My six-year-old pooped his pants yesterday. When he told me, he was giddy, almost proud. He was playing with a group of about 10 kids from his school, including his beloved, Vera, another kindergartener that he loves more than life itself. He didn’t want to be apart from Vera. He didn’t want to miss anything anyone said. So even though his body was telling him it was time to go to the bathroom, he didn’t. The tipping point was when an older boy told a funny joke. My son started laughing and it was over.
I was in the middle of an important school meeting when it happened. I couldn’t leave and quite frankly, he didn’t want to. I took him to the bathroom, whipped off his pants, then underwear, which I tossed in the trash. I wiped him down and put his pants back on. He went commando the rest of the evening.
If he would have been embarrassed or his eyes filled with tears, my reaction would have been more compassionate. But he was tickled that such a calamity happened! He knew mommy would take care of it.
Later, after a shower and fresh pajamas, I tucked him in bed. I told him that I was annoyed but I totally understood. I told him when I was younger I had the same issue. I did not want to miss the action so I had a few accidents in my day. I told him about the time in 3rd grade when I went to Erik's birthday party. I was having so much fun and did not want to miss a minute. Jaime told a funny joke and I peed. I was standing in the dirt and wearing a dress. I moved quickly so that the mud puddle was not associated with me. My parents had dropped me off for the party so I had to tell Mrs S about my accident. She teased me for being such a big girl and having an accident. She didn’t think it appropriate for me to wear Erik’s underwear so handed me a fresh pair of his little sister, Libby’s underwear. My son has met Libby. We are still friends. Now as adults, I am 5’ 8” and she is 5’0”. She was just as proportionately smaller than me as a 1st grader as now.
My son thought that was hysterical. We talked about listening to our bodies to make sure we don’t have another accident. I love that I understand so much about my son. He is in many ways a little version of me. We have many of the same issues. Social, loving, thoughtful people. The difference is that when I had my accident, I was mortified. I was so terribly embarrassed, couldn’t enjoy the rest of the party and stayed in the bathroom most of the rest of the party. My son on the other hand, laughed when he told me and as soon as he was cleaned up, jumped right back in with the pack of kids. I like this new version, the better, more resilient version.