Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ruminations on pee pee shoes and other parental condundra

I have discovered that the late toddler and preschool years are a time of bodily functions: the occurrence, the discussion of the occurrence, and what to do when they occur at unexpected times or inappropriate places. I really never thought I would spend so much cognitive energy on pee-pee.

But, alas, I do.

And here is what I have learned:
  1. Pee pee happens. Usually when you least want it to.
  2. In the world of the 2-5 yr old there is no such thing as an inappropriate time to discuss pee-pee.
  3. The more the perception by adults that the time is inappropriate to discuss pee pee the more likely it is that your child will bring the subject a very loud voice.
  4. Oxy products are the lord's gift to parents of preschoolers
  5. "Accidents" are a weapon and potty trained preschoolers are masters at wielding this weapon.
Take for example, Brenna's recent discovery that if the teacher says you can not change your pants on a whim, then you can stand in the middle of the classroom and pee on the floor, and suddenly, you are not only allowed, but encouraged to change your pants...and socks...and shoes....and maybe even your shirt if you were very thorough. While this is extremely effective in achieving the preschooler's desired outcome (really, they're not a dumb as they look), it is not exactly rewardable behavior from the adult perspective. 

This brings us to a parental pee pee conundrum. What to do with clothing and shoes that have become collateral damage in the war to change pants for no reason (until they suddenly are wet because you stood in the middle of your classroom and peed in them)? (please check out her site. she is hysterical)

Which brings me to another parental conundrum: It completely mystifies me why retailers create clothing for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young children that have washing instructions that include "hand wash" "gentle cycle only", "hang dry", "wash separately", and my all time favorites "do not wash" or "dry clean only". Seriously? Who buys this sh*t?? It is my firm belief that if it can't be thrown pellmell into the washing machine on the heavy-duty boiling-water-sanitize cycle with a full cup of bleach (well, color safe bleach) and then dried at a temperature that would make the furnace melt, then it should not be produced, sold, or purchased for a child under the age of....well, 20.

SERIOUSLY?! $920? For a toddler dress? A white toddler dress?!

And here is the conundrum part: Hand-me-downs. Every parent loves hand-me-downs. Without them we would all be poorer than we already are and our children would have to go naked by Wednesday (assuming that Sunday is laundry day...which it might be, if only I were that organized.) So really, the more clothing your child has the less laundry will need to be done. In theory, anyway. 

Hand-me-downs answer the question "Who buys this sh*t?" (sh*t = clothing that can't be boiled in the wash and cooked in the dryer). Obviously, someone does because a selection of it has ended up in my daughter's closet and drawers and I certainly didn't pay top dollar for it. 

Shoes are the worst. What do you do with the pee-pee shoes? How about the pee-pee boots? Or, every parent's favorite: pee pee light-up shoes? Electronics and washing machines do not make good company - in this contest no one is the winner. But, if you don't wash them, your child goes around smelling like a homeless person. And no parent wants to their child to go around smelling like a homeless person. It's bad enough, that when they get to be a teenager they will go around dressed, in your ancient and uncool opinion, like said homeless person (or a streetwalker...or both). Really, there is no need for them to spend their early youth smelling homeless too.

So the shoes must be washed. The athletic shoes. The leather shoes. The shoes made of stuff that looks and feels like leather but did not come from any animal found in nature. The shoes with lights. The shoes with glitter. If it goes on your preschooler's feet then it will likely need to be washed. 

Surprisingly, I have had great success with the washing of Brenna's shoes. Her glitter-sparkle shoes came out of the wash and dryer not significantly worse for wear and still sparkly. Even better, the washer/dryer remained un-glittered. Her neon pink sneakers are still pink, albeit not quite so neon. The Nike high tops (made of some leather-like substance that is definitely not found in nature) came out as good as new. As did her yellow t-strap mary jane sheakers. In fact, these actually came out better than new since the searing heat of the dryer seems to have been the only answer to re-adhering the cute rubber piece to the toe of the shoe. (I had tried every kind of glue and tape, with no success, prior to washing them.) 

Based on this list, I have pretty much sent every pair of Brenna's shoes through the washer and dryer.
At first, I actually put the shoes in a delicates bag. Now I don't even waste my time with that. Pee pee shoes - straight into the gaping mouth of the washer/dryer beast with you!

Fortunately, she has not peed in her boots but if/when she does, I will probably thrown them into the washer and dryer as well. 


  1. How your world would be different if you had boys:

    Amend learning #2 as follows: In the world of the 2 - (insert age of the oldest male in the house) there is no such thing as an inappropriate time to discuss ALL bodily functions.

    Also, there would only be one pair of shoes in the photo.

    1. LOL!! yes, the world of boy children is foreign to us. One of Brenna's first words was "choose!!" for 'shoes'.