Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why Can't Girls Pee Standing Up?

Really, there's no good way to explain this to a three-year-old. I told her it would be icky, and it would drip down her leg.

But still, she asks why.

Seems she's seen the boys do it in the unisex bathroom at preschool. Her brother has seen them too and is catching on, though he doesn't quite get the idea that you have to put the seat up first. (Ah, so this is where the whole seat up thing begins).

She likes to watch the boys pee standing up, though I've told her they need privacy, just like she does when she sits on the toilet. She asks for privacy now, which isn't a bad thing, considering she wasn't giving it to mom or dad, and really, was it too much to ask that we could have a few private moments on the porcelain throne?

Trips to the bathroom -- especially those at school, in restaurants, at the museum, in the mall -- have become interrogation sessions. Why do we need the seat liner? How many can I use? Why can't I have another ... and another ... and another? Can I pull on the toilet paper?

These sessions are marathon in length when you've got two toddlers in the bathroom with you at the same time. It does little good to explain that people are waiting to use the bathroom, and we've got to hurry. Washing up and ripping paper towels out of the dispenser can take ten, fifteen minutes. And then there's all the lifting: putting them on the toilet, taking them off, lifting them up to the sink, or to reach the paper towels. If there are no towels, there's the scary, noisy dryer with which to contend.

I've learned there's one thing I can count on, after successfully completing one of these sessions and getting the kids back outside, into the car, and strapped into their car seats. Just as I'm about to pull out of the parking lot, Thing 1 or Thing 2 will invariably announce, "I have poop."

And back we troop.

To those waiting to use the bathroom we're in, I apologize. But honestly, there's nothing I can do, save maybe posting a sign on the door that gives fair warning: We could be days.

I realize one day they will get the hang of this, and bathrooms will become a little less fascinating. I don't want to rush their toddlerhood.

But can't that day come just a little bit sooner?

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