Posts Tagged ‘Babies


Bare Bottoms or Bear Bottoms?

Why does so much toilet paper packaging feature pictures of babies? Clouds, yes. Fuzzy, anthropomorphized forest creatures, sure. They conjure images of softness, lightness, cleanliness. And they are a momentary distraction from the essential business of toilet paper.

I suppose babies are soft. They’re clean, if you make them clean. But anyone who has stood in line at the post office with a kid on the hip knows they are not light. I don’t associate infants with toilet paper. They can’t even use the stuff. If we could get babies to use toilet paper, parenthood would be a far less messy enterprise.





Good Advice

Today, while checking my Gmail account, I saw an intriguing link in the space directly above the inbox.

How to of the Day – How to Soothe a Baby

It links to, a site that organizes member contributions (users write and edit its contents) into a how-to guide for everything. I once saw instructions for building an iPod tarot deck that completely mystified me. (What is this? and why in heaven’s name would I do it?)

Babies don’t come with instruction manuals. Of course people need help and advice. And I guess a Web site is as legitimate as a parenting magazine or library book. I’d like to think that inexperienced parents and babysitters are talking to their moms, neighbors, friends — the lady sitting across the aisle on the F train — for parenting advice. But we now live in the age where Google is just as good.


Toilet Humor

He’s a real stand-up guy! [www.bippity

A friend of mine once confessed that he uses odd words intentionally in emails so he can see what keyword-triggered ads Google calls up in the Gmail sidebar. I don’t know what words I was using earlier today, but I couldn’t escape noticing the words “Peter Potty” and a link to this site.

Apparently this is truly a remarkable device. The Web site declares that Peter Potty is “the world’s only flushable urinal.” I don’t know about that, but it does provide some excellent bonding opportunities, I suppose. “Little girls need to sit, but with the Peter Potty, little boys can stand like daddy,” boasts the site. Look at this kid. He sure is happy to pee standing up. He’s nearly hugging that thing.

I guess I’d be excited too. I do remember thinkning about this sitting/standing dichotomy when I was little.

Amused, I typed up an email to send the link to some friends of mine. And as I was doing so, I noticed another hilarious site, P-mate, advertised with something like: “Ladies, pee standing up!”

“Why ‘hold it in’ until you get home?” the site asks.

Visitors are invited to “discreetly enjoy hygienic freedom” by using the P-Mate™ “portable urinating device.” Finally women are allowed to “urinate standing up wherever and whenever they need to, without losing their dignity or risking unhygienic and unpleasant public restrooms.”

A professor in college once told my class a story about the surprise and intense pride he felt for his daughter when she won a pissing contest against a bunch of boys. She was four, five, something like that. And these little boys were all taking turns peeing to see who could shoot furthest. The little girl, not to be outdone, did something with her index and middle fingers, forming a sort of curved V and holding it against her vagina — the professor demonstrated the gesture for us — which apparently allowed her to shape the organ into a something that squirted outward. We are told she also had considerable control of the direction of the stream, too. She beat the boys soundly. You go, gurl! (You go standing up, girl!)

She’s much older now. I wonder if she wins bets at bars with that trick.

I can see a need for something like the P-Mate. A guy can whip it out and pee nearly anywhere. For a woman, things are slightly more difficult. Unless you’re my professor’s daughter. I’m not sure how exactly a pissed-upon plastic chute can be used to promote good hygiene, but I’m comfortable with that level of ignorance.

You want to see something funny, look at the pictures on the P-Mate site. (You have to. How does one use this thing?) It looks like the perfect size for a Christmas stocking. I think I know what I’m getting my sister now!

the untallied hours