Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Monday, April 24, 2006


I stole this from Dooce because it amused me and my own photoshop skills are non-existent. Also, I thought it was a pretty good lead in to a discussion of an upcoming "joy" of child rearing that is steadily heading my way: POTTY TRAINING.

Let's be honest for a moment. I don't want to potty train my own children. I'd really love to farm the whole process out to someone like this lady if I wasn't troubled by things like self respect and skepticism. Anyway, it was kind of a rude awakening when I realized that this unpleasant task will soon be completely on my shoulders for a child who I didn't have the "joy" of physically bringing into this world.

Now, don't worry, Luke and I will get through this together. I've long ago learned that no matter how messy things get everything can be washed and sanitized and, as a last resort, thrown out--so I'm not all that turned off by the physical processes involved. My problems are more with the mental and emotional steps, and more importantly, all those emotional "don't's". There are so many ways you can go wrong!

Here's my biggest hurdle: shame. You don't want the kid to be ashamed by the whole ordeal, right? You want him to know that Everyone Poops and he is just doing what comes naturally. Wonderful sentiment, I'll admit, but here is where it goes wrong: Shame happens naturally! Luke is the product of a nurturing, caring family and a loving nanny. No one has ever even implied to him that the little packages he produces are abhorrent and dirty. (I do, often, tell him that he's a stinky boy--but he loves that! Nothing makes him laugh harder. Sometimes he comes and presents his little behind to me with a questioning look & a maniacal grin. "Stinky?" he asks, and there is only one appropriate response.) But even so, he now disappears to behind the sofa every time he needs to have a BM. He gets angry with me if I come and look for him while he's doing his business. Even though a bathroom door (unfortunately) is never closed in the G.s apartment, Luke has very definitely gotten the message that his little presents to us are unwanted.

And you want the truth about this? IT'S A GOOD THING. Shame is a motivator. Yes, what you made is stinky & disgusting. Yes, it is wrong that I have to clean it up. Yes, it belongs in the potty where it can be flushed away and not thought of again. Yes, everyone poops and yes, everyone hides it.

That being said, I'm now going to backpedal a bit. I'm all for instilling a certain amount of shame over the act of defecation, but mothers of America should try their hardest not to make their poor little boys ashamed of their special little boy parts.

But, if there are any of you mothers out there who disagree with me, this product is for you: Pee-Pee Teepees.. I know that necessity is the mother of invention, and I will admit that there is a tiny, miniscule, infinitesimal need for this product. I've been hit twice by an unwanted spray in my long & venerable career (well, ok, in my career). It wasn't pleasant, I'll admit, but was it so terrible that I'm going to keep Luke's wee-wee tented at all times, sending the message that his little member is something I never want looking me in the eye because it's unpredictable, mischievous, and potentially very messy? Perhaps I'm just coddling him, but I really think that's a message much more appropriately delivered by his first girlfriend in 16 years or so.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly? Absolutely. But I still couldn't resist and immediately ordered some to send to a brand new family member.

8:24 AM  

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