*** Warning: Bathroom-related material following******
When did you learn to wipe your bottom?
At my sister’s today, I was asked by my niece’s little girlfriend if I could come help my niece.
I went to see what help was needed, to find my niece sitting on the toilet at a silly angle, looking happily but pleadingly at me.
“Can you help me wipe?” she asks in her high-pitched little girl voice of immanent innocence.
I consider, and then reply, “You can do it yourself.”
I stood in that very bathroom with her months beforehand, while she used the potty and wiped herself confidently, post-urination…. (and she even had an adorable discussion with me about how her mommy gets mad at her for using so much toilet paper.)
“Noo-oh,” she counters.
“Yes, I think you can… you know how to do it yourself – you can do it,” I say comfortably, wondering if this is just something she does or if she actually does not wipe her own butt yet, doubting the likelihood of the latter while hoping for the former to be true.
After an ever-so-slight pause, she replies, “Okay,” and begins to pull off some toilet paper.
I tell her that she doesn’t need so much toilet paper – she pulled off a lot right at first – and remind her to flush the toilet.
Then I walk away, as she starts to reach back comfortably, toilet paper in hand.
I rejoin the adults in the back, and ask skeptically, “A—- knows how to wipe her own butt, right?” and I quickly explain the scene that just went down, just in case she doesn’t.
My sister confirms my niece’s initial statement, and heads immediately inside to go help.
(Actually, first, she told me to go do it, that it was my job, and I replied easily and jokingly, “No, I don’t have sex, so I don’t have kids – that’s all on you, girl,” and everyone cracked up and offered immediate commentary on how no wonder they all have kids, etc.)
The discussion then goes on among the women about the various poop schedules of their children, their husbands, and themselves, as well as how the youngest children still cannot wipe their own butts, and so actually hold it all day, and rush to go poo when they get home in the afternoon.
On my way home tonight, I called my mom, explained the situation, and re-asked when I learned to wipe my own butt, wanting in earnest to know.
(When I got to the part about my niece asking me to wipe her, my mom asked if I gagged – I have extreme sensitivities in certain areas – and I told her how it hadn’t bothered me at all, actually, because I never once considered actually wiping her butt for her… we both got a bit of a kick out of that.) 😛
She definitely didn’t remember, but she knew for sure that I could do it by the time I went off to kindergarten – when exactly in pre-school I started doing it, she wasn’t sure, but she knew it happened in there somewhere.
She was sure that it wasn’t something she liked doing, so she would have taught me as soon as possible to do it myself… unsurprisingly. 😛
Therefore, considering the respective ages of the kids today, I remained rather surprised that they do not yet wipe their own butts.
Perhaps their moms just don’t mind it…, but I knew I wasn’t going to do it for her.
Babies are one thing… a child sitting on a toilet, talking to me is another altogether.