It’s Not All Mary Poppins

More than one Way to Skin that Cat

…which is a horrible expression, BTW…

Problem: Darcy consistently gets pee on his underwear when he uses the toilet. I can’t go upstairs with every child every time they need to pee. I’ve taught him how to manage himself, obviously, but to no avail. What to do?

– Take his underwear off before he goes upstairs!

Problem: three children with runny noses require three sets of tissues. I have only two pockets.

– Put a couple of tissues in each of their hoods. (Hoods are useful for any number of storage needs: extra mittens, teeny bags of fruit, dry socks.)

Problem: Timmy will not eat from his own tray. Although each child has the identical array on their tray, food is much better off Anna’s. Period. I place their trays far enough apart that he can’t reach, and he manages to hitch, hitch, hitch his chair closer to hers! So…

– put his food on one end of Anna’s tray!

Problem: Now Anna’s eating from Timmy’s food that sits on her tray!!

– This is a problem? This is not a problem. This is justice.

October 18, 2006 - Posted by | food, individuality, Mischief, parenting


  1. I love the hood storage idea!

    Comment by Candace Miller-Janidlo | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  2. I love hoods for mittens and hats, too.

    But doesn’t that mean he dribble that extra pee down his legs without the undies to catch it? (Ewww.) Or does it make him more careful?

    Comment by kittenpie | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  3. I wouldn’t so much mind pee on the undies if I could get Tater (almost 3 1/2) potty trained and wearing them!

    I love your clever resolutions!

    Comment by Tater and Tot | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  4. I like the version (despite the double negative) ‘there are more ways to kill a cat than by choking it with cream, but I’m not sure that it isn’t the best way’. Saki (H.H.Munro), circa 1910.

    Comment by Z | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  5. Candace: I’m rather pleased with that little innovation myself. I know others have thought of it, too (witness Kittenpie, below) but I’d never heard of it when I started. And they almost always have hoods in the winter!

    KIttenpie: Strangely, no. The drippage, you see, happened at the end of the peeing. I figured what was happening was that he’d slide off the seat before he was quite done. With no underwear to catch them, the last two drips went on the seat, or, more commonly, on the floor (sigh). Which is why I scrub around the floor of my toilet every.single.morning. 😛

    T&T: Welcome back! Haven’t seen you in a while! Ah, those potty-resistant boys. It’s usually boys. He’ll come round in time – which of course you know. The anticipation gets pretty wearying after a while, though, huh?

    Comment by Mary P. | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  6. Wonderful solutions!

    What have you got for a kid who wants to borrow every toothbrush in my bathroom when he’s supposed to be peeing? Hiding them doesn’t work because then he sits in the floor trying to get into the cabinets.

    Comment by Kelli in the Mirror | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  7. Mary P,
    It is usually boys – but my Tater is a very stubborn little…girl! I’ve always known that my children will prove every “almost always” wrong.

    I’ve always known that they would be just like their mother!

    Comment by Tater and Tot | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  8. Justice indeed! Q is also tempted by food that isn’t his. When I have a plate of something new, I sit down with it first, and ask him if he’d like “to share some of mommy’s dinner.” It doesn’t always work, but just often enough to keep trying!

    Comment by Lady M | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  9. you use that word pragmatic so effectively

    Comment by mo-wo | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  10. Tater&Tot: Agh! Caught me! On more than one front – obviously I haven’t read your blog in too long! (So, you were a late-pottier, too, then?)

    LadyM: Oh, good strategy! I like that!

    mo-wo: Why, thank you. I pride myself on it. It’s what prevents my optimistic tendencies from making me nauseatingly Pollyanna-ish.

    Comment by Mary P. | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  11. love the column, am a childminder/nanny in the uk, I only have two in my care plus my own 2 5&12. I dont know how you do it with so many, in the uk you cant have that many under 4, I’m secretly glad, I admire you! and I so want a pushchair like yours! I have a double and a step, but have the six seater picture as my desktop!

    Comment by Anonymous | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  12. Kelli: Missed yours up there! How about giving him a toothbrush of his own? If he can keep the toothbrush and the pee separate, he can have it on the way TO the bathroom; otherwise, he gets it when he’s done – IF he doesn’t go hunting for the others. (Spur of the moment thought.)

    Anonymous: Here, it varies by province. “Across the river” (which is how Ottawans refer to Quebec), they can have up to seven children in care, I believe. Here in Ontario, it’s five for unlicensed care, but there are no stipulations at all regarding the ages of the five, only that children 5 and over aren’t included in the count.

    My largest stroller only (only!) seats four, so I that six-seater picture you have must be someone else’s. (I can’t imagine the WEIGHT of six toddlers. Phew.)

    Comment by Mary P. | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  13. lol, I know you only have the four seater but found this on the net I think it should come with a small motor to help with the hills!
    in the uk you can only have one under 1, three under 5’s, including your own children. you can have more older children but they are at school!

    Comment by Anonymous | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  14. I love that no nonsense approach.

    They’re just kids. They won’t break.

    Comment by Jonathon | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  15. No, not a late pottier, but definately a stubborn, bull-headed, independent, go-against-the-norm girl!

    Comment by Tater and Tot | October 19, 2006 | Reply

  16. I meant to say before, I LOVED this post!

    Especially the conclusion to the final case — heh heh heh!

    Comment by L. | October 21, 2006 | Reply

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