Legend has it that my youngest sister was a bold child. She had thick skin and strong opinions from birth. We always had a swimming pool when I was growing up and if the boys had to pee then they would run out to the yard and pee. My sister, at three years old, saw no reason why she couldn’t do the same so she would run out and pee in the yard too. The parents thought this was funny and this is where the “be careful what you say” lesson started for all of us, about twenty years ago.
The fruition of this lesson came about at the very same pool. One innocent afternoon cookout. Granddaddy, Grandmother, myself, Supermom and our four children, my Brother and his Girlfriend are grilling, swimming, and hanging out. To protect the innocent I will call the children One, Two, Three, and Four. The children are swigging Capri-Sun by the gallon and racing back and forth into the house to pee. I think to myself, “We used to pee in the yard”. So I say out loud, “Hey kids if you have to go, go in the yard. Your Aunt did it. So can you.”
Let’s take a quick timeout for some people to gather their thoughts. Yes, I encouraged my kids to pee in the yard. This is the south and that is fairly common. Now let’s continue.
I don’t get any complaints and sure enough one of them jumps out of the pool and runs into the yard. She squats and pees like a champ. Good job child three, good job. No more in and out of the house, no more mowing the grass in that area. Win-Win.
One and two follow suit in the next few minutes and everyone has street cred for peeing in the yard. Lady Bug (#4) still pees her pants at this point which according to Billy Madison is the ultimate cool. My sister would be proud.
I pat myself on the back for a parenting job well done and continue talking to my father as we turn burgers on the grill. The rest of the adults are sitting at a poolside table and talking. I slightly notice that number Three gets out of the pool again and trots off to the yard. Damn, these kids pee a lot. Like over-excited Cocker Spaniels. A moment later I notice that the other adults are watching Three with curiosity. I start to ask my dad what they are looking while I am trying to flip burgers but he just turns me around to face the yard. It took me a second to process what I saw.
Three is in the center of the yard in a low squat. She was doing a lean out pee method sort of like drunk college girls who don’t want to pee on their shoes. A balance between stability and reaching for distance. Then I notice that number Three is going number two. On the lawn. In front of everyone. On the upside, she looked like a pro. She stood up, pulled her swimsuit up over her unwiped ass, and ran back to the pool like nothing happened.
I couldn’t say anything because it was my fault, “If you have to go, go in the yard.”
I also started to realize that someone would have to remove this man-log from the lawn and I barely got turned before my gracious father was handing me a plastic bag and some napkins. I walked the Brown Mile to that steaming pile of yard biscuit. My traumatized brain has repressed the details but in summary; I cleaned human turd off the lawn that day. Soap doesn’t clean that feeling off your hand. Bounty doesn’t make enough napkins to hide the warmth and texture or to filter that ‘just laid’ smell. I don’t know when the others stopped laughing but I do know that I never started.
So if your kid has never dumped a big ole’ pickley, number two in a dense Bermuda grass lawn and you never had to clean it up with two cheap Kroger bags and some party napkins, you might be a better parent than me.