The morning after Christmas was a lazy day for my family as we attempted to decompress from the holidays. With snow falling outside, it was really quite peaceful. My wife and I read in the living room while both my sons happily played downstairs with each other’s yuletide treasures.
Suddenly, my 4-year-old son, who is fully potty-trained and capable of dressing himself, loudly stumbled up the stairs muttering, “Potty, potty, potty.” This is not a strange occurrence even though we have a bathroom downstairs, but what happened next is baffling even to my kid-trained brain.
He ran into the bathroom and was silent for several minutes. Then he sprinted out naked and hid underneath the dining room table. A bit perplexed, I said, “Jack? Aren’t you forgetting something?” He goes, “Oh, right,” and ran back into the bathroom, as if putting his clothes back on was an optional thing.
He came out a few minutes later with his pants on backwards, and his shirt on upside down and backwards. After another “Really?” moment, I said, “Buddy, do you need some help?”
He said, “No,” and acted like there was no problem. I asked him why his shirt was on like that. He giggled and explained that it was wet.
I asked why. He said because he got “wets” on his legs when he was going potty, and that he used his shirt to wipe it off.
I asked why he used his shirt, and he said, “I don’t know.”
I asked him if he thought we should get a clean shirt and pants. He said, “No,” and did a somersault on the living room floor for no apparent reason.
I argued that he cannot wear a shirt with “wets” on it, and that he needed to change immediately. He said, “But I need hugs from mommy.”
At that point, I think we both needed hugs from mommy. But rest assured, we quickly changed the boy’s clothes.
After thinking about this exchange, I realized that I never fully understood the “It’s not OK to wear pee-stained clothes” logic until after college. So I’m going to give Jack the benefit of the doubt on this one.