Children are creatures of habit; miniature humans that learn by example and absorb everything little thing you do and repeat them back to you like a tape recorder, even the things you don’t ever want to ever be repeated for other ears to hear.
We learn over time to watch our mouths unless we want our young to sound like foul mouthed sailors; we even learn over time that even our slightest actions can cause some nasty childhood habits (picking your nose, biting your nails, etc).
The one thing I didn’t even really consider was that potty training would cause some strange side effects in Parker.
Don’t get me wrong, potty training is fantastic. Even though it blows my mind that it takes longer to get a kid to piss in a toilet than it does to get a dog to stop pissing on your carpet, once it happens it is an entire new fantastic diaper-free world… but it is a LONG road to get to that point (unless you are very, very lucky).
With both boys, I took measures into my own hands, ignored most advice, and just did what worked for us, and that consisted of dragging the kids to the bathroom every 15 minutes for months until I trusted them enough to go for longer. Once they got past that point, it was time for underwear. No pull-ups, straight to underwear.
Taking a kid to the bathroom so often is an exhausting process. You take them in, you pull their pants and underwear down, you stick them on the potty, you take them back off, you put the underwear and pants back on. Even though he’s in pants in public, when I take him to the bathroom, he insists on being nude from the waist down before he’ll even do anything. Why that is? I have no idea, but it’s slightly maddening, and a lot of work thanks to those infernal contraptions we like to call shoes.
That is FAR TOO MUCH work for me to do 100 times per day, so we decided to go pantsless. No, not me, GOD NO NOT ME. No one wants to see that, and I certainly don’t want Holden going to school in the fall talking about ‘mommy’s big pasty white ass.’ Just the boys. And just Parker now.
I think it’s been over a year since that kid has worn pants anywhere but outside of our house. If he’s home, he’s pantsless, and if he had it HIS way, he’d be completely nude from the waist down (and I constantly catch him that way, underwear around the ankles, giggling like a maniac).
Due to his pantsless nature, and the small amount of fabric between his doodle and the cold winter air, I have recently caught him fiddling with himself on a regular basis. If his hands are free, they are on his junk. Is he just checking if it’s still there? Does free-ballin’ make him think it’s pecker season and his is the only one within reaching distance? Is he just curious about what the fuck his extra appendage is hanging off of him? I will never know, because I don’t have one, but I find it weird. Especially weird when our speech therapist is over and all he does is poke at himself the entire time.
Today I finally decided i’d had it with his nudist streak, and the new freezing temperatures gave me enough of an excuse to suck up the extra amount of work and put pants on him. Maybe the extra layer of fabric would deter pecker-play.
It took the kid a hell of a long time to get used to having fabric on his legs at all time. He rebelled by yanking one sock off as a show of defiance. “Well, if I can’t have bare legs, I WILL HAVE A BARE FOOT!”
Way to go, kid. Way.to.go. He cried, he fiddled around, and come potty time, what did he do? Insist on being fully naked from the waist down, and then ran away before I could put pants back on him.
It’s going to be a long transition, I think, but i’ll do anything to keep him out of a creepy nudist colony by the time he’s 3.
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