Back in the Spring, during one of the classes I teach, I received the following text from my wife, “CHANDLER PEED IN THE POTTY!!!” I was so excited—No, I was disappointed—but so excited! For a few days he’d been telling us every single time he did something in his diaper, so we thought we’d just start to introduce him to the frog potty. He had literally only been on the thing 2 or 3 other times.
I was so excited for my son, not because it meant the diaper phase would be coming to a close (he’s stubborn & we still haven’t seen the end of diapers yet), but because that’s a big step for any little one to realize that one particular action belongs in a completely different context from how they’ve understood it up to now. It shows he’s not only learning how to use & control his own body, but that he is starting to grasp how things work—cause & effect.
However, I was also disappointed that I missed it. There haven’t been many things in my son’s life that I haven’t been present for, and I wasn’t there to celebrate right away—to praise him for a job well done, and help him understand how to make right decisions (yes, I do realize that this is just a kid peeing in a hole, but more than that he chose to do it in the potty rather than the diaper, and that’s a right decision he needs to make for himself—we’re celebrating every right decision at this stage so that hopefully it starts him on a lifetime of making the right decisions).
Naturally, I did what any dad who missed something important would do—I bought him something cool. He loves trains, so I found him another Chuggington train to add to his collection. Obviously, I had no intention of buying him something every time he went on the potty, but this was the first & deserved to be celebrated. After my wife shook her head at me for being such a sucker, we determined that we’d give it to him right away the next time he did it (the first time might’ve been a fluke). Later that night, I got my chance to share in the excitement.
My wife had left for work a few hours earlier, and I was getting my son ready for bed. Before putting his pajamas on, I asked if he wanted to go pee-pee on the potty & he protested. I stripped him down & set him on the frog potty, but not even two seconds later, he popped-up to walk away. I reached for him saying, “No, no, no, buddy! You need to sit down on the—” but there was something in there. It was wet… It was wet??… IT WAS WET!!!!!
While the realization that my son had already peed on the potty was finally sinking in, my son was leaning over to see as well—with his hand! I couldn’t stop it, he’d already gone too far. He put his hand in it. I panicked. I didn’t want him touching anything with his urine glove, so I grabbed him & started rinsing his hand under the water. Being a mild germophobe, I covered him in soap & washed like crazy. Twice. Of course, I was praising him the whole time saying, “THAT’S AWESOME! GOOD JOB, BUDDY!” Then being afraid that there may still be remnants, I grabbed some hand sanitizer—how do you really know that you got all the pee off, I mean really?
In my sanitation frenzy, I failed to notice a very distinct sound behind me. I was too busy—our health was at risk! When I finally felt that my son was thoroughly purified, I turned around to dispose of the potty contents. But there were none. Had I imagined it? I swear he peed in that thing… Looking up, the dog was in the doorway staring at me. It was almost as if her expression was defensively saying, “What?!” Oh no…
Yep. She licked it up. All of it. Suddenly, I recalled the sound of licking while I was getting my son cleaned-up. My son put his hand in urine, and my dog drank my son’s pee, both while I was standing right there, not 2 feet from it. There goes my shot at father of the year.