The Silent Sufferer

Here’s a preschool story for you:

For whatever reason, kids have to “go potty” at the most inopportune times.  And for reasons that I really can’t comprehend, they tend to wait until they HAVE to go to tell you.  There’s no, “Miss Lindsey, I’ll probably need to use the restroom within the next ten minutes, so please incorporate that into our schedule accordingly.”  I only wish.  Somehow they are suddenly and unpredictably stricken with the need to pee and begin to dance and hold their nether regions and waiting isn’t an option.  I could go on, but I think I’ll refer you to this story from Grasping for Objectivity because it’s a hilariously accurate depiction of this “sudden pee” syndrome children are afflicted with.  Her blog is immensely entertaining to begin with, but this story is probably my favorite.  Anyway, the funny thing about a class of 3-year-olds is that if one asks to go to the bathroom, at least five others hear the request and realize, “Hey, I have to go potty too!”  It’s seriously contagious.

One 3-year-old girl who was in my class (she has since moved) was typical in the sudden pee realm, but instead of just telling me she had to go, she preferred to suffer in silence.  Well, relative silence.  I’m not sure how she began her silent suffering (because obviously I’d have sent her to the bathroom right away), but by the time I noticed, she was in tears and softly moaning while the other children were nervously murmuring, “She has to go potty…  She has to go potty…”

“Ok, run to the bathroom,” I said calmly.  She said she needed help and began to wail.  I quickly led her out of class and to the bathroom.  Since she’d pulled a similar–though less dramatic–stunt before, I knew she was completely capable of taking care of business by herself, so I led her to a stall and respectfully stepped away from the stall to give her a little privacy.  Wrong move.  The whiny wailing turned into an agonizing shriek.  I looked back into the stall and saw that she was standing with her pants down in front of the toilet.  “I NEED HELP!” she screamed.  Not sure exactly what she was expecting me to do, I quickly picked her up and plopped her down on the toilet seat.

She was instantly quieted and calmly began to pee.  And that was it!  Problem solved.  Lucky for me, the world didn’t end and she didn’t have an accident.  I’m really not sure how I got out of that unscathed. 


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