It may all come to nothing, at least for the near future, but Shmoogie has been lately quite interested in the potty.
How pleased I was to see Mr. Pants's little plastic potties (the ones from IKEA — oh, how I love them! oh, how I wish they were the first and only ones we had bought!) come out of a box so that I could start channeling her energies away from playing with the toilet brush and towards potentially figuring out how to use the potty for more sanitary purposes.
Shmoogie was pretty excited to see the little potties, too, and knew exactly what to do with them (in terms of posture, not in terms of producing).
Mr. Pants was pretty excited to see the little potties, himself, and was soon dragging the second one out from under the sink and plunking it down right next to his little sister, who was still sitting on hers in the middle of the tiny powder room floor. (Two days later and she no longer hangs out on the potty in a potentially useful way, just goes through the whole drama of undressing, sits down for one second, then stands up declaring, "Ah dun!")
I pulled Mr. Pants away, explaining sympathetically that he was too big for these potties now, that he was just too big to sit on them comfortably, and sent him off with a loving pat, feeling that I had gotten my point across very nicely.
A few moments later, naive Mommy hears a steady stream of liquid hitting hollow plastic in the powder room.
The scene: Shmoogie still sitting happily on her little (dry as a bone) potty. Mr. Pants standing next to her in front of the second little potty, pants around his ankles, sending a spattering fountain of pee into the wee little plastic bowl.
There wasn't much I could do in the next few seconds, really, except wait for him to finish, take mental note of the extent of the area that would need wiping, and work myself up to a nicely honed state of righteous anger.
A nicely honed state which brought a certain ringing quality to my otherwise-overused question, "What are you doing?"
A nicely honed state which deflated instantly when he answered with a look of stunned and humble confusion, "I was trying to pee in my little potty... but it was harder than I thought."
Also harder than I thought: his new school has an every-child-wipes-himself rule for poops. Let the learning begin!