Monday, October 11, 2010

family: ... Stand in the place where you...

... pee?

note: This is a potty post. You have been warned. Further, I'm sure this is an issue not original to us, or even that interesting to anyone other than us, but given the sparseness of my posting lately, I figured it's better than nothing....

A few days ago, L needed to go to the bathroom. She's mostly in underwear now (Dora*, if you want the details), and has been doing fantastically, even to the point of napping in them with only one accident so far.

"I am L, hear me roar!"
(and I can do anything I want!)

So here's how things went:

L: Dada, I need to go pee!
me: Ok, do you want help?
L: No. I can do it.
me (settling back down): I know you can. Let me know if you want help.
L (goes to the bathroom): Dada!
me: Yeah?
L: I need help!!
me (getting up): Ok. What is it?
L (standing at the toilet, grinning up at me): I want to do it like this.
me: Like... you mean standing?
L (nodding): Yeah. I can do it Dada.
me: Uh... no, that's not going to work for you L.
L: But it is! It is Dada!!
me (hoping to balance my amusement with my concern): But it isn't L. It isn't.
L: Yes. I promith Dada. I can do it!
me: Girls don't do that. They're not built the same way as boys.
L (insisting now, starting to get that tone in her voice that tells me she's damn well going to do anything she wants to do): But I can do it!! I can!!!
me (torn now between simply picking her up and plopping her on the seat, and thinking 'what the hell, just let her try it. either she'll make a mess that we'll clean up and she'll learn, or who knows, maybe she'll actually somehow pull it off?'): L, you need to sit down.
L (giving slightly, enough to allow me to pick her up, turn her around, and sit her down): But I can Dada! I can!!
me (wondering now...): Maybe L. It's good to think you can....

So there you have it, another potential teachable moment, down the drain (so to speak). Almost immediately after we were done, I began wishing I'd just let her go ahead and try. The worst outcome wouldn't have been all that bad, and it would have been one less experience of being told she couldn't do something. I'd much rather she think she can, and discover whether or not she was right, than get used to being told what she can and can't do.

Daddy fail. But damn it, the next time she proposes standing up to pee, I'm behind her, 100%. Behind and about 5 feet back.

* About Dora: we haven't seen any of the TV shows for Dora, but I can state with certainty that the tie-in Dora "books" are some of the worst-written things in the "teach kids some non-English words" universe. The writing is ... well, childish and simplistic. And condescending. To imagine that this junk would appeal to kids! Compared to something like Winnie the Pooh (which, admittedly, was not trying to teach any non-English words), it makes me want to cry every time the girls pick one of the books for me to read. And they do, regularly. Which means that 1) they like them more than I do, and 2) I'd probably fail as a children's author because, what do I know about what appeals to kids!?!

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