It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Oh me too pee too!

Another in the “Peeve Me” series, a series in which Mary allows herself the indulgance of a rant for the sheer pleasure of venting. (Not, note you, for the seeking of advice. Advice, when proferred to someone who’s destressing through the joy of a pressure-easing rant, is sheerest party-pooping.)

One of the tots is a “me-too-er”. Doesn’t matter what’s s/he’s involved with, no matter how deeply they’re involved in it, as soon as this one’s attention is caught by another child’s action (movement, toy, game, play, thought, burp, hiccup, sneeze) THAT’S what they want to be doing, having, experiencing.

You know the type.

Being the calm, collected, loving, warm professional that I am, this does not get under my skin. Not the teensiest little bit. Because I love all the children, all the time. Every bit as much as I love my own children — maybe even MORE, because hey, no one’s ever paid me to look after my own — and we all know that all mothers love every SINGLE thing no matter how pointless and annoying that their beloved offspring do. They don’t get angry, they are only ‘disappointed’. Stimulating their childrens’ tiny minds is so exciting, they never feel a hint of boredom. They don’t find their child’s demands selfish, they take delight in his/her spirit. Motherhood is one long, uninterrupted saga of bliss and fulfillment.

(You didn’t get that memo? Where have you BEEN the last 15 years?)

It is the rare toddler who doesn’t have this magpie tendency (“Oooo! Something shiny! Me, too!”) to some degree, but this one has it to an extreme. This one cannot hold to an activity when something else happens. And around here, “something else” is always happening.

“I want to colour.”
“Oh, me too!”

“Can I have a ball now?”
“Can I have a ball, too?”

“You can be the baby, and I’ll be the mommy.”
“I’LL be the mommy, too!”

Some days Magpie has to get downright dizzy, what with all the back-and-forth-ing. Colouring only until someone walks by with a teddy bear. Teddy bear dropped when another child vrooms a small car across the floor. Vrooming a car until someone starts dancing. Dancing until someone picks up a crayon to colour. On and on it goes. Magpie rarely initiates, primarily imitates, and only until the next thing catches the glittering, ever-ranging eye. When all three “big kids” are playing together, Magpie can stay with the play for as long as any of them, but when there is more than one activity going?

“Oh, me too!”

Mostly, this is just something I note and respond to, no biggie. Depending on certain variables, sometimes I encourage extended focus on the first activity, other times I let M. flit.

Mostly, the other children are happy to have another playmate, and unoffended when the playmate zips off for the next thing. But sometimes the activity that catches Magpie’s attention is a quiet, one-child-only, savour-the-feeling activity. And sometimes, and here’s where the peeved in Mary rises, sometimes it’s an urgent activity that cannot be shared.

“I have to pee!”
“Oh, me too! I have to pee, too!”

And Magpie zips to the head of the line, drops drawers, and settles in. The original child does a desperate pee-dance in front, while Magpie sits. Magpie peers between thighs, puzzled by the lack of piddle, waits for the pee that does not happen. Which does not happen because Magpie doesn’t have to go. It does not happen because Magpie is responding to an urge another child is feeling!

This? This drives me BATSHIT crazy.

Phew. I feel better now. How about you? Any Me-too Magpies in your life?

November 26, 2008 - Posted by | Peeve me, potty tales | , , , ,


  1. Tattling. Had a little girl in my program who went to the extreme of getting up from the lunch table to tell me some other child had, of course, gotten up from the table. I had this conversation with her about 10 times a day. Are you hurt?(no) Is anyone else hurt? (no) Are you bleeding? (no) Is anyone else bleeding? (no) Them go back to whatever you were doing!

    Comment by jwg | November 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. Nope – no M’s in my life right now, but thanks for the giggle.

    Comment by Cindy C | November 26, 2008 | Reply

  3. Well, these days if my kids pee within earshot, I DO have to pee, and immediately too!

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | November 26, 2008 | Reply

  4. oh yes, and then she cries pitifully, driving me crazy and its 24 hours a day while sh’es staying with me…

    Comment by jenny | November 26, 2008 | Reply

  5. Oh man. YES! And the worst instance was when M. sat on the toilet so long that the original child peed her pants while waiting, and then was CHASTISED by Magpie about how wrong and babyish that was. All the while she’s hogging the toilet and NOT NEEDING TO GO.
    Batshit crazy indeed!

    Comment by kelli | November 26, 2008 | Reply

  6. My SIL was known for this as a child. In fact, the family delights in telling the story of when her brother had diahrea, and SIL sobbed and cried because she was told she could NOT have some, too.

    Comment by Tammy | November 26, 2008 | Reply

  7. Hi there, Doll! Found your blog off of Annie’s Alphabet…I am a private nanny. I work in three different families with a total of five kids ages 13mo- 3 yrs. I read this post and just about cried laughing so hard. I do have a Magpie…He has a twin sister and must have, do, say…anything and everything that she has does, or says. THe problem, is that once he shows any interest in what she has, she moves on to a different toy. But, after a few times around the room with him following her from toy to toy- she loses it and is screaming at him. By the 1800th time there is a fight over a toy, or and activity. I want to shoot myself…:-) VERY FUNNY blog!

    Comment by Coley Moley!! | November 29, 2008 | Reply

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