I realized early what I was getting into marrying a man who had five brothers, and only two sisters. I knew that they were a testosterone poisoned, belch in public, pee outdoors type of family. I found this out when I first looked through a family photo album when we were not yet engaged. First there was the honeymoon shot that his parents took of his dad peeing over the edge of the Grand Canyon. Then there were the shots of my genius husband, as a small boy peeing over the edge of yet another cliff or mountain, I don’t remember now, and then his younger brother, and then the brother after that. Boy number four had his feet hooked under the bottom rail of a boat and was urinating over the side body swathed in a bright yellow slicker. At this point I realized that I would be forever encountering public urination if I attached myself to this family.
I have gradually gotten used to it. There were the days when I would drive onto the family property in the morning and boy number 6, child number 8, who was just 5 or 6 at the time would stand next to the car and pee in the dirt beside it as I got ready to get out and then say “Good morning,” in the most perfectly natural tone of voice. This brother also, being the most testosterone poisoned of them all after so many older brothers, was the on who decided he had to pee after church one day and so dropped trou and peed off of the front steps into the parking lot. Did I mention that his dad was the pastor?
So when the Boy reached potty training age I was prepared for the inevitable world is my toilet mentality that little boys have. Learning to pee on trees with dad was part of the training, and much more fun than keeping it in the potty. There was one tree in particular, a date tree in our back yard in Vancouver that the Boy was diligent to water.
Since we have moved to California, and don’t have our own back yard, there has been much less peeing outside, unless we’re at Beema’s house, where testosterone still holds the day. But there have been one or two occasions recently when we had a potty emergency and I found a good hedge to hide behind so the Boy could do his business. The Girl has found this process fascinating, she watches very carefully, pushing her little tummy forward in imitation of his pee stance, and I can see the little wheels going inside her head.
One day last week, she announced that she had to go too. Since with a newly potty trained girl wearing panties instead of pull-ups you don’t say wait until you get home because we don’t want the tragedy of an accident should she not be able to hold it all the way, I pulled her pants down and held her in a squat over the same little ditch that the Boy had just used so she could go.
So I guess you could say what happened a day later was my fault. At the playground in our complex, that has a bathroom very nearby, though a grown-up with a key needs to let you in as it’s next to the pool, she suddenly runs up to me as I’m distracted with the Boy his friends and a kite, and hands me her clothes. Before I quite realize what’s going on and am calling to her to come and get her clothes back on, she disappears around a corner and before I get to her comes running back with a huge smile on her face.
“I goed PEE Momma,” she announces triumphantly, “right der!!”
I look where she is pointing and sure enough there is a puddle of pee on the sidewalk right next to the flowerbed she was trying to pee on. She needs a little practice to get it right because she splattered on the back of her legs, but I suppose it’s a good thing to be able to go in the woods on hikes if there is no toilet so maybe I should let her develop this new found skill. But I have realized that my sweet little girl is also a victim of testosterone poisoning, perhaps I am too. I wonder if the neighbors hate me yet.