It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Letting Fly

I greeted the children on the porch this morning. At quarter to eight, it was cooler outside than in, with a bit of a breeze. I sipped my tea and read. By quarter past nine, they’ve all arrived, and are playing on and about the porch. Two with a few toy cars and trucks, Liam going mad with the broom, and a few playing with chalk on the sidewalk. Emma and I chat.

I look up, and Darcy has dropped his shorts – only to a few inches under his groin, where shorts and underwear have formed a Gordian knot on his sweaty thighs – and is piddling on the sidewalk. And, because his clothing are not sufficiently lowered, all over his shorts and navy blue briefs.

Now, the children know the drill by now. They may go outdoors, with my permission and supervision. They may not let fly at will. The rationale behind why one spot is acceptable and another is not is too variable and complex for them just yet, so we keep it simple: you must ask first. It suffices nicely.

I frog-march the boy in, scolding a bit: “Darcy. You didn’t ask! If you need to go pee, then you have to tell me!” His wet clothes go in the wash, as I just happen to be doing a load, he is sent to the toilet (though I’m quite aware there’s nothing left, there is a point to be made) and he wears a spare pair of briefs while he waits for his clothes to dry. On a day like this, they’ll take less than an hour on the line.

Later on we all play in the nicely shaded back yard. Darcy is back in his freshly-laundered clothes. All is going without incident, until – Again?!? What is this boy thinking?? Thankfully, this time I’m more alert, and I catch him in the act of lowering his shorts. Why is he not alerting me?

He freezes when he sees me closing on him. Upstairs we go again, him getting the mini-lecture as we go. “You have to tell me when you need to go!” This time he pees quite effectively in the toilet, and his clothing stays dry.

Half hour later, I call them for lunch, and catch Darcy ONCE AGAIN dropping his drawers! Argh! What gives?

I have no idea. It’s not a bladder infection, because he can stop the stream, and he can hold it in when told, and he’s not going more frequently than normal. So then…?

No idea. No moral or punch line, either, just a window into my day. Thursday, when he’s back, he’ll probably display impeccable toilet manners, and today will just be a blip. Some days are like that.

July 19, 2005 Posted by | Darcy, Developmental stuff, individuality, potty tales | 8 Comments

Anything But That!!

Liam is a bit weird about food. He didn’t used to be: after the standard toddler tussle about the issue, it ceased to be an issue. However, in the intervening years since he’s been in my full-time care, he’s developed some anxiety about the subject. First thing through the door in the morning, he asks what we’re having for lunch. His eyes are wide and intent, his demeanor worried. I am a seat-of-the-pants woman when it comes to meal prep. At 8:30 in the morning, I generally have no idea what’s for lunch. I see his anxiety, though, so I’m ultra casual about it, “Liam, it’s 8:30. I have no idea. But don’t worry, you’ll like it.”

Generally he does. As far as I can make out, he likes most things, and his dislikes are few and pretty standard. If he doesn’t like something on his plate he eats it with no fuss, except for the doleful expression on his face. That’s how he is with me. One wonders what has occurred in the intervening three years.


The other day, Liam and Emma were playing The Sims on my computer. Emma had, at Liam’s instruction, created a family comprised of Liam, Emma, and Liam’s dad. Partway into the game, he had another thought.

“Emma! Let’s make Beryl! We need a Beryl in our family!” (Beryl is dad’s live-in girlfriend.)

“I’m sorry, Liam, but it’s too late in the game to add another person into the family. The game won’t let us do that now.”

Liam is disappointed. He is not deterred, though, and seeing another character walking down the street, he points her out.

“What about her?”

“Hey, what a great idea! That’s Mary, Liam! She lives over there,” Emma explains, indicating another house, where Emma has created a model of her own family, “but we can invite her to visit, and if we’re real nice to her, in a while we can ask her to move in with us. Do you want to do that?”

Liam’s little face radiates delight. “Yeah!!!”

Split-second pause.

Liam’s little face radiates horror. “No, no, don’t do that!”

Emma is naturally curious about this schizophrenic moment.

“Why not, Liam?”

“She’ll make us eat ONIONS!”

July 19, 2005 Posted by | food, Liam, my kids, the things they say! | 5 Comments