A few Saturday mornings ago Mitch and I went hiking with the kids. As we were loading kids into kid backpacks Frances announced she needed to go to the bathroom. There was, of course, not a toilet in sight, but there were lots of trees, so I taught her how to squat and pee. She couldn't do it by herself--she would have wet her pants around her ankles, but I was able to sort of hold/prop her while she went about her business. She thought it was grand. There was another time not long after that when we were out in nature and she needed to use the bathroom, so we did it again. Potty training coming right along.
Last weekend my mom was here for a visit and it happened to be the first weekend of the Lilac Festival. We rode a pony, listened to a high school band in the band shelter, then spread out a blanket in the shade and ate some ice cream. After that the kids were romping around in the grass when Frances came over and said, "Mommy, I need to swat." "You need to swat?" "I need to swat." Ah, yes--squat. She needed to pee. I didn't even try to locate a port-a-john; they were far far away and we never would have made it before an accident. "I need to poop," she said. Well. What to do? Okay, I thought. Here we go. Nearby were some scrubby crepe myrtles surrounded by pachysandra--a ground cover that looks a bit like ivy. I walked her over to the pachysandra, pulled down her skirt and helped her balance. I hoped the few people nearby wouldn't be offended by the half naked child, and really hoped none of them would realize she was doing more than peeing. After a moment or two I said, "You done?" "No," she said. "I have to poop more." I waited. "You done?" "No. I have to poop more." More? Really.
Thank goodness my mom was there to keep her eyeballs on Clark because Frances and I were occupied in the pachysandra for much longer than one would think necessary. Afterward I used a plastic bag I keep in the stroller for walks with the dog and tried to clean up as much as I could but it was kind of hopeless. I just hoped no children would come tromping through the greenery. Again: what to do?
A few days ago during Clark's nap Frances was playing in the yard while I gardened a bit. While I yanked dead limbs off the shrubs in back she came over and said she needed to squat. "You need to use the potty?" I asked. "Let's go inside and use it there." "No, I wanna swat," she said. "I have to poop." I tried to explain that we only squat when there isn't a potty around, that it's much better to poop in the potty because poop is dirty and then we can flush it down the toilet etc etc. She was insistent. I ran inside and brought her little potty into the yard. "Here, Frances, If you want to poop in the yard you can do it here on your potty." I actually got her pants and undies around her ankles and was gesturing to the potty when she completely fell to pieces. "I WANT TO SWAT I WANT TO SWAT! SWAT SWAT SWAT!" Screaming, flinging herself on the grass. My retired widow neighbor came around the fence, gardening gloves on, a distressed look on her face. "What's wrong?" "Being two is hard," I said. Frances was still screaming, still on the grass, her butt still naked. "I've never seen her behave like that," my neighbor said. "That's because it usually happens inside," I told her. My neighbor never had children and really doesn't know what to do with them, how to interact with them. I think she believed Frances never threw tantrums. I could see her adjust her opinion of what kind of kid Frances is. You know, the troublesome tantrum throwing kind.
Just so you know, she pooped in nature again yesterday just as we finished a hike. Again, not a toilet in sight. I wonder if she holds it until just the right time?