We've all heard it before: you can't expect too much from a little child. Don't try to give them too many responsibilities or explain things too much to them. What if the problem isn't that we are expecting too much from our children, but rather too little.
As I was taking a shower this morning, the kid came in the bathroom and told me he had to go pee. Of course let me tell you that the kid is now 2.5 but is very strong-willed and is not going to use the potty unless he feels like it. Which is never. Though he does like to sit on the toilet and "read" magazines like daddy. And the bathroom that I was taking a shower in doesn't have a working toilet right now. So I had two choices. I could climb out of my nice warm shower to run the kid to the other bathroom which would result in him sitting on the toilet, pushing his penis down, nothing coming out, him getting bored and jumping off the toilet, then him peeing on the floor two minutes later. Or I could pull him in the shower with me and he could just pee in the water and it would go down the drain (what? pee is sterile).
Then a lightbulb went off and I grabbed the metal bowl out of the tub (he likes to make cakes when he is taking his bath) and told him to pee in that. He of course proceeded to sit down on the floor and try to figure out how he was going to pee in the bowl. So I told him to stand up and hold his penis like daddy and pee in the bowl. After three attempts to push the pee out, he finally did it. And might I add that he has pretty good aim.
He was so proud of himself and I was so proud of him! Why had I not tried getting him to pee standing up before? Because everyone says that that is messy and little boys can't aim and I would end up with pee all over my bathroom. And I barely clean my bathroom as it is, I don't need pee on the walls.
So what does this silly story of penises and pee have to do with expecting too little? Well, nobody expects little boys to be able to aim, so I listened to them and have been making my son sit because I didn't expect much out of him. Today he showed me that I was wrong. Actually, he likes showing me that I am wrong. Whenever I tell him to let me do something because I know he can't (I mean, I don't literally say "you can't do it"), he says "No! Yeah-Ye!" (Yeah-Ye is how he says his name, btw) and then he does it.
So perhaps instead of lowering the bar for our young children, we should raise it up a little higher?