“Daddy likes privacy when he uses the potty because he likes to take his penis out and hold it.” says Ms 4.
She’s road testing a fact. Is this true? Or will Mama correct me?
Though I have never actually seen my husband pee I assume this is standard procedure for avoiding getting pee all over the place while peeing standing up. And I’m pretty sure he insists on closing the door when he uses the bathroom because he doesn’t want his intensely curious 4 year old daughter asking him a slew of anatomy based questions while she’s staring at him holding his junk.
So, yes, her statement is technically correct.
The thing is, though, if I reply in the affirmative without some explanation or caveats she will repeat this statement as-is. Frequently. At inopportune moments.
The grocery checker has been informed that she owns two cats, enjoys french fries, and has a vagina. The number five bus knows what swear words I used when I burned my hand.
And right now she’s making it sound like her father is one of the reasons they had to hire security guards for the underground parking lot at Fred Meyer.
Making friends at the park can be awkward enough as it is.
“Well, yes, baby. That is how a lot of men choose to use the potty. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. And lots of people – men and ladies – like privacy when they use the potty. But as a rule of thumb we don’t talk about using the potty with other people unless we need to ask where the bathroom is.”
“O’course, Mom. But Daddy likes to take his penis out of his pants and hold it.” It’s a verbal eye roll.
I try not to adopt a deer in headlights tone, “Yes. That’s how he uses the potty. And that’s completely okay. And it’s okay to say that if someone asks you how Daddy uses the potty but don’t just bring it up yourself, okay?” Come on, kid. WORK WITH ME HERE.
“Sure, sure. Can I play Fruit Ninja?”
So… The take home message here is three fold:
1) When a preschooler informs you of something that, on the face of it, seems alarming, asking follow up investigative questions is key.
2) Our ferry ride tomorrow could potentially be really, really awkward.
3) If this is a type of conversation you are unwilling to have, triple check your birth control.