Again With the Squat

So Sunday, some friends and I were sitting in the hallway at church (it’s okay, there is a couch there, we weren’t squatting on the floor), skipping Sunday School so we could chat.

Well, actually, I was skipping Sunday School so I could go over the lesson I was teaching the next hour (three hour church, people) and some friends stopped to chat with me, so we wound up skipping Sunday School to chat.  Anyway, we had important stuff to discuss:  our impending move, one friend’s pregnancy (which I did not know about!) and the other friend hoping they will get to stay in the area at least one more year before her husband’s job ships them off to heaven knows where (they are fearing the D.C. area).  And, most importantly, we had to discuss the rescheduling of book club, which had to be canceled last week due to weather.  This is the month we are discussing Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (and if you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?) so it is, of course, imperative that we don’t just scrap it for the month.  Seriously, stop reading this post and get yourself over to Amazon or half.com or somewhere like that and order the book.  Now!

Okay, if you’re still reading, I’ll assume you’ve gotten the book already (yes, it’s fluff, but it’s worth it; and don’t you deserve a little fluff in your life anyway?).

Right, so we were sitting in the hallway, on the sofa, chatting, when another woman, who was apparently helping out in the nursery this week, walked by in the direction of the bathroom with a little boy.  A few minutes later she walked back with the little boy, headed back to class, and laughingly made the comment that she is glad she has girls because little boys are dangerous in the bathroom.

“You’ve really gotta watch out for those things!” she said.

We all laughed and, of course, our chit-chatting went off on a potty training tangent.  There were a few comments made about how messy little boys are in the bathroom when they are potty training, spraying stuff everywhere except for where it is supposed to be.  Honestly, I’ve never had that problem (well, maybe once or twice, but really, that’s it) with Tank Boy.  His aim is pretty true.

The problem I do have with Tank Boy is keeping him from falling off the potty seat.

Okay, I have probably overstated my problem because, to my knowledge, he has only ever fallen off once; but I constantly worry about him falling off the potty seat because he doesn’t sit on it.  He squats.  Yes, when nature calls, my son climbs up onto the toilet, one foot on either side of the seat, and perches himself precariously in a squat position.  I would take a picture of it for you all, but that strikes me as gross.  I mean, it’s funny, it’s sooooo funny, but to post a picture of a little kid perched over the toilet taking care of business?  Gross.

Now, just for clarification purposes, I must tell you that nobody taught him to do this.  I taught him to sit on the potty (it’s Daddy’s job to teach him that standing up trick).  One day he just started squatting on the potty.  He has since informed me that he does this because the seat is cold.  Whatever.  Also for clarification purposes, the times he has “missed” it has been because I have walked by the bathroom and said something to the effect of, “Kid, why don’t you just sit on the seat?” thus distracting him from his business at hand, and causing him to shift his body weight ever so slightly to his heels as his focus shifts away from his stream of urine to my stream of consciousness.

So I shared this story with the chit-chatting friends at church and they were laughing so hard I thought the tears were going to start rolling.  Then one of them, through her laughter, said . . .

“Squatting?  You mean like he was back in his own country?  Well, you know, you can take these kids out of their country, but some parts of their country just stick with them!”

And you know what happened then? 

We all laughed some more.

You see, the woman who made that comment?  She is an adult international adoptee.  She has many siblings who are also adult international adoptees from various countries.  And, quite frankly, ever since I first found him squatting over the potty I’ve kinda thought to myself, “Is this an Asian thing?”

I mean, I’ve seen pictures of squatting Asians (mostly Vietnamese, and not going to the bathroom) though something like squatting would seem like more like a learned behavior to me; but here is my three-year-old, Korean-born son squatting to pee of his own volition.  It’s hard not to wonder silently to one’s-self, “Is this an Asian thing?”

At any rate, if you have a little boy of any ethnicity who squirts all over your bathroom, I’d highly recommend teaching him to squat on the pot*.  It will keep his aim true.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

*It actually makes me cringe when people refer to the toilet as “the pot” but, unfortunately, it rhymes with “squat”.  The depths to which I will sink for literary craft . . .

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6 thoughts on “Again With the Squat

  1. oh. my. gosh. I just lost a full sip of coffee b/c I’m laughing so hard!!!! Please don’t tell me Mattix is going to do this! He spends half of his day in the squat position. I don’t know whether it’s nature or nurture in our case because my husband, who is not VNese, squats all the time. (not on the toilet…to my knowledge…but around the house). About a year ago, I came home and found him squatted on top of the 8 foot ladder, painting. What the heck? Your Tank Boy sounds like a riot. The mental picture here is killing me. Thanks for making me laugh so hard!

    I’m glad McH doesn’t need surgery yet. I hope he continues to do well.

    BTW, not important, but I don’t think that’s an offensive thing at all (you mentioned in your last post that we would either laugh or be offended). Sometimes I think we, as adoptive parents, feel like we have to be really careful about what we say, even though there’s no reason, becuase sometimes society goes overboard. Maybe I’m entirely insensitive, but I feel like there are some things that are just factual…like in general, Americans are big compared to the VNese. At 5’7″ and 130 lbs, I was a big, giant, fat monster in VN. I had lots of people tell me when I was trying to find an au dai that they didn’t make them in sizes big enough for “Big American.” I laughed about it the whole time. There’s a balance between being culturally sensitive and going overboard, and it’s a hard to strike the it. Anyway…thanks for a funny story!

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  2. Cute! Tank Boy can instruct your new VN son to do the same when he’s old enough. 🙂 And by the way, I hope you get your travel dates this week!

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  3. I am forever going to remember the toilet squat. That was too funny!! 🙂

    It is totally an Asian thing. It is the most comfortable thing in the world for my mom’s family. My daughter is a squatter too, but it somehow skipped me. I used to try to squat just to be like my mom, but man my thighs would hurt!

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  4. mom

    Too funny, maybe I should try that with the twins, they love the idea of going potty, but do NOT like the potty seat 🙂 I have tons of pics of them squatting. It’s like an instinct to them, we always just kind of shake our heads and wonder as no one in our family squats to eat a snack or read a book except the twins.

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  5. I agree that Tank Boy must be such a hoot to have around. I think you should totally get he and Zeeb together, you know? I can’t quite even picture coming up with, implementing and continuing the squat on top of the potty technique. I would be totally afraid he’d fall in! He is one talented little guy I guess!

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