picture a day you find yourself pushing the boys on the swing and watching your daughter walk down the deck stairs until you're eye level with her little naked behind.
A few moments before this Emma had bent in that unmistakable pose that means the same thing to parents of Pre-Schoolers everywhere... She had to go to the bathroom. And apparently badly. I had to explain to her that I couldn't get both boys inside in time for me to go with her, and that she was a big girl and should run up the steps, into the house and go to the potty on her own. We'd keep the door open so I could hear her. She seemed skeptical but didn't argue, and hustled her little legs up the stairs. I should say here, that both Emma and Belle go to the potty without us all the time... I think we're just there for moral support more than anything.
Fast-forward 7 minutes and you're eye level with a bare bottom. I started giggling as I tried to calmly ask: "Emmie... where are your pants?" The little legs and bottom kept moving deliberately down the steps... having every intention of re-joining their twin in the sand box. "Emma, honey... You forgot your pants... do you need help?"
At this she pivoted and stuck her rear in the direction of the neighbors home and peaked her head through the crack in the stairs: "I didn't forget them mommy" she whispered. "They're wet... but don't worry" she hurried to reassure me, "it's not a b-zaster - I cleaned it all up". And didn't those legs and bottom keep working their way closer to the sand.
As soon as I could stand up straight, I dried my eyes that overfilled while I tried to hold in riotous laughter, and tried to explain to my daughter that even if she cleaned up her mess, she should still have some pants on to play outside... and mommy should probably check the cleaning job.
So I made sure the boys were buckled in, gave them a big push, gave Bella some tips on keeping their swings moving, and asked Emma to lead me back inside to her "cleaned up mess". God Love her if she didn't try. Her wet pants were in the powder room sink, the wastebasket was full of wet wadded toilet paper, and the wipes were out. I tried not to think of all that she must have touched on the way outside and instead listened to her very proud recount of the details of her first solo cleaning event and what she would do when she got back outside. We washed off legs, feet (and shoes), rewashed the floor, and got dressed. Never once did I mention the mess, never did we talk about an accident. We could have been picking up cookie crumbs.
Thinking about it even now this brings a smile to my face. You're just not ever prepared to see bare butts eye level in broad daylight (or, let's be honest... ever) - and you're not ever prepared to see your 3 1/2 year old child growing and taking ownership for their lives in such a mature non-b-zaster kind of way. It was one of those great parenting moments that I so hope to be able to recount years from now.
Tiny Tushies, and lots of love...