It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The circumstantial evidence was powerful

We’ve been trying Timmy with the potty again. Tried for a while earlier, decided it wasn’t taking … well, in honesty, I got tired of wiping up puddles. Puddles because, for all his eager willingness, it wasn’t taking.

And now, it’s time, I think. Because, goodness, has it been SIX MONTHS already? My, how time flies.

I know he’s ready, because if he’s bare from bellybutton down, he stays dry. 100%. Okay, with no clothes there he can’t very well get wet, so Timmy stays dry, and even better, my hardwood stays dry! No puddles. No idea about the solids yet; he tends to have those at home. But as far as the puddles? The boy knows what’s going on.

As long as he is bare. Which is a problem.

It is a problem in public, obviously. I won’t be taking him to the park, on the bus, to a museum, with his little butt butt-naked.

It’s a problem at home, though, too, because Timmy will NOT leave the boys alone. Yes, he’s two. All two-year-old boys play with themselves when it’s available. I’ve seen enough two-year-old boys to have full awareness of the joy they take in that thing.

But no one loves it like Timmy loves it. As long as there’s no diaper, his entire day is one long love-fest. It’s rolled and stretched and folded and twisted (doesn’t that hurt??) All.Day.Long.

There is no distracting him. It’s disconcerting, it’s distracting, and, given that the only time he lets go of the damned thing is to touch another child’s face or play with (communal) toys, it borders on downright disgusting.

I am tempted to bark at him, as an aunt once did to a now-grown cousin, “If you don’t stop playing with that thing, it’ll Fall.Right.OFF!”

Oh, I am tempted. But I won’t. Even though, last I heard, the cousin was perfect normal. Entirely unscarred … except, perhaps, by repeated retellings of that oh-so-funny family tale.

So what I tried today was to take the diaper off, and leave him in his shorts. In his shorts with solemn warning. “You have nothing on under there. If you pee, you will be VERY wet. You need to pee in the potty, just like you did yesterday.”

He nods. “Okay.”

Yeah. Well, we’ll see.

“And Timmy? Stay off the couch. Today, you will play on the floor. No couch, okay?”


And in fact, he does just fine! One pee, two pees. The boy seems to be getting it. Three pees. Yes!

And then, “Mary, I’m all wet.”

And he is. He’s soaked. How could a small boy possibly produce so much pee? A wide stripe down the front, a puddle on the floor — and wet footprints all over the living room floor. Ugh. And a wet spot on the COUCH. Double ugh. With some exasperation I instruct the boy to remove the wet shorts and go sit on the potty.

Closing the stable door after the horse has gone, I know, but we’re trying to create a connection. Pee = potty; potty = pee. I thought we had made it pretty successfully, all morning, but just LOOK at this floor.

The size of this puddle is astounding. I swab diligently with one handful of paper towels after another. Which causes eco-friendly me, with her neat basket of re-usable cloths (aka rags) under the kitchen sink, some pangs of conscience, but this is a LOT of pee. A LOT. It’s not just this one puddle, either, enormous as it is … good heavens, there’s another!

The sound of copious peeing — in the potty — reaches my ears even as I reach for another paper towel and wipe up another puddle.

Waaaiiiit a minute.

Soaking pants. Wet footprints all over the living room. Enormous puddle in living room, a second, smaller one beside it … I scan the house… ANOTHER one in the hall…

And the boy is peeing in the potty?

I take a careful sniff of the saturated towels in my hand. Nothing.

The trail of droplets leads me to the dining room, where my husband’s water bottle lies on its side on the floor. My husband’s 500 mL bottle. His empty bottle.

Who knew two cups of water could go so very far?

And Timmy? Guess I owe the boy an apology …

July 23, 2008 - Posted by | potty tales, Timmy | , ,


  1. Haha, too funny. Yay for Timmy! Took us almost a year to get peeing accidents under control. As for the boys, I told my 3-year old to play with his boys all he likes in his room, in private, because “no one has to see that, thanks. It’s not dignified.” (Thank you, Thomas the Tank Engine.)

    “Dignified!” I love it. Because everyone knows that three-year-olds are just soooo dignified. Timmy LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine. I shall employ this forthwith. Thank you!

    Comment by Kat | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  2. I knew this was coming. Only becasue I was there just last week. It’s so easy to jump to that conclusion when you’re halfway expecting it.

    Comment by ktjrdn | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  3. ROFLOL! Wahoo, Timmy!

    I had a similar experience with my guy last summer after he turned 2. He was only dry when he was bare-bum and then I had to endure the endless twiddling. Then one day, he went backwards. I got tired of cleaning up puddles, so I asked in exasperation, “Do you want to wear a diaper today?” “Yeah!” he said. So I put a diaper on him and explained that only babies wear diapers. He would have to be a baby. I put away all his toys and books and puzzles. He had to take 2 naps. When he asked to do something, I would say, “Nope, babies are too little for that. Maybe tomorrow if you’re a big boy.” The whole day was TORTURE for me, but the next day he wore underpants and never looked back. We didn’t even have accidents after that. I still marvel at how wonderful it is to have a pottytrained kid…

    Comment by rosie_kate | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  4. My friend who teaches kindergarten uses the line, “Is it falling off?” No, of course. So. “then you don’t need to hang onto it.” For pumpkinpie, I’ve always just stressed that that is a private thing – so one day she told me she was going to go into the bathroom because she was going to put her finger in her ‘bum’ (as she insists on calling it for all the proper naming I’ve used – gah!). Okay, then, kid…

    I can only hope this next one is as easy with pottying as Pumpkinpie, though, who made up her mind and then told us about it. The accidents must be very frustrating after a while!

    Comment by kittenpie | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  5. We just had an accident here today, after 7 dry months. And when I say “we” I mean Boy Terror. And “accident” means he just got too lazy, and didn’t realize that peeing one’s pants makes one very uncomfortable.

    Comment by Tammy | July 24, 2008 | Reply

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