Friday, December 03, 2010

Pew Wipe My Butt?

Sure it sounds gross.
Anything with Wipe and Butt in the same sentence most definitely will be distasteful and not what you serve for dessert during your Chrismukahwanzza celebration.

It might be confusing to others. Some may wonder how in the hell a pew wipes a butt.

Or perhaps there are some of you wondering what sort of new product is out there regarding butts and wiping.

The way you perceive the title, I would imagine, is based on what is currently going on within your emotional world, and your true physical world, what your present "role" is in life, (parent, grandparent, Dinks, Siom's, Sahm's, Sahf's, single, empty-nesting, lawyer, writer, I think you get the point) and anything else you want to mix to the soup of pew and wipe and butt titles.

If you're in the mood, I'm curious to know what your first thought was when you read the title of this post.
Before reading the content.
How accurate were you?
Not a big deal, just curious to know how your mind operates. After all, this blog isn't just about me. 

Nevertheless, what sounds gross, and it is, is equally depressing.

Remember when your status went from Mommy to Mom? It's sort of like that. Or when your 9month old stopped breastfeeding? Like that too. After all you so don't want your 5 year old to be all freakishly attached to breast milk. Yet in the same sense, aside from knowing what your boobs will resemble after they pump out the last of their milk supply, your little guy or girl is growing up.
I think you can see why wiping a butt can be sad.
Still not convinced?
Let me try again.

For one, when Ben says, "Pew," what he's saying is, "Can you.."
 It is so cute. Just like when the little man can't say his L's and is obessed with clocks from the Mickey Mouse show and whenever he sees clocks anywhere while we're out, rest assured you'll hear a little voice say, "Mommy, look at those wittle clocks." Or, "look at those big clocks."

But remember he can't say his L's yet.
It's that sort of cute. Make more sense now?
Secondly, he still believes that I do a better job of wiping his tushie then he does. As much as it's a gross task, especially when they've advance beyond diapers and into underwear, it's also a parental wake up call. You know what I mean, right? Where you are reminded that they're growing up fast, but they're still little enough to where you still have time left."

Ben still asks me to wipe his tushie after a doodie diver, but he has to handle the flush all on his own. The flashing flushing Benny. Don't take that job away from him, he prefers to do things all by himself.

Or in his words, "I dooo eettt."

Now I don't know how it is in your world, but for those of you that are presently parents of kids that are still living within your home ages 18 and under, do you experience similar parental wake up calls? Typically in bizarre moments?  While in the midst of, say, in this case, wiping their butt?

Pardon me if this makes you blush, but for those of you that are parents to boys that are in high school, did you experience those familiar bursts of, "soon he will no longer need me," during say the "dream stage?"

To be more direct, is that the thought that crossed your mind when your teenage son suddenly became a champion at doing his own laundry? When he crossed over from the land of  little guy, into the land of Suds and Soaps? The call rings as you're standing there witnessing your son stuffing his sheets into the washing machine? Stuffing them into the wash with the same mannerisms at not getting caught cheating on a test?  Praying he doesn't get busted by you? Or just hoping that he won't be spotted from you.

It's okay if you don't get what direction I'm heading in. It's a good thing because you can click away in relief that your mind isn't as twisted as mine. 

Either that or you're a freakin prude.

No offense.

So there I was, wiping his tush and suddenly it struck me that Ben is beyond 4.
He's 4.5 years old, and to any child, that extra .5 is a huge deal. They crave to do things themselves, but still want you to acknowledge their feats. 

 They're looking for you to praise them, to acknowledge that not only did you see them accomplish something, but that they did a fantastic job while doing it.

Naturally when they're teenagers, and experiencing the "dream stage" of life, they will need you in a different way. They won't want you to recognize something that they did, with gooey praise. They'd much prefer you remain mute, especially within the company of their buddies. They don't want a Mom that acts all cool and young, nor do they want a Mom interfering with their time. No matter what degree of Mom you are, when boys are teens, they don't want you to say, "it's time for your morning hug! I'm so proud of you for making your bed this morning. The way you took your time and did the best you could, that's such a good choice."

Dude, don't praise the teen boys. They'll shy further away.
Do they?

 I'm not saying the only time you must praise your children are when they're young, far from it. Rather I'm saying that one day it's them asking for you to only wipe their butt, and then before you know it, they'll be asking for some money from your wallet.

It's your job to adapt to their changes, and figure out a different way to "praise them,"without making it sound like you're putting their pacifier in the dishwasher. Interrupt me if you disagree. Like I said, I don't know what they'll be like, nor do I have any idea what life will be like when my boys are teens. I'm going off of their current personalities as well as from watching my little brothers grow up.

Suddenly the image of wiping your little four year olds tushie doesn't sound bad, right? The fact that I am still able to recognize the ringing of that wake up call, is a good thing.

Just as quick as that you see the toilet paper disappear down within the depths of your hopefully clean and root and clog free sewer, is as quick as they grow up. Is as quick as each phase stops and another one starts.

Ben may still need me to wipe his butt after pooping in the potty, but he doesn't need me to flush the toilet for him, dress him, snap him, put his dishes into the sink when done eating, but I still need to acknowledge all the amazing things he's doing, even more so when he isn't looking for recognition, to balance out the "no part of me."

I don't know what it's like to be a parent to teenage boys, I'm sure it's remarkably fascinating and terrifying in the same. The one thing I feel I'm sure of, is that I really want this type of flashback someday. In the same fashion as I experienced the parental wake up call while my son is only 4 (and a half) while wiping his 4 (and a half) year old hiney. The flash that reminds me to appreciate the now, even if it's wiping down pews, I mean butts. To constantly praise my young children when they're not looking for it, and when they're looking for it. So that when I arrive down the road that some of you may be on presently, I'll be able to look back and remember these moments.

Ironically the reminder will be the same, only I'll remember far more of "all the times I had to wipe his butt, or clean up his puke, or cut his crusted finger nails from digging into dirt, or from making up fart songs and burp stories." The times we spent around the dinner table, having to remind them "elbows off," "mouth closed," "if it's bulging out of your mouth, there's too much in your mouth," "don't talk with food in your mouth....just typing it out is exhausting. During these wake up moments, the thought process will take me back to these very times. I'll remember saying that I need to enjoy the now, because the now is changing fast, and I'm not talking about just how far my boobs are sagging this year compared to last year.

I will miss the times when a word such as 'fart,' would cause sheer chaos and insane laughter at the dinner table. Not to mention their reaction to a true fart. The stories of gas, and bottomless poop holes, of teaching them how to make fart sounds by cupping their armpit and squeezing it down..

 I'll even miss the times they were terrified of werewolves, and how scared they were when we were out driving past forests, or prairies, or forest preserves. Of when I had to drive home with my headlights on, despite daylight, since they expressed concern about the beefed up Wolf that grows from real sun.  But if it were to be hit with, say headlights, it would cause them to explode. Tiny particulars that look like snow dust, right before your eyes. Because, if I didn't have my headlights on, and it jumped out in front of us, the natural sun would give it the strength to come into the car and sit down next to them.

Someday when I stand back and watch my grown sons soar off into their own canvas of hope, I'll be able to reflect on these moments, so that when the moments of tomorrow are truly here, I'll have the memories of the past to help me get out of my jolted parental wake up call.

In the meantime I must remember to acknowledge their positives, even if it's something as simple as, "Wow, Ben! You did Such a Great Job Flushing the Toilet!! Look at how nicely the paper is going into the pipes!"
Only after I finish wiping their butt.

1 comment:

KathyA said...

I remember a time when I had three children in diapers and wondered what I would possibly do with my time when they were all trained. what I found was that the task of taking care of toddlers is just replaced with the care of youngsters -- I then began driving them back and forth to preschool, soccer, swimming, etc.!