I worked at a daycare for four years during college. During that time I met a lot of different kids and each kid has their own way of dealing with rejection, discipline, and not getting their own way. Of course there were the popular methods – crying, kicking, screaming, biting, and of course the ol’ soil the pants trick. Somehow children found out very quickly that not only is peeing their pants uncomfortable to them but also uncomfortable to you their caretaker because you now have to change the urine-soaked pants of a child much too large to fit on any changing table. Making the situation even worse for the daycare teacher (aka me) was the fact that most parents (aka all-but-maybe-two) did not provide the requested extra pair of clothes for their child. So in addition to cleaning the kid up, I’d also have to scour the daycare for a pair of pants and underwear that might fit the little booger.
One child in particular was infamous for retaliating when not getting her own way. That retaliation took the form of locking teachers (also her mother, the director) out of offices and classrooms, slapping, biting, and of course… pooping her pants. One day during nap time when all of the other children were sleeping (or at least resting… or at least on) their cots, this little darling was annoyed that I wouldn’t let her talk loudly or play with the toys while the other kids were napping.
So, she did what any self-respecting kid would do and pooped her pants so that I’d have to let her off her cot and also so that I’d have to wake up all the children in the room and take them with me to the bathroom to clean her up. She walked over to me and said, totally surprised, “I just put my hand in my underwear, and there’s poop in there!” like she had no idea where it came from.
How did that happen?!
Today I could really relate to this little sweetheart. No, I didn’t poop my pants to get back at a caretaker. But I did stick my hand somewhere only to be surprised, knowing full well I was responsible for what I found. Like a child who sticks her hand in the underwear she recently defecated into, today I found myself saying, “I just put my hand in my wallet, and there’s no money in there!”
How did that happen?