You Think You're So Cool 'Cause You Can Pee With Your Penis
That was a “Hot Chick” reference. I’m sorry; of course you knew that. Okay, follow me this way. Very often I find myself awestruck by Tom. I really don’t mean to keep tootin’ Tom’s horn in these posts, but he is such a patient, hands-on dad. There’s no aspect of parenting that Tom shies away from, be it feeding them, bathing them, putting them to bed, taking care of them when they’re sick and our newest endeavor: potty training. Can I be perfectly honest with you here? Potty training has been by far the most annoying shit-pissing parenting task I have encountered. I’m pretty sure I’m still considered a rookie having only been in the parenthood game for 2 years and change, but really, potty training can blow it out its ass.
I’ll spare you all the potty sticker board details (except for this picture)
and I’ll refrain from admitting how many bags of Dum Dums we went through in a week. I’ll just say after a predictably challenging start, we seem to be cruising now. Pee pee in da potty, no problem whatsoever, until she caught Dada peeing one day. I didn’t think too much of it – alright maybe the thought crossed my mind, “ehhh this could be confusing, I wonder if Tom would do me a solid and just pee sitting down at home”, ‘cause that wouldn’t end up being confusing at all someday. Five minutes later Vivi decided it was time to use the potty. Being that ever helpful dad that he is, Tom told me, “Keep bloggin’, I got this”.
Ah yes, great. I can keep myself parked on the couch while I’m “brainstorming” (or starting the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy), whatever you want to call it. Listen, I know I’m one of only seven people in the world that still watches that show, but I just can’t quit you, Meredith Grey! Anyway, I was just settling into the comfy pillows when I heard Vivi screaming, “AHHHHH! I CAN do pee pees!”
Tom: Vivi, that’s not how you pee.
Vivi: Yes, I CAN do pee pees!
Me: Ughhh, what’s going on in there?
Tom: She’s trying to pee standing up.
Shit, Tom, you couldn’t have just made my day a little easier by sitting down to pee earlier like a fucking weirdo?! He actually let her try to do it standing up (watch that patience work), but nothing happened. Eventually she got frustrated enough to sit down and I got up for this teachable moment.
Me: Remember how we talked about what makes a boy a boy and what makes a girl a girl?
Vivi: Umm, yeah, ‘cause Mama and Vivi have a bagina and Billy and Dada have a peanuts
Me: Exactly, yes.
I should note here that we went through a brief phase awhile back where Vivi regularly informed Billy he had a “peanuts”. Mostly during diaper changes when she would broadcast live, “Look! Billy has a peanuts on his bum!” Sorry, buddy, we’re all learning here. She’s almost right. A little off with her geography and pronunciation, but she’s trying. You can imagine my concern when a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode we were watching included a song where Goofy implored everyone to, “Shake, shake your peanuts!”
I really hoped my peanuts vs. penis explanation would clear it all up for her, but I worried Vivi’s future inner monologue would sound something like this:
“We’re feeding the goats what now at the petting zoo?”
“They sell peanuts at Fenway Park?! WTF does a peanuts have to do with crackerjacks?!”
“You can be allergic to peanuts?”
YES, you CAN! Stay far away from peanuts until you’re married!
Back to the teachable moment: “Boys stand up to pee with their peanuts/penis and girls sit down. Tom and I both felt irrationally sad for her. For a second I wanted to go all Women’s Lib on her and shout, “You can do anything you want in life! You can play any sport, you can be president, and goddamn it you can pee standing up if that’s what you want!” But really I told her that Mama sits down to pee. “NO! I can’t!” Okay. So I told her Ariel sits down to pee, and that’s a total lie because she has no urethra. She has a mermaid tail and no obvious genitalia:
Whatever, this is Ariel post Ursula take-down. That Ariel pees sitting down on Prince Eric’s porcelain throne. It was enough to convince Vivi and no, it doesn’t hurt my feelings at all that she went with a sixteen year old dinglehopper who is way WAY too fucking young to be getting married over me.
Oh and I know we don’t pee sitting down out of our “baginas”, but I wasn’t going any deeper into this anatomy lesson with my 2 year old. Someday when she’s of legal drinking age, she’ll be sitting around having some wine with her friends when her mind will be blown. “There’s a third hole?!! NOO!” I would never want to rob her of that experience. That’s actually a real scene taken from my late 20s. I will never reveal who it was. She knows who she is…(hi, I’m a nurse. It wasn’t me!!)
I still felt bad – it was a disappointment for her. Hey, ya know what boys and girls can both do? They can try to hit that Cheerio in the potty with their pee! I didn’t promise she’d have great aim, but I think I leveled the playing field a little. The Cheerios game isn’t just for boys, ya know. Ever hear of Women’s Lib?