Got to watch a four year old the other day. We spent some time at the bookstore. We had a great time going up the escalator to get to the children’s section. We wandered around looking at the books then found a Thomas the train play table set up for kids to try out in the store. He spent about 5 minutes checking out the trains then started to move his little body around in the tell-tale way that kids do when their bladders are full. I asked him if he needed to go to the bathroom, he said no, he just liked to dance when he played with trains. Hmmm- ok. I watched him for another couple of minutes then realized that I had no spare clothes or real comprehension of how potty trained this fellow really was.
“Ok, time to go to the bathroom” I said, and met very little resistance from the little guy. (Could be because he realized we’d get to go back down the escalator) We reached the bathroom without incident, although the dance moves had kicked up a notch. We went into the large stall and I asked if he could unbutton his pants on his own. I think he could have except his dance moves had morphed into crossing his legs with a slight panicy-frantic look on his face.
After we got his pants down I asked if he liked to sit or stand. He informed me that he was a sitter. Ok, I lifted him up and set him on the seat. Standing in front of him I realized his penis was pointed directly at me. I knew I didn’t bring extra clothes for me either so I said, “Honey, point your penis down into the bowl.”
He did, but as he did he looked at me seriously and said, “You shouldn’t use that word. I could repeat it.”
“Penis? You don’t like that word?” I say, still focused on staying dry, “That’s the word I use with my boy’s. What word should I use?”
He thinks about it and then says, “Bottom is a better word.”
Since he was now ready to hop down and we managed to complete the task without getting wet…. I decide not to discuss anatomy with him further.
As I am helping him wash his hands he leans in and whispers, “Sometimes I skip washing my hands.”
I told him I didn’t because I liked bubbles and we used WAY more soap then needed (neither of our elbows really needed washing!!) We played in the water then headed back out to the escalator again and then read books together for quite awhile before deciding on the one he really wanted.
After that we found Pepper and went to McDonald’s. While we watched him play with Macy in the play structure Pepper leaned over and asked if I missed having a 4 year old in our lives. I thought about my answer carefully, knowing that maternal clock ticking is a dangerous thing…. I said, “Well, I like babysitting. We get all the joy and we get to skip the teen years and college tuition….. “ I was gonna mention that it was like being grand-parents but sometimes I do know when to stop talking. ☺