Last night, Mr. Right-Click stripped Mini down before bath time, and told him to “Go get mommy,” which Mini interpreted to mean, “Go into the master bedroom and pee all over the bed.” Which he did, and then pranced about like a peacock admiring his handiwork.
When I saw Mini, stark naked, smiling like the cat that ate the canary, I didn’t really understand at first what had gone down. He seemed too excited about the prospect of a bath, I thought, but it didn’t really click until I saw Mr. Right-Click sniffing the duvet cover suspiciously.
“Mini, that is really disappointing,” I said. Which is an odd thing to say, if you think about it, because it suggests that I had a set of expectations for an event like this, and Mini had failed to meet all of them. Which is absurd, because how could I have a set of expectations regarding an instance in which my son uses his penis to create a yellow, if wet and transitory, artistic masterpiece, using my duvet cover as a canvas?
As if to acknowledge the absurdity of my admonishment, Mini beamed back at me, secure in the knowledge that he had just completed some of his best work. I think he might have even laughed.
I had to try really hard not to smile, even though I was very annoyed. Because there is something so cute about how he gets all proud of himself, even about bad stuff like this.
“Mini, that is BAD. You are supposed to go potty in the toilet, not on Mommy and Daddy’s bed,” Mr. Right-Click said, but Mini just continued to beam back at us. Until he started running around, giggling and yelling. Clearly, he was scoffing at both of us trying to assert authority over him.
So Mr. Right-Click really got mad at him. Because that’s what we have to do, to let Mini know he’s really in trouble about something, is to have Mr. Right-Click boom a “NO” at him. Because my feeble “That’s very disappointing,”s and “Ooooh!”s are just not effective in these kinds of situations. So Mr. Right-Click gave him a stern lecture about peeing on the bed, which ended in Mini’s hysteric wails for, “Mamma! Mamma! Mamma!” as if I had had no part in the admonishment, and I came in with the, “Mini, Mommy and Daddy love you very much, but you cannot pee on the bed ever again,” and “You have to promise that you will never, ever do that again.” And yes, I think he understood what I was saying, but he still looked at me like, “Are you crazy, woman? Why would I enter into such a deal? What’s in it for me?” And I really didn’t have an answer for that quesion.
Later, when we discussed it alone, I told Mr. Right-Click how hard it was for me not to smile when he’s so clearly proud of himself for doing something.
“He’s just asserting his individuality, separating himself from us.” I said. “It’s normal.”
“It’s normal to pee on the bed?” Mr. Right-Click asked, dubious.
“Well. Toddler normal.” I said.
“Not only did he pee on the bed, but he sort of looked up at me like, ‘Did you see that, Dada? How I kind of stopped over there, and then started again? Wasn’t that clever?’ He thought it was some of his best work.”
“Well, maybe he’ll end up being the new Jackson Pollack,” I said.
“You know, most artists aren’t appreciated in their own time.”