Food For Thought Friday: While You Were Out

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I can’t believe I am going to share this with you. I am using my crystal ball to see into the future, and the day that my (now) four year-old son finds out that I wrote about this online for the whole world to read, well… I hope it goes better than my crystal ball is showing me. Hopefully I am raising a child with enough of a sense of humor that he will see the hilarity of this, rather than the humiliation.

The other day, Mr. Lindstrom and I went to an actual movie in an actual theater. As we were getting settled in the cushy reclining seats (by the way, why on earth did it take so long for theaters to get comfy seats? It’s not like comfort is some sort of new technology), I sent one last text to my babysitter to let her know that the movie was about to start, and to check and see how things were going at home. This is the text I got back, “The four year-old pooped in the park.” That’s it. Just those words. No details.

I texted back, “like he pooped at the park bathroom, or he pooped his pants while he was at the park?” Knowing full well that the latter would be more notable given the fact that we’ve got the whole potty training thing tied in a pretty little bow, but hoping that it was the former and that she was just really impressed by his ability and willingness to go potty in the public bathroom (it’s a stretch).

Bad news. It was neither. Return text states: “Nope, like he pooped in the park. He copped a squat and pooped. In the park.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT? My kid dropped trough and pooped, right there in the public park. Here is the blessing and the curse of texting, as the movie is about to begin, we know that our son (who we believe should know better) pooped in the park (blessing?), but we have no details (curse!). Later we would find out that while they were playing “hide and seek” on the last warm day of fall in the park across the street from our house, the four year-old hid briefly behind a tree and by the time the babysitter caught up with him he had assumed the position and was completing his mission.

*Please know that a) we have discussed the inappropriateness of public excreting with the four year-old and he understands the error of his ways. b) We are amused by this now, because really, there’s no reason not to be. The babysitter and the four year-old were the only people in the park at the time, everything got cleaned up appropriately, the four year-old has been redirected and educated, and frankly, it’s one for the baby book.

I was reminded about this incident when I saw this web-page. (Here’s the food for thought part) It got me thinking about the technology of today which makes it possible to know in the moment in every moment what major embarrassing or inappropriate mistakes your child is making. In today’s twitterific facebooking texty twitpic world, we are fooled into thinking that just because we CAN know what is going on in any given moment, we SHOULD know. I am guilty of checking in probably a little too frequently, but this habit of mine doesn’t allow me the distance that I need from my kids from time to time. Yes. I need a break every once in a while (we all do). Not just a physical break from parenting but also a mental break from parenting. That said, knowing about our son, the park pooper provided at least an hour of post movie entertainment for the park pooper’s father and me, so I cannot say that I’m entirely anti technology. I am just going to start thinking twice (okay, maybe three or four times, with a goal of learning how to only have to think twice) about how necessary it is for me to know exactly what is going on when I am not in charge.


  1. I particularly enjoyed the pads stuck all over and drawing on the dog. And of course, your park pooper. ;)


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