One rewarding aspect of parenting — in addition to limitless DVRd Bubble Guppies episodes and a complete loss of sexual intimacy with your spouse — is passing on to your children vital life skills, like how to whiz in the shower.
Recently, as I was sculpting yet another sweet shampoo mohawk atop Tax Credit #4’s head, he said, “Daddy, pawbee.”
“You bet we can have a party to celebrate your shampoo mohawk! I pity the fool that don’t RSVP your mohawk party!”
“No, pawbee,” said the 2-year-old.
“Probably? Well, yeah, I mean there’s a lot of work to do: send out invitations, reserve a bar, hire a band. I’m not making any promises, but I think we can make a mohawk party happen on short notice.”
To be fair, Tax Credit #4’s speech still has that drunken-ewok-mumbling-with-a-mouth-full-of-Wonder-Bread sort of tone to it from time to time that makes what he’s saying hard to decipher.
I needed a translator. Cue the Hellcat.
“Hey, what is your brother saying?”
The 4-year-old, helpfully rearranging the bathroom drawers or licking my glasses, pressed her runny nose up against the shower door.
“He’s saying potty!” she shouted.
“Potty?” I asked #4.
“So go potty.”
“NO! PAWBEE!” He pointed frantically at the toilet.
“Yeah, I know. Potty,” I said calmly, pointing at the drain.
He looked down quizzically. “Pawbee?”
Interesting. Although he’d never had any reservations about peeing on the tile directly outside the shower before being potty-trained, he suddenly fancied himself an advanced pee-er and was reluctant to relieve himself willy-nilly all over the place.
“Yeah, potty,” I encouraged him. “Anything going down this drain at our feet ends up in the same exact place as what goes down that stool. There is absolutely no difference between peeing in this shower and peeing in that toilet. Well, other than we’re standing in it. But so what? You’re a guy. The world is your urinal. Let’r fly.”
He was still gun-shy, though, so I did what every effective teacher does: modeled the desired behavior.
“It’s really fun to try to hit directly in one individual drain hole without touching the edges,” I explained, zeroing in on my target while tossing in a couple of my best Star Wars blaster noises for added effect.
Tax Credit #4 watched my sharpshooting display in awe, occasionally gazing up at me with wonder-filled eyes like I was the Captain America of shower whizzers.
And at that precise moment, I think he realized how incredibly awesome it is to be a guy.
Then he hunkered down over the drain and took a poop.
Nah, I’m just kidding. He only does that in the tub.
And, no, I didn’t teach him that.
What types of “Aiming Low” life skills have you taught your children, or better yet, other people’s children?