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


  1. I had something like this happen once when I was babysitting two little girls who were 4 and 6. This was the first time I’d looked after them, so the mother suggested that I take them into the backyard to play while she got ready to go. This would let them get used to me, and would allow her to prepare without their anxiety building. No problem, right? Wrong!

    The youngest one starts telling me about how Mommy always lets them pee in the backyard. Mommy even lets them pee on the flowers. I calmly explain the her that Mommy might let her, but that I would rather she went in the washroom. She scowls at me and starts to pull her shorts down regardless, so I deftly scoop her up, run her into the washroom, and plunk her on the toilet. She won’t pee unless I leave, fine. I wait until I hear the toilet flush, and then back out we go.

    Seconds later she is behind the bushes, pulling her shorts down! I pick her up again and repeat the process. Again the toilet flush, and again, once outside, she’s trying to go in the flowers. That’s it, I’ve had it. We all go inside. After all, if she’s inside surely this will stop, right? Wrong!! She kept trying to sneak away into the backyard to pee!

    Comment by Haley | July 19, 2005 | Reply

  2. Gordian knot – hilarious! Poor little guy. He must not want to have to run upstairs. Hope that Thursday is exactly as you anticipate.

    haley, I don’t think I could ever let my girl pee outside. I think I’d be washing way more clothes than Mary.

    Comment by ieatcrayonz | July 19, 2005 | Reply

  3. Ugh! I am going through the joys of potty training right now. It is, BY FAR, the most difficult thing I have had to do thus far!

    Baby Girl is more than happy to let everything swim around in her rubber pants.UGH!!!!!

    Comment by Misfit Hausfrau | July 19, 2005 | Reply

  4. Haley: the thing that gets me about this story is the deliberate deception of the fake flush. Wow. I see a future in fraud for this young lady.

    Crayonz: a little girl can pee outside without a mess IF she sits so that her feet are a little higher than her bottom, like on a tree root or something. A tip from one who knows.

    Hausfrau: How old is she? Do you see this as a power struggle, or simply oblivion?

    Here are some potty training stories I’ve posted you might enjoy:

    support group

    Potty Tales


    Comment by Mary P. | July 19, 2005 | Reply

  5. I wonder if he’s trying to impress the workmen (if there still there) 🙂

    Comment by Si | July 20, 2005 | Reply

  6. (Laughing) Could be! They’re still here, and I’ve been keeping an eye on them: there are one or two most worth watching. 🙂 I have yet to see one of them let fly in the street, though.

    Comment by Mary P. | July 20, 2005 | Reply

  7. Sounds like territory marking to me ;o)

    Comment by Aginoth | July 20, 2005 | Reply

  8. Now THAT’S the best explanation thus far! I love it.

    Comment by Mary P. | July 20, 2005 | Reply

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