Through the pullups, cleanups, and over-exuberant cheers of potty training over the years, one thread has run common for my three girls. It is that, at some point when we all believe that the threshold has been crossed, an accident happens. This is no reference to the usual “I didn’t make it, Daddy.” It isn’t a tug on the arm at 3 a.m. with the news that the bed is wet. This one is special. And if it didn’t include a urine-stained carpet it would be even more adorable.
I smile as I scrub when a child of mine can be so caught up in playing that she decides it is better to continue with damp pants than to take a bathroom break. On a handful of occasions, Becky and I have each come across one of our little ones standing over a little dollhouse in a little puddle of pee. Wet-your-pants-exuberance is a rare quality. Who but a child can enjoy an activity to the degree that they prefer it to dry clothes?
There has to be a moment of recognition when a trickle runs down the leg. The shoes fill up and the socks go squish. Here is the fascinating part: the playing continues. Pants fully soaked and my child fully aware that this is the living room and not the bathroom. And yet a shrug with the thought, “might as well keep playing dolls.”
I have spent entire days in our ravine, shoveling, hauling, and building treehouses. I love this work, and I do it for the hugs. I lose track of time and maybe skip lunch, but I do take restroom breaks. (Admittedly, I may not actually enter a restroom for a restroom break when working in the ravine.) That might be as close as I can get to identifying with my daughters. It is an endeavor that occupies me enough that everything else fades out. Except for the inevitable exhaustion, I could carry on without end. Heck, I most often go well beyond the exhaustion.
Similarly, I’ve watched Becky dig in to writing with her netbook as she sits in her comfy chair. Typically, a search party or neighborhood posse is needed to pull her out. Our oldest daughter is known to adroitly dress herself with a book in one hand as she is captured in the latest story. I don’t expect to find damp spots next to either, but they demonstrate what it means to be caught up in what brings them joy.
We should all be so fortunate to find pursuits that seize our interest such that we would rather sodden our shorts than take a moment to break away. What grabs hold of you? Is it engrossing enough that you would sooner marinate than step away?
Innocence lost, I suppose, that we all grow up and use the toilet.
This post comes from my husband, who some readers have affectionately dubbed Mr. Becky. Since his post generated a lot of traffic, I decided to step aside again and let him take the spotlight. Enjoy!
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Awesome post by, “Mr. Becky” I really enjoyed the analogy and the writing style. Being a father I could really relate with this story. I’ve often had envy toward my kids that they could immerse themselves into a task and everything else is lost.
You are correct that it is a shame that we have to grow up and lose the joy of simple tasks. Thank you for the great post and the time you invested in writing it. Much appreciated.
I look forward to talking to you in the coming weeks. Your husband’s post created memories and excellent joys. I trust that you are doing well.
Love it! Practical yet thought provoking. So glad you are enjoying your girls and building them treehouses – you should post some pictures.
Another great one for Mr. Becky!
Mr Becky, I have always admired children’s to be in the moment! They get it that now is all there is, and they are so engrossed, nothing else really matters. I am constantly letting people know that they should do what they love, and that is just what these little fellas demonstrate. Great post, it tickled me and took me back many years.
Another great post, Mr Becky. I too love the way that kids get lost in the now. That’s part of why I love spending time with my grandson and nieces and nephews. They draw me into their world and take me back (minus the wet pants). Whether it’s jumping on the moon bounce with my grandson at the trailer park where my wife and I spend weekends in the summer, laying on the floor with my niece watching Dora the Explorer on my laptop, or getting wrapped up in watching a wrestling match with one of my nephews, these are the things that make life worth living and keep me young. The power of children to keep us young is a miracle of its own. Thanks for sharing these stories that bring a smile to the face and remind us what life is about.
Great post! I just cleaned up two puddles of joy this weekend! Motherhood doesn’t leave time for me to be engrossed in anything to the degree that my children do, but that day will come. Right now I can enjoy chasing after them.