Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I Pee, You Pee, We All Pee Without Privacy

I'm fighting over a bucket of pee.

That's not some clever middle-management metaphor. It's also not an obscure variation on Dorothy Parker's famous witticism about ducking for apples (listed as an event on a Halloween party invitation she received): "change one letter and it's the story of my life."

No, this is an actual bucket of pee.

"NO NO NO! LET ME DO THAT!" Eli 3.1, in a youthful tribute to the Hunt Brothers, is trying to corner the world's urine market. Whenever he uses his potty seat, he absolutely demands to empty the receptacle himself.

'Receptacle' is a fancy word for 'urine bucket.'

Of course, watching a three-year old carry an open container with liquid is like watching a drunk trying to play the Tip-It game. The container sways back and forth, liquid gold sloshing dangerously near the sides, but his iron grip cannot be broken.

This is all part of the Death of Urinary Privacy Act, where all privacy in regards to elimination is eliminated. As a part of potty training, your business becomes everyone's business, and much to my dismay, vice versa. After a few weeks, you begin peeing like an international jewel thief--in great haste, and on constant lookout for the guards.

Eli 3.1 has also developed his own fantasy version of urinary espionage. When the need strikes, he will shout "I got to potty!" and go racing for the nearest toilet. He will invariably follow this statement with another, which is "Mommy! You come hide behind the shower curtain!"

And, in my favorite part of the story, she usually does.

From Eli 3.1's perspective, it all makes perfect sense. He's still not totally comfortable using the toilet, so he likes to have Gloria nearby in case he needs a little help. He also wants privacy, though, so his Occam's Potty Training Razor is to have Gloria there, but out of sight.

Before you become a parent, you may imagine many things--a photographic expedition to see mountain gorillas, perhaps, or swimming across the English Channel. Perhaps you even envision a career as a South American diplomat. However, one thing I promise that you will not imagine is hiding behind a shower curtain while your child pees.

Parenthood. It's all about the possibilities.

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