So today, as the sun shone gloriously above our home and my children frolicked happily in their wading pool, my wife decided that we should wash the cars. (They certainly needed it – I had been thinking of changing my headlights because they were getting progressively dimmer; after washing the car, I realized it was just dirt causing the dimming.) So I backed the cars out of the garage, grabbed the soap and rags, and commenced to washing.
Now, at some point in time, my son decided that his swimsuit was burdening him, and my wife, who loves my son and will do almost anything for him, just took his little Cars swim trunks off. Jon was happy for a bit, but soon enough began tugging at his diaper. Rachel, again the obliging mom, slipped the diaper off and let him run around naked.
A word about that: I’m not a big fan of outdoor nudity at any age. I suppose it’s more appropriate, or at least palatable, when the nude in question is not yet three years old. When the nude is fifty-three years old, we’re in different territory. I’m sure that anyone driving by would have had some sort of comment, but Jon was happy and that was the main goal. I suppose it’s no big deal, but to me there’s still something a little redneck about letting your young’uns run around the yard unencumbered by clothing.
And the redneck factor only gets worse.
Not too much later, Rachel was inside eating her dinner and I was still outside with the kids. Now, remember, I’m washing cars, which is no small thing at our household (mainly because they get washed so infrequently). So as I’m doing my best to scrub crap off of my car, Ella comes walking up.
“Daddy,” she asks casually, “what happened to the dog who pooped in our yard?”
“What?” I’m working on some rim dust that simply will not come off.
“The dog that pooped in our yard. What happened to it? Did you see it?”
Now, at this point she has my attention because we have a mysterious neighbor who allows their dog to take man-sized poops in our yard. I’m wondering, at first, if she’s somehow stumbled across a new “gift” from this neighbor. So I stand up and start to follow her.
Then, the thought hits me: I haven’t seen a dog all afternoon.
After that one comes a quick second thought: Jonathan has been outside naked for the last thirty minutes.
Ella leads me around the front of my car, and sure enough, next to one of his little riding cars is a rather disturbing sight: two mounds of poop. And about fifteen feet away is my son, smiling.
Being the good dad that I am, I immediately send Ella into the house to get Rachel. When my wife comes out, I just look at her and say, “I think our son took a dump on the driveway.”
Rachel looks at the scene – and laughs. Hysterically. She gathers Jon up and ushers him inside and leaves me to dispose of the evidence. Ella runs inside after them, screaming, “Jonathan pooped outside!”
Yeah – we’re redneck. Not only do we let our kids run around naked outside, we act nonplussed when those kids break one off on the driveway. I can only pray that no one saw it. Though, if someone did happen to witness my son doing his thing next to his Lightning McQueen Power Wheel, I hope they laughed maniacally and didn’t speed-dial DFACS.
Anyway – this brings me to some quick advice for all you parents of boys out there, advice that I obviously need to pass along to my son. These are rules that have been handed down to generations of men, rules that are traditionally observed when at an outdoor function, such as camping, or your aunt’s funeral or tailgating at Talledega. Feel free to clip and save.
Rules for Outdoor Bathrooming:
1. Don’t pee on the person standing next to you.
2. If you violate #1, apologize.
3. Locate a tree or small shrub with which to shield yourself. If no such cover can be found, call as much attention to yourself as possible. You might as well impress someone.
4. If someone announces any of the following, you can be sure they’re about to potty outside:
– “Going to scare some bears.”
– “Time to mark my territory.”
– “Gotta make some Mountain Dew.”
– “I can hear Nature calling. Literally.”
– “I’m going to pee outside. Anybody wanna come with?”
5. It is inappropriate to critique another man’s form while outdoor bathrooming. Or while going to the bathroom anywhere.
6. Common sense: try to avoid pressure washing anyone’s house.
7. Tip for the ladies: if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to go to the bathroom outdoors, be sure you have plenty of Kleenex in your purse. If you don’t, avoid all plants with three leaves.
8. Make sure you have your feet shoulder width apart for balance. If you doubt the efficacy of this rule, try using the bathroom outdoors off-balance. You will regret it.
9. Never wear coveralls with a hood. To many unspeakably horrible things can happen.
10. Given the choice, most men will choose to use the bathroom outdoors. I think it has something to do with not having to deal with a seat.