Potty Time and Pathological Lies

September 26th, 2018

A while back, I brought Eliza to the doctor for some slight malady.

While we were at the doctor, Eliza seemed nervous. “What’s wrong?” I asked her. She replied, “Maybe the doctor will bite me.” I assured her that wouldn’t happen.

When we got back, she told my mom, “The doctor was going to bite me, but she didn’t.”

One of the best things about three-year-olds is the crazy shit that comes out of their mouths.

A few nights ago, while in a delirious pre-sleep stupor, Phoebe very seriously and very apropos of nothing asked me: “Are the dinosaurs all dead? Or are they in Utah?” The irony of this questions is that Utah is actually very well known for having some of the world’s best dinosaur archeological sites. But Phoebe has no way of knowing this. She is mildly interested in dinosaurs, has no idea what “dead” means, and, while she was born in Utah, now thinks of it as being a mythical faraway place. Somehow, these themes created a mash-up in her mind. Who knows.

You have to read between the lines, and you have to know when to take their stories seriously. For the first few weeks of this school year, every time I asked Eliza who she’s been playing with at school that day, she would tell me “Magnolia.” But Magnolia’s mom and I are friends, and I know for a fact that Magnolia doesn’t go to her school anymore. I don’t necessarily think she is trying to be cagey. I just think she doesn’t understand how time works.

This is proven to me daily when, over breakfast, the girls say “Is it bedtime, mama?” or, over dinner, “Are we going to school today?” Must be nice to live in a reality blissfully devoid of time constraints, amiright?

Today, when the school called me mid-morning to come get Eliza because she was in pain from holding her pee, I was confused. Lately, every day, I ask her “How was school today?” and the first thing she volunteers is, “I went to the potty!”

Turns out, that’s not true. Yesterday morning, her lovely teachers both assured me that she, in fact, does not use the potty hardly ever. “Maybe a few times so far,” they said. Ugh, we still have work to do there.

When I got home last night, they were both very involved in an imaginative role-playing game that they wanted me to participate in. I became the teacher, Phoebe and Eliza the mamas, and their squirrel and fox puppets, the children. “Foxy really has to pee,” Phoebe told me dolefully, “but I can’t go with him because I am not allowed in the school potty. Can you take him?”

This role-playing game went on for nearly an hour. Fox and Squirrel have bladder infections, I think. But I am hoping that the repetitive imaginary play will have some impact on the actually potty time at school.


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