Sunday morning the literates were perusing the newspaper, and the illiterate was amusing himself, occasionally reminding us that he hadn't snacked in five whole minutes. In between Beetle Bailey and Hagar the Horrible, Paolo walked over to me and announced, "Mama, I pooped in my pants." He said this with no urgency or distress; it was as casual an observation as noting it was still raining. The Sunday stillness went even stiller. Sam and I said in unison, "You did WHAT?" Wondering why he always has to repeat himself, Paolo said again, "I pooped in my pants." The stillness was broken. I began demanding his motives in an effort to uncover what had led to this tear in the fabric of our peaceful lives. Sam started in on how big boys poop on the potty, and only babies poop in their pants. Paolo is not too keen on being called a baby, so he was answering my questions, "Because" and "Because I just DID" while complaining that his daddy had called him a baby.
Since the living-room situation was deteriorating, I walked Paolo to the bathroom to commence the clean-up and dropped his drawers with every muscle in my body clenched. Only there was nothing there. Not a smear, not even a dusting. Nothing. "Um, Paolo, you didn't poop in your pants." "Yes, I did." "No, honey, look, you didn't." "But Mama, it was hot and and it had poo poo in it." Ahhh. I told Paolo to wait right there while I went and talked to his daddy. While I reported to Sam that his son doesn't know what a fart is, Paolo called from the bathroom, "Mama, are you telling Daddy I'm not a baby??"