“Mommy? MOMMY!!!??? My hair wet. My HAIR wet!” Forlorn cries once again came from the bathroom an hour after our 2.5 year old had “gone to bed.” This, his second trip to the bathroom to go pee, had been a long one. His cries woke up Daddy, who had drifted off to sleep on the couch, and I reluctantly got up to see what I needed to do to help him get back to bed. This would be my 8th or 9th trip tonight, but definitely my most surprising.
“Why is your hair wet?” I asked gently. His sweet blue eyes just looked up at me as if he didn’t want to tell me as he stood next to the toilet. I checked for damage- just the front of his blonde bangs showed signs of wetness.
“Why is your hair wet?” I probed again.
“Toilet,” came a muffled response.
“Surely not from the toilet?” I asked, not believing I’d heard his muffled response correctly. “Is your hair wet from the toilet or the sink?”
“Toilet,” came his clear response.
“Honey, why would you stick your head in the toilet!? We don’t put our head in the toilet! That’s yucky. You just peed in there. That means you have pee in your hair. That’s really yucky.” Needless to say, he didn’t respond to my question- he knew I hadn’t really asked. He listened quietly, and after I was done, replied,
“Sorry. No stick my head in toilet again.”
“Good,” I said. “I’m glad you won’t do that again.”
After a short, long-after-bedtime shower, as I patted his wavy locks dry, I looked in his eyes and really asked him, “Why did you stick your head in the toilet?”
He could hear in my voice that I really wanted to know and he matter-of-factly replied, “I wanna see how toilet works.”
I couldn’t help but laugh just a little as I continued to dry his hair. “Oh, you wanted to see how the water came out, huh?”
“Yeah. Stick my head in; see how works.”
“Well, don’t stick your head in there again, but I’m really glad you like to figure out how things work. If you want to know how the toilet works, I can show you tomorrow.” I said, not believing myself that I was actually slightly happy that my child had thought to stick his head in the toilet. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely disgusting, but his reasoning wasn’t bad).
“You stick your head in toilet?” He inquired.
“No, Mommy’s not going to stick her head in the toilet either, but we can talk about how it works without doing that.” He didn’t seem to quite believe me that there would be a better way, but he agreed, and his little feet pattered back to his bedroom to get dressed.
“You’re a little engineer,” I said, as he pulled his pajamas on and I helped him with his buttons. “An engineer is somebody who knows how things work really well,” I continued as I jaunted to the bathroom to grab the hairbrush. “Your Daddy is an engineer. That means he has studied how things work and his mind is really good at figuring out how things work. You’re just like your Daddy. You want to know how things work. You’re a little engineer.” I smiled.
And his smile back brightened up the room.
Originally posted 12/19/2014 here: