It’s World War Pee in my house. Seriously. I feel like I’m constantly fighting with one of my kids over whether or not they have to pee. That’s because for kids, going to bathroom is the ultimate power trip. It’s the only thing they can solely control. As a Mum, I can’t physically make my kid go to the bathroom. Kids have total autonomy over their bladder.
The problem is kids aren’t always good at anticipating when they have to, or more accurately, when they will have to go. So while I may say, “We have a long car ride ahead of us,” they don’t want to go when I’ve asked them to. And then the inevitable, “Mom, I have to pee!” happens. It’s completely annoying.
There’s also all the, “Oops I just peed my pants,” moments that invariably happen a minute after I’ve asked the kids if they have to go. And then there’s the change of clothing I find myself inevitably carrying knowing full well that one, or both of them, is going to have an accident. And while both of my kids were toilet trained long ago, they still aren’t accident free. And when I talk to other mums of my older son’s friends they’ll be quick to admit, “Mine has accidents all the time.”
In the spirit of ending the pee fight hassle once and for all, I’m doing these things:
1. The kids can go when I ask, or we’re not going at all. If they’re going to get into a battle of wills with me, I’m going to win. We can be late or not go where they want, but we’re not getting in the car if they don’t at least try to use the bathroom.
2. I’m not carrying extra clothes anymore. My little one is just 3 so she gets a hall pass, but my big one is 7 — too old for accidents. So I’m not carrying around extra clothes for him anymore. Without the option to change, he might re-think protesting when I ask that he go.
3. There will be no more multiple bathroom runs at restaurants. My little one loves to protest when I suggest we use the bathroom before we sit down to a meal at a restaurant. Inevitably once the food arrives, she magically has to go. So I’m doing a bathroom run once in a restaurant. After that, I’m enjoying my meal.
4. I’m not asking if they have to go. I’m telling them they do. Worst case scenario, they spend an extra minute using the restroom when they really didn’t have to.
5. Whoever pees in their pants has to help with the laundry. As a Mum, I spend enough time laundering clothing that isn’t mine. Laundry is a frustrating time-suck so it’s annoying when peed-in clothing is added to the mix. So the other day, I had my 7-year-old help with the laundry. When we finished he said, “I don’t want to do that again!” Suddenly, he didn’t protest using the restroom when I asked.
Now instead of negotiating with my kids to use the restroom, I’m patting myself on the back. If my plan to end the pee wars in my house doesn’t work, at least I’ve got a little helper with the laundry. Win, win for everyone!