His Highness may hate me when he's older and finds the most embarrassing moments of his childhood posted for all the innernets to see, but some things just can't be kept quiet.
So we've been potty-training. It's a long and arduous story, with much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of everyone involved. We're nearly there, though. In fact, His Highness has a pretty much perfect record when allowed to do two things: cavort about naked as a jaybird (or at least bottomless) and do his business in the backyard. So I guess you could say he's housebroken., much like a beloved pet. Which, come to think of it, he kind of resembles sometimes, so there you have it.
The backyard thing is mildly controversial in our house. The Cat Daddy doesn't like it because he doesn't want His Highness think that it's a normal and socially acceptable way of doing things. I think it's fine as a stepping stone on the potty-training journey, and I know for a fact that it's better than his pooping in his unders or on the floor indoors.
A week or so ago, however, he crossed a line. First, he ran out the front door without permission. This is a big no-no, and it's something we've been working on, but as with so many things in life it's a process. I heard the screen door shut and went over to the door to storm outside angrily and give him a severe lecture while pulling him back inside, but as I put my hand up to open the door I saw that he had The Stance. The peeing one, that is. I need to clarify, as well, that he wasn't merely standing "in the front yard." He was in the front corner of the front yard, about as close to the sidewalk as one can get, so that anyone walking by would have to dodge his derriere.
It gets better. Across the street from our house are several back yards. So we look out the window to fences every morning. Awesome for privacy, especially when one's son is nekkid from the belly down, peeing in one's front yard. Not so awesome when, for the first time in two friggin' years, and at the precise moment one's son is peeing on the front lawn, the neighbors across the street open their back gates to let guests out of a child's birthday party.
It was at this moment I decided that I should probably go outside and at least provide a presence. I bought myself a little time by asking "What on earth are you doing??", but I was under no illusion or expectation of accomplishing anything of substance with that line of questioning. Not that I expected to accomplish anything more by going outside, but I figured it would prevent a well-meaning parent from walking him back up to the house, only to find me standing there watching. It would just be tough to explain, that's all. "I guess he misunderstood what I meant by 'Yes, you can pee in the yard,'" and so on.
But it gets better.
As I exited the house I thought, "Well, looks like he's done. I'd better get him inside and have another talk about wearing underwear and stuff when out in public." And then I saw him take 2 steps forward, squat down, and put his head down so as to look behind him. Can you guess what that meant??
Yes. The Pooping Stance. In the front yard. Down by the driveway. In plain sight. While the children were coming out of the gate across the street.
Mercifully, in no time at all he was standing again, saying, "Mom, I pooped! Mom, come look at my poop!!"
So I did. Then I ushered him inside for the wiping of the bottom, and grabbed some wipes and stuff so I could go back out to collect the poop for flushing. I figured as much as the Cat Daddy dislikes encountering dog poop when he's mowing the lawn, human poop might just send him over the edge. Or maybe that's just me; I dunno. Either way, the poop got flushed.
Then we finished off with a bit of a talk on the finer points of front yard vs. back yard, and clothing oneself when one is in mixed company (intermingled with praise for having pooped not-in-the-house, and all that).
And of course, not going out the front door without permission...