Owen still needs “help” going to the bathroom. When I say “help,” I really mean company. He likes to have conversations about what particular foods that he’s eaten have made their way through his body. And tell me how much he loves me. I’d really rather not be in the bathroom with him, though left to his own devices, he sometimes leaves puddles on the floor. The other day, Duncan and I listened as Owen (by himself) peed, flushed, and washed his hands (with soap) unprompted. We high-fived each other, as if to say, good job for raising an independent child! We were so proud. And then later, I sat down on the toilet to realize that it was very, very wet. Oh well.
Despite Owen’s desire for company in the bathroom, he is starting to realize the connection between the bathroom and the need for privacy. When he was smaller, I would bring him in the bathroom with me to keep my eye on him, but now I try to get away completely and, you know, close the door. More often than not, I will soon hear the door handle turn, and a little face appear.
“What are you doing?”
“Go away. I want some privacy.”
“Are you peeing?”
“Yes. Go play.”
I was so glad, beyond glad, to put my body AWAY after childbirth, after breastfeeding. I was so happy to be able to keep my clothes on in public all day long. Small blessings. Owen’s interruptions seem to be the last hurdle in getting back some measure of dignity. It will come.
Meanwhile, Owen has developed odd moments of shyness. At the swimming pool last week, he insisted on putting his underwear back on when emerging from the bathroom stall, even though he was going to put his bathing suit on as soon as we got back to our locker. Then, with the bathing suit on, he covered his belly button with his hand, saying “I don’t want to show people my belly.” I had to show him that all of the boys were topless, too.
The other morning, Duncan got out of bed, wearing a T-shirt and underwear. As he was walking around, looking for some pants to put on, Owen chimed in: “Daddy! Put some pants on. I don’t want to see your underwear! You have to wear pants if you want to have breakfast.”
This is the child who runs around the house before his bath, shrieking, “I’m naked! I’m a naked boy in your bed! I’m a naked boy in the hall!” He even said goodbye to one of our friends with a naked-boy dance/hug.
In any case, I hold out some hope that for Owen, as well as for myself, the day will come when modesty will prevail.