People at different ages just see the world differently. When it comes to peeing, our little Smunchie really didn’t understand why it wasn’t ok to let loose in the closet. When I told her she shouldn’t do her business in there, the look I received from her when she replied “Why?” made it very clear that she thought it was a great idea. And when I asked her why she didn’t use the bathroom her answer was logical: “Because I didn’t want to have to go down the stairs and walk to the bathroom.” and she looked very bummed at that prospect. She followed it up with “Why don’t we have a bathroom upstairs?” which is a thought that both Jessica and I have had ourselves. (Sometimes I think chamber pots should make a comeback. But then I think of cleaning them. Never mind.)
The thing is, she’s right. It makes sense to have a bathroom upstairs. It’s really inconvenient to have to go all the way downstairs to use the toilet. She didn’t say this, but it seemed obvious to me that she deliberately chose to relieve herself in an out-of-the-way location that no one would have to step on. She’s smart! I had to get over my own practical thoughts to see it, though. Thoughts like: “You may have ruined mommy and daddy’s shoes.” “The smell of urine may forever be a part of that closet.” “I thought I was done cleaning up your pee.” But when I let go of this completely valid perspective, I was able to see a bright, young person, who didn’t mean to upset me or ruin anyone’s shoes; instead of a nuisance who just threw a wet wrench in my day. And when I recognized her logic, and told her so, we were able to have a conversation about shoes and stinky carpets. She’s not capable of reasoning like an adult and it would be wrong of me to expect her to. But if I take a second and try, I stand a really good chance of understanding her thought-process, and that’s a great place to start a conversation.
Later on I discovered a trail of pee in our bathtub; a much better solution, and a conversation to have later.