Hal was very excited as we pulled up at a friend’s lake house. He had chosen to wear a one-piece bodysuit that his cousin had worn for a triathlon and then passed down when he outgrew it. He had his floatie and he was ready to go!
Daryl tried to give him some helpful advice as they waited for us to get our folding chairs out of the back of the car.
“Now, listen Hal. If a fish swims into your swimsuit…”
“A fish is not going to swim into his swimsuit,” I attempted to interject. Neither boy appeared to hear me.
“…and it’s a bass and it’s at least 10 inches long, then you have to get it out of your swimsuit and throw it back in. But if it’s less than 10 inches, then you can take it ashore and eat it. Okay?”
“Hal, a fish isn’t going to swim into your swimsuit. Come on, hold my hand.”
There were at least 50 people there, most of whom we didn’t know. Daryl found some friends and took off. Hal stayed in the shallow part of the cove while Daddy and I stood nearby, keeping a close eye. We had both emptied our pockets of valuables just in case we had to run in after him.
At one point, Hal began to walk out of the lake. When the water was at his ankles, he announced, “I need to go pee!”
“There’s a lake right there,” replied my husband.
Before we had a chance to explain better, Hal turned and began to pee. The obvious stream worked its way through the fabric and splashed into the water several inches below.
Laughing and slightly embarrassed, I walked away and shared the tale with another mom. She told me that she instructs her kids that it’s okay to pee in the lake as long as no one can tell you are doing it. As soon as you make it too obvious, you have to start getting out.
She then told me about insisting to her mom that she needed to use the bathroom when she was a kid. She didn’t specify exactly what she needed to do and her mother didn’t ask. She was just told to do it in the lake. So she did. She pooped in the lake.
I made a mental note to query Hal if his exact need was ever not clear.