Saturday, August 27, 2011

Teach your son well...

The best thing about being a father is teaching your kids useful stuff about life. I’m not talking about math, or science, or anything like that. I’m talking about important stuff like how to throw a baseball the real way (not that crazy, girlie way your mom taught you!), the comic differences between Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse and Carl Barks Ducks, and of course how to make fart noises. These are all important life lessons that would likely be learned incorrectly on the play ground if you don’t step in and provide guidance. Now, if you have a son, then you have added responsibilities like showing him how to pee in public and without getting in trouble.

An ariel view of Chambord
The thing about teaching your son how to pee in public is that it has to be done at the right time and at the right place. If you try to teach him too early he’ll start dropping his pants all the time and peeing in people’s plants. It may be cool in the college dorm, but it isn’t cool at McDonald’s. Boy finally got to the appropriate age this past year so I just had to wait for the right “place” to have the talk.

As luck would have it, living in France provides a lot more opportunities to discuss peeing in public than one would think. You see, French men view the world as their own personal toilet. You can’t walk three blocks in Paris with seeing some man peeing either directly into the gutter, or on a tree. And, yes it is very funny when a man and a dog are both peeing on two separate trees at the same time. The same goes for the highway! In America, if you need to pee on the side of the road, etiquette dictates that you find a bush in the distance. Not in France! Oh no, in France as long as you don’t pee into traffic it’s ok. We used to have a game to see who could count the most men peeing when we went on road trips. I was always slightly disturbed that Girl always seemed to win.

The opportunity finally presented itself when we went to one of the famous French chateau’s in the Loire valley, Chambord. Chambord is just spectacular and we really enjoyed it. But, it is a typical French tourist site. You see, the French don’t like to spoil the beauty of their touristy stuff with all sorts of nasty stuff like food shacks, souvenir-junk stores, or even bathrooms. That doesn’t mean these things don’t exist because they certainly do. But, there is typically only one of them. As you can imagine, the lines can get really long because a lot of people go to these places. And a lot of people were there at the same time as us.

Anyway, we had seen the castle and now it was time to go home. Of course, everyone needed to go to the bathroom before we left so Wife took the girls off to stand in line, while Boy and I waited. Finally, Boy says, “Dad, I have to go too.”

“I know but we need to find the right spot,” I said while looking all around.
“What do you mean the right spot?”
“Son, today you are going to learn how to pee in public,” I said with pride.
After a quick giggle, the realization of just how cool this would be dawned on Boy, and he started scanning with me. We soon found a nice thicket of bushes and darted into them.

A picture of a man peeing that I found on the internet
Once inside the bushes, I quickly explained the basics. Make sure you find a spot which mostly hides you, insure that you are peeing downwind and downhill, and make sure there aren’t too many leaves so that you create a splash effect thereby getting yourself all wet. He listened intently, and taking all of my sage advice to heart was happily peeing away. There was also a wall nearby so I positioned myself in front of it and also relieved myself.

I couldn’t resist so I said to Boy, “you know you’re Dad’s pretty cool right?”
“Yeah” he replied.
“Well, check this out. Someday, with practice, when you are older, you can write your name on the wall as you pee. Like me!” and I proceeded to scrawl Lee on the wall.
“Whoa!” It was obvious he was impressed.

We soon finished and left the bushes.  I assumed that since we had just been peeing, and bathroom talk is private talk, that nothing would be said about the incident.  As soon as we saw the girls, Boy started running and shouting, "Girl! Tiny!  I peed in the bushes and Dad wrote his name in pee too!'

Based upon the looks, apparently alot of French people understand English.

A picture of the kids in front of the Chateau.  The girls are in pink

1 comment:

  1. Having been (briefly) in Paris I can attest to the accuracy of Lee's statement - Men in France really do pee in public a lot - we saw one French officer yelling at some teenager peeing in the bushes - especially weird since there was a bathroom right next to him.