance once the sons are potty trained. I don’t know how many times I have sat on a wet toilet seat; you’d think I’d learn.
I was complaining to a small group of friends and several confessed that that is why they require their sons to sit and never stand in the bathroom. This feels mean, like I’m stripping them of their masculinity. I keep thinking they’ll grow out of these splatter tendencies, but the frequency is increasing now that I have three boys using the potty.
Actually, I almost don’t mind anymore. I almost feel like it is my issue; I’m the one that needs to learn. I need to learn to look and wipe and then sit.
My friend Jen is the complete opposite of me in that she has three little blonde-haired girls, ages three, five, and seven. Her bathroom issues are quite different. She has the joy of drawers spilling over with hair ribbons. She has the joy of three little girls crowding around one bathroom mirror and three little girls frustrated that each other is taking their pretty little time in the facility. Her husband finds this quite annoying and confessed that he often uses the backyard…I bet he’s glad his mother never made him sit down to pee; standing can come in very handy.
Jen has also seemed to fair better in potty training endeavors, oh she equally hates it as much as me, but it just appears to come earlier and faster for her girls. Summertime does help and speeds along our boy potty training adventures. There is nothing like the great outdoors to encourage a little son that it is time for big boy underpants. My three are always excited when the weather warms and there are no limits to their bathroom choices: trees, bushes, gardens, rocks, forts, rivers, public parks…
The other day I was talking to a mother in the school parking lot and her boy pulled down his pants and squirted his mark on the school steps. She was horrified. I was not. I have been in that same predicament many times before. You scold. You shield. You chastise, but you always let the boy finish his business because you are secretly glad he didn’t have an accident and you didn’t have to stop your conversation to walk and find a proper bathroom. Boys can be very efficient.
In fact this skill set is something I am personally jealous of, at times. I don’t know how many times I’ve been hiking or camping and have wished I could stand and hide behind a Redwood tree or coastal rock wonder. We went camping with Jen’s family of three girls. I was not jealous of Jen, at all. She and her girls had to inspect and use each pit toilet and public rest stop. And yes, they sat in each one. Nasty! I was then very grateful that my sons could partake in that manly ritual of finding the perfect tree or precipice with Daddy while I went into the facility, solo. (I’m adding this one to my mental list of reasons I love being the mom of only boys. I love solo bathroom time.) I love not having to share my bathroom drawers with overflowing, pastel ribbons. I love that no one fights over the mirror space. I love that my boys can wear their hair so short that they don’t even need to own a comb. Sitting on the occasional little boy pee is a small price to pay for this ease that I get to experience and know. I think I’ll stop complaining now. I have it pretty good.
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