It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Without a tree to pee on

Earlier this summer, Emma took the tots on an outing. (So mum could have a morning off!! SUCH a lovely girl. I’m sure the ten dollars an hour had nothing to do with her enthusiasm. Well, not so very much.)

They were in a downtown park when Nigel announced an urgent need to pee. Of course. Because that is what toddlers do. That is particularly what little toddler boys will do when confronted with a whole bunch of trees.

I can understand. I cross the threshhold of the kitchen door, I’m hungry. Immediately and without any warning. I’ve learned not to go in there without a focussed purpose — a quick dart in, do the job, and get out — otherwise I find myself, vacantly, automatically, how-did-this-happen-anyway, staring into the fridge. It’s programmed into me, and it gets worse the older I get.

I know some women who are like that with shoe stores. Go into a mall, intending to make a quick trip into the drug store for a few stamps — JUST STAMPS! $5.00, tops! — pass a shoe store … and it’s all over.

Toddler males are like that with trees.

It’s a nice, largish downtown park: groomed grass, shrubbery amongst a rock garden on one side, a fountain surrounded by benches at one end, and, dotted all over the lawn, trees.

“Emma, I need to PEE!”

Of course, Emma tried to suggest that he didn’t need to pee right now, that there would be a perfectly good toilet available when they got to the museum, a whole three minutes away. Maybe five. But no. He had to pee RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE!!

And he is only three. It’s entirely possible. Even if the idea only came onto him through the power of subliminal tree suggestion, maybe the power of subliminal tree suggestion is strong enough to make him pee in another 90 seconds.

Emma balances the possible ramifications of an accident with no dry clothes on hand (what were we thinking??) and the subsequent bus trip home with a soggy, pee-stinking toddler vs the possible humiliation of a toddler taking a quick pee in a public park. Well, okay. So long as he’s discreet.

“Oh, all right. But be quick.”

It’s nearing lunch time. There are office workers with their coffee, some with their illicit cigarettes, there are elderly people sunning themselves on benches, there are joggers, there are a pile of construction workers preparing to eat. There are a lot of people. So of course, a little discretion would go a long way for poor Emma’s adolescent comfort levels.

Nigel races from one tree to another. “I’m going to pee on THIS one!”

Emma suggests that rather than a tree smack in the middle of the wide-open lawn, he choose one closer to the shrubbery at the side. Where the rummies hang out after dark. A little toddler-pee will probably improve the ambience over there…

But there is so much choice! Trees everywhere! How can a boy possibly choose?

“I’m going to pee on THIS one!”

Zip, dart, race.

“I’m going to pee on THIS one!”

Nigel’s hearty declarations have now caught the attention of the construction workers, all decked out in their grubby workin’-mens blue jeans and the yellow and orange vests with the reflective tape. They’re having lunch, coffee mugs and sandwiches set on a couple of benches. They chortle amongst themselves at the little guy, males sharing the pride of their shared manly-bits.

I have no doubt they’re checking out my daughter, too. A male bonding experience Nigel hasn’t yet attained.

Nigel races past them. “I’m going to pee on THIS one!”

“Nigel, will you just pick a stupid tree and get it over with, please?”

The chortles turn to outright laughter. The hottie is feisty, too. Better and better.

Perhaps drawn by all that fellow-manliness, or just the possibility of the attention of amiable adults, Nigel darts over to the guffawing group, and points to the tree nearest their food-bench.

“Okay, Emma. I’m going to pee on THIS one!”

Now the guys are killing themselves. This kid is a scream, he with his mini-manlybits and ready hosepipe. But hey, pee is pee. The worker-dude nearest Nigel looks down at his wee blond head.

“Not there you don’t, son.”

So he ran two metres over
dropped his drawers,
and peed.

In the very middle of the lawn,
on the grass,
not a tree in miles.

Emma thinks one of the guys may have snorted his pastrami-on-rye right out his nose.

September 9, 2008 Posted by | manners, Nigel, our adoring public, outings, potty tales | , , | 7 Comments