Home > Family, Parenting, Work > I Didn’t Mean to Take Your Cup

I Didn’t Mean to Take Your Cup

This morning, my six-year-old shouted, “Mom, I missed the toilet!”

“What do you mean?” I asked from another room, a few feet away.

“Mom, Mom, Mom! J is trying to drink my pee! Eeeew!” he shouted in answer.

“Bet that’ll teach you to close the door,” my husband called from still another room.

I ran into the bathroom to find J–who’d been at my feet maybe twenty seconds earlier–on hands and knees, trying to lap up a puddle in front of the toilet.

(For the life of me, I cannot figure out what we did to make J think he’s a puppy, but he chews flip-flops in between attempts to eat and drink in communion with our Collie mix.)

“No!” I cried, sweeping him up from the floor before giving him a wash-down. I couldn’t tell if he’d actually succeeded in his yellow-water mission, but he’d been at one with the bathroom floor all the same. His fists were wet and he needed a cleaning, which is, indeed, a nearly perpetual state for most the toddlers I’ve known.

He jammed a hand in my mouth and giggled. He thought it was hilarious.

I gagged.

“Well, shoot,” I murmured as I sat back down at my desk with water cup in hand this afternoon.

“Hmm?” ask my nearest colleague and friend, pausing her typing to look my direction.

“I just grabbed my cup of water from the bathroom lounge and finished drinking it,” I explained, bouncing the cup on my knee. “Only …” my eyes drifted over to the corner of my desk, where actually-my cup sat empty.

“Oh, no!” she exclaimed after following my eyes. “You drank someone else’s water again?!”

“Yep,” I sighed. I considered being worried about it, but then thought of J’s fist jammed in my mouth this morning. An adult stranger’s straw didn’t seem at all menacing by comparison.

“That’s weird,” she said, chuckling.

I paused. “You know, I actually wrote about this on my blog. ‘Parenthood is like juggling.'” I pulled up the old blog and showed it to her.

“You’re a single person, and you have a couple of balls to juggle,” I explained, pointing to the first image.

“Then you add a dog, and you have a few more balls to juggle,” I continued. “And then there’s the husband, and the first kid, and then the second kid, so you just get to the point where it feels like a mighty fine day if the biggest ball you drop is the only-drink-from-my-cup one.”

“That’s cute,” she said about my stick figure drawings. I smiled. I doubt she’d have said the same had she witnessed J diving for a pool of pee this morning.

juggling 5

Before I left the office today, I pulled a single item from my filing cabinet and placed it on my desk.

There’s not much room on my desk now that I’m in a bullpen, so I retired a bunch of items to “storage” to keep a tidier working area.

Today I realized that my parenting thinking shortcuts meant it was time to take one of those items out of storage. Drinking from a stranger’s nondescript disposable cup once isn’t a huge deal. Anyone could make that mistake once on a bad day!

But twice in a couple of weeks means it’s time for a self-intervention. Like, for example, taking my Tigger mug out of storage and sacrificing those nine square inches of desk space.

‘Cause though drinking from a stranger’s straw might not be as revolting as tasting a tiny pee-covered fist in my mouth, I’d rather reduce what risks I can … such as by only drinking water from my unmistakable Tigger mug.

tigger mug

Categories: Family, Parenting, Work Tags: , , ,
  1. November 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Toddlers. I feel your pain. (Although I think the dog phase is hilarious, pee aside.) We had to go on a turd hunt yesterday because BG slung her diaper and the little poop balls went flying. Not the family fun you’d think it’d be.

    • November 9, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      I do think it’s adorable watching J trying to lap up food from his bowl … and even the dog’s! But the pee bit, well, that’s better in retrospect than at the moment. :p

      I don’t remember D going through such a phase. Experiencing this only once seems just about perfect for me!

  2. November 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Very smart thinking. And the tigger mug is awesome!!

    • November 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      If mental shortcuts can be my downfall, I might as well also use them in my favor! :p

      (I love the mug, too. I should’ve just let it keep its space on my desk.)

  3. November 9, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Hey, my toddler has been a dog, too! She got lice and decided it was fleas and she was a dog since then until yesterday, when I went to wake her up. She was fast asleep, then she turned over, opened one eye at me, and meowed. She keeps licking the back of her hand and wiping it all over her hair!

    • November 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      LOL! I can’t believe I used to find kids foul … or should I stick with the animal deal and say “fowl”? Now I look at things like this and think, “Okay, disgusting as this/that/the other was, it is so grand–and ridiculous!–to see the world through such new eyes!” I fear I’d be pretty stuffy without toddlers and pee puddles to maneuver.

      • November 10, 2015 at 5:02 am

        Yes, for sure having kids is far more interesting. My life must have been impossibly boring before the kids arrived! It really has forced me to grow!

  4. November 9, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Urine is sterile.

    • November 9, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Urine on the bathroom floor where the dog spends most his time alternately licking his bum and the floor, not so much.

      • November 9, 2015 at 7:44 pm

        Well, yeah.

        • November 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm

          I think my husband will LOL when he reads this exchange. So many of our conversations go like this:

          Him: Oh, no! PEE!
          Me: Ah, whatever, it’s sterile.
          Him: …

          This is a rare case where I went, “Oh, no, PEE!” Half on account of the pee, half on account of the where of it.


          • November 9, 2015 at 7:57 pm


  5. November 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    I don’t have toddlers but I had two little brothers who were toddlers and I was involved in their welfare, cleanliness and presentability and all these things ring so oh nostalgic 😀 Funny in retrospect but certainly not in the moment. Cherish cherish cherish these crazy times, they’re not half as fun or cute when they’re older :p

    • November 10, 2015 at 2:40 am

      Even having a six-year-old helps me appreciate the simultaneous sweetness of this messy exploration! How quickly those six years passed …

  6. November 10, 2015 at 1:18 am

    Yep – I hear ya – we went through a cat phase one. Drink from a muddy puddle in the park anyone? ugh.

    • November 10, 2015 at 2:42 am

      Ahaha, until I read this, I forgot about the lawn-water-lapping incident. It’s probably better for survival to err on the side of drinking than not-drinking, eh?

  7. November 10, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Hilarious and great comparison! Yes, the adult mishaps seem so inconsequential compared to what kids do. The phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff” comes to mind.

    • November 10, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Exactly! Sometimes it takes me a little longer to distinguish the big stuff from the small stuff, but I seem to get there in the end. 🙂

  8. NotAPunkRocker
    November 10, 2015 at 6:15 am

    That’s the wonderful thing about Tiggers….you can’t miss them. 😀

  9. November 10, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I gagged right along with you…hope your day gets better!

    • November 10, 2015 at 10:30 am

      The evening was much mellower … after I got the drive home out of the way, that is! The drive went about as well as you’d have expected given where my brain was at …

      • November 10, 2015 at 10:34 am

        At least you made it back in one piece. I’m hoping tomorrow morning is better for you. 😉

  10. November 10, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Strange things are happening in the toddlerocracy these days. I think the toddlers are communicating and planning a rebellion of sorts…
    Watch your back!!

  11. November 10, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Don’t worry about the pee-drinking. Just assume he’s an astronaut in training!

    • November 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Heh. Works for me, though preferably he’d pursue missions of the few-year instead of few-decade sort! 😀

  12. November 10, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Too funny! Before you know it, little J and his brother will be graduating and you’ll be telling him about this “pee story” and wondering where “where the time went”???? Another highly entertaining, well-written piece. I so enjoy your writing…. 🙂

    • November 11, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Thank you! Even while gagging, I appreciate the opportunity to amass these stories for later … knowing I’ll find ’em funny soon enough, if not while they’re underway!

  13. November 11, 2015 at 6:17 am

    You made my day! I laughed, gagged and exonerated myself along with you. Hope the rest of the week goes better.

    • November 11, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Thank you! I still feel on the overwhelmed side of things, but there’s plenty to laugh about even so. 😀

  14. November 11, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Consider this, what a great story this will be when he calls some day to tell you how horrid doing his own laundry is, or what a terrible roommate he has, or some disgusting thing his own child has done.

    You will be able to sagely tell him, ‘Well yes J, but you once went through a puppy stage and lapped your brothers pee from the bathroom floor’.

    ❤ ❤ ❤

  15. November 13, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I don’t miss toddler-chasing days at all! I do miss the toddlers, however.

    • November 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

      I miss Li’l D as a toddler, and am trying to appreciate even pee-diving moments, knowing how quickly they pass. 🙂

  1. November 13, 2015 at 2:33 am
  2. November 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

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