I greeted the children on the porch this morning. At quarter to eight, it was cooler outside than in, with a bit of a breeze. I sipped my tea and read. By quarter past nine, they've all arrived, and are playing on and about the porch. Two with a few toy cars and trucks, Liam going mad with the broom, and a few playing with chalk on the sidewalk. Emma and I chat. I look up, and Darcy has dropped his shorts - only to a few inches under his groin, where shorts and underwear have formed a Gordian knot on his sweaty thighs - and is piddling on the sidewalk. And, because his clothing are not sufficiently lowered, all over his shorts and navy blue briefs. Now, the children know the drill by now. They may go outdoors, with my permission and supervision. They may not let fly at will. The rationale behind why one spot is acceptable and another is not is too variable and complex for them just yet, so we keep it simple: you must ask first. It suffices nicely. I frog-march the boy in, scolding a bit: "Darcy. You didn't ask! If you need to go pee, then you have to tell me!" His wet clothes go in the wash, as I just happen to be doing a load, he is sent to the toilet (though I'm quite aware there's nothing left, there is a point to be made) and he wears a spare pair of briefs while he waits for his clothes to dry. On a day like this, they'll take less than an hour on the line. Later on we all play in the nicely shaded back yard. Darcy is back in his freshly-laundered clothes. All is going without incident, until - Again?!? What is this boy thinking?? Thankfully, this time I'm more alert, and I catch him in the act of lowering his shorts. Why is he not alerting me? He freezes when he sees me closing on him. Upstairs we go again, him getting the mini-lecture as we go. "You have to tell me when you need to go!" This time he pees quite effectively in the toilet, and his clothing stays dry. Half hour later, I call them for lunch, and catch Darcy ONCE AGAIN dropping his drawers! Argh! What gives? I have no idea. It's not a bladder infection, because he can stop the stream, and he can hold it in when told, and he's not going more frequently than normal. So then...? No idea. No moral or punch line, either, just a window into my day. Thursday, when he's back, he'll probably display impeccable toilet manners, and today will just be a blip. Some days are like that.