Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dinner with a "P" In It

If I've told her once, I've told her a thousand times, "Ella, go potty before you pee your pants." This child uses all methods available for "holding it" so she can avoid interrupting whatever she is doing. She stands with her legs crossed, sits instead of standing, uses the one-hand hold it, the two-hand hold it, walks in circles on her tiptoes, and even jumps up and down. Dave calls this final method a "bad strategy," citing the jumping as a sure way for him to pee his pants.

Early this past spring I spent the better part of an afternoon telling Ella to "go potty," but she refused.   Forgetting about Ella's ignored need to pee, with Andi down for a nap, I hustled the girls out the door for fresh air.  The girls busied themselves with toys. Relieved to shed my role as their "entertainer," I started raking up all the dead trails of grass leftover from the vole who wintered in our yard. After a while, I checked on the girls. They were cleaning the bird feeders with their bare hands. There was "white stuff" all over them.

This was going to require hand washing, so I decided to send them in one at a time to wash up. I didn't want their fight over who got to stand on the little chair and use the sink first acting as Andi's alarm clock.

I went back to my raking and soon Sophia joined me in the yard with a ball, kicking it around. Always the caretaker, she leaves to check on Ella's hand-washing progress. When she returns from her motherly duty, she has news that Ella "pee'd her pants. Can you go help her?"

Irritated, I poke my head inside and tell Ella that she can find a new pair of pants in her drawer, but if there are not any clean, she'll "have to stay inside - and no TV."

A half-hour passes.  Sophia and I are putting dead leaves into piles and look up to see Ella strolling over to us in the yard. "Hi," she says to us non-chalantly.  "Hi," I say back eyeing her coat, shirt, and flip-flops.

I dart a look at Sophia's expression of the sight we are taking in. She looks a bit shocked. "Butts are private mommy," she says without taking her eyes off Ella. Ella, who could not find any pants, is unphased by the news that we don't walk around the front yard without pants on. I send her back in and eventually she finds clothes to wear.

Time to prep dinner, we all head in and I wash my hands and pick up my orange kitchen towel to dry off.  The chair, left in front of the sink for the hand-washing necessitated by touching bird-poop is put away by Sophia.  I throw my kitchen towel over my shoulder, using it for quick hand wipes as I whip dinner together. As I plate the food, Ella seems to remember something that she is proud to share,

"Oh mom! The chair isn't wet anymore. I wiped the pee up with your kitchen towel."

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