Martin wore diapers until he was four years old. We spent the Fourth of July weekend that year with him running around the house nude. Every six hours he would begin to dance, then clench, then cry, then scream, then beg for a diaper and finally about an hour later the crisis would be over and we could start the cleanup.
After four days of this though it was all over. On the fourth day at 6 hours and 55 minutes into the aforementioned cycle he sat down on the toilet, voided his bowels, flushed the toilet, pulled up his pants, washed his hands, left the bathroom and never looked back. He completely ignored our lavish praise, as well as our requests to let us wipe him. That precise pattern persisted for the next two and a half years: sit, void, flush, pants, wash. He never stood. He never wiped. But he also never peed or pooped in his pants again.
Until last Saturday.
Last Saturday he started hopping up and down in the pool at the hotel we were staying at. I asked him if he needed to use the bathroom. He looked me right in the eye, then looked down at his trunks and then became very calm. I asked him the question I already knew the answer to, explained swimming pool etiquette and gave him a time out.
The next day while we were visiting friends he became highly agitated when their daughter hid a toy on him. He threw a verbal fit, peed once in his pants, once on a sidewalk and then while cooling off in our car he shit his pants. One day later he peed on a sidewalk of the College of Wooster. The next day he did it at church. The next day we were eating dinner with friends. He excused himself to go to the bathroom, climbed on their sink and let fly.
This recitation of the events of the last week leaves many questions unanswered. They all begin with “why.” Unfortunately, Martin doesn’t quite get “why” questions yet.
Me: “Why did you pee on the sidewalk, Martin?”
Martin: “Because you are giving me a time out.”
Me: “I am giving you a timeout *because* you peed. Why did you pee?”
Martin: “Because you are getting very angry.”
Me: “I wasn’t angry before you peed. Why did you do that?”
Martin: “…. ”
(This post is part 1 of a 6 post series)