If you are a parent, you can hopefully relate to the letter below. You may have even had similar experiences and are nodding your head. You may have little ones still in diapers and long for the days when you can have these conversations. They will come. I promise you, they will come.
If you aren’t a parent, you’ll very likely judge me for posting a letter to my illiterate four-year-old son (complete with a photo of him on the toilet) and think me a crass mother that over-shares. Yes, that may be true, but we have all hopefully been potty trained and experienced the blurred lines of appropriateness in the bathroom with those that raised us and probably helped us learn how to wipe or own bottoms.
Dearest Little Man,
I know you are only four and can’t read, but this letter is for you. I know you think that you can read because you can recite your favorite books back to us verbatim, but that’s not really reading (as your older sister keeps pointing out). I’m pretty sure that my words here will just make you laugh. But I digress.
We need to talk about the bathroom for a bit.
For some reason you love the bathroom.
Really love the bathroom.
It is a very social and happy place for you. You particularly love to talk to me while you’re in the bathroom, whether it’s my turn or yours. It is quite obviously one of your favorite rooms and you have told me as much.
First, let’s chat about when it is my turn to be in the bathroom.
Unlike you and your sister, I’m not a real fan of having someone to sit and talk to me while I’m using the bathroom. Please stop knocking. Sitting outside and waiting on me isn’t really necessary either, and it kinda creeps me out when I open the door to find you sitting there. I promise I will come out at some point and when I am finished I will get you a snack. And while I appreciate your reminder that I need to wash my hands, I don’t need for you to say it every single time we are able to spend these precious moments together.
Now let’s talk about when it is your turn to be in the bathroom.
Sometimes you are stealthy about it and we never really know you are there until we hear the toilet flush. Those are pretty impressive moments and we are so proud of how responsible you are becoming. But most of the time everyone in the house knows where you are headed because we hear your loud announcement as you run to the bathroom, “I’VE GOTTA GO POTTY!!!”. And then we all have the pleasure of hearing your very descriptive play-by-play. And then your not-so-subtle announcement for help by yelling “I’M DOOONNNEEE!!!”.
One thing is certain, whether it is me or your daddy who has the task of helping you get “all cleaned up”, you will be describing your poop to us. In vivid, imaginative, technicolor detail. This really isn’t necessary. I’m not sure where you learned this behavior – nobody else in the house does this. We don’t need to know that you “made a little pile” or hear how “big that one is” or hear what it looks like. Until you are able to do your own “paperwork”, I assure you, we get to see it all.
I also see the way you beam with pride when you stop up the toilet (or “plunge it up” as you like to say). This isn’t really something to be proud of and shouldn’t be something that you boast about to others. Especially in public.
I’m grateful that you are learning that certain words should only be said in the bathroom and I am looking forward to the day when you only say them in our bathroom and not in any bathroom.
In closing, I would like to compliment you on how thorough you are in washing your hands. I also want to let you know that if your shirt gets wet, it will dry and doesn’t require a full wardrobe change.
With all of my love,
Full disclosure: This post may seem to be “over-sharing”, but I assure you that it isn’t. I left out MANY gross details that I feel need to be confined to our home. This post was inspired by a conversation, or rather a running dialogue, that my son had with me while he was in the bathroom yesterday and this prompted me to take the photo above. Then he wanted me to take a photo of what he had just done in the potty, which I refused to do. See, I do have limits.
Is this just a boy thing?? My daughter didn’t do this.
What has been your experience?