Back in January I gave myself the Proud Parent Potty Training Award. Quinn, my 3-year-old, had been housebroken. Well, actually, maybe I should just say we were down to wearing a diaper only to bed.
The week I trained him we were at the Tybee beach. He enjoyed his freedom to pee in the backyard, on the beach, on walking trails and quite honestly wherever he wanted as long as it wasn’t in his pants. I was OK with that for the period of “training.” It’s not as if anyone was watching or even near us at any of these “training” moments.
Over the past few months of his success I have noticed it might not have been “training” in his eyes. He has a true passion for peeing in the outdoors.
Many of you may say, “Oh, that’s just little boys.” I hope you are right.
I have Ethan, my almost-7-year-old—GASP! He had a short-lived phase of once in a while watering the trees. He is a bit too shy to continue to just whip it out and pee on every rock these days.
Quinn, well, he is a territory-marking fool. Don’t get me wrong: He pees in the potty all day, every day. We have had one accident I can recall since January, not counting bedtime accidents. At the stores he lets me know—restaurants, events, parties, etc.
It’s when he has a little freedom of his own.
We noticed at home that once in a while he would open the back door, in the middle of playing or watching Diego, and go on the back patio. With his back we would just see him looking up into the sky, and we would think, “Oh, he is so cute watching the birds and—ohhhhh, crap, he is peeing.”
Same goes for the driveway. He will head out the garage door, and I’m thinking he is going to get a ball or hop on his bike or scooter. He’ll stop where the garage and driveway meet, and from behind it looks like he is just observing the goings-on of the neighborhood. No words, no nothing, and then the unmistakable sound of pee hitting the pavement. Lovely.
It wasn’t until the past month, when our outdoor activity ban was lifted because of the glorious weather, that I noticed that maybe, just maybe, we have a problem on our hands that needs to be addressed. These “incidents” have been occurring more and more frequently.
It started here at home in the backyard and the driveway, of course. I think he has peed in the backyard more than my parents’ golden retriever did. But with our outings to parks, he has shown a love for public peeing as well.
At the park one day he was playing with Ethan and his friend near some rocks. Then came the quick burst of giggles and the shouting that “Quinn’s peeing, Quinn’s peeing.” By the time I could do anything, the deed was done; the moment had passed. All I could do at that point was explain to him that he needs to tell me the next time he needs to go “pee pee,” and I will take him. He shook his head OK and gave me his big, proud “I just peed outside” grin.
Last weekend at my tennis match he was playing with all the other tennis orphans under the care of parents not on the courts. As I went to the baseline to rip a serve, I saw Quinn wander off the deck toward the grassy area behind the court. I knew what was about to happen, and I should have called a let. Before my ball got over the net, Quinn’s pants were down, and laughter was erupting from the stands.
Our opponents were laughing, saying he needs to learn about trees. Well, little do they know he loves the open spaces. Again I have the “talk” with him about this being inappropriate. He nods his head and smiles his smile at me. Whatever; I can tell my words mean nothing.
The final straw was when I picked him up from school Tuesday and his teacher gave me that look. You know, the one that’s half-giggle, half-serious. She told me there was an “incident” on the playground. Quinn had gone into the playhouse on the playground, and she “noticed” something and stopped him dead in his tracks and got him inside. Thankfully, she has three boys, so she knows what they do. I now need to reinforce how this is NOT to happen at school.
Quinn is a special little guy. He reminds me of a little pixie boy in a fairy tale, just flitting around causing mischief. Part of me hates to take this little joy of freedom to pee outside away from him. In all honesty, if I were equipped to do so with such ease, I’m sure I would be the same way.
The hard part is going to be teaching him that he needs to be more private and appropriate with his actions. Quinn is neither of those. Privacy and appropriate + 3-year-old wild boy = total warm messy puddle at my feet.