Terza is three. This, I have found, is the age at which girls who have big brothers try to pee standing up.
The other day, I took her to use her potty and instead of sitting on it, she stood next to it, looking ambitious.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I want to pee like Primo," she explained.
Poor Primo. We took all the locks off the doors when we moved in, because the kids were little and we'd already lived through the "Seconda Locks Herself in the Laundry Room in Tennessee" incident. Now, of course, Primo's old enough to deserve some privacy, especially from his little sister who's prone to barging into bathrooms without so much as a how-do-you-do. Of course, because of Terza, we still prefer to have doors that can't lock. After all, we've already lived through the "Terza Locks Herself in the Bathroom at Brunch at Our Friend's House" incident and that was really no fun. So, as usual, a Sophie's choice.
When Terza told me she had big plans to start peeing standing up, I told her, as I told Seconda at the same age, that girls pee sitting down because girls' bodies are different from boys' bodies and it just works better to sit down.
So she sat. And she peed. And she mused.
"When I grow up, I want to pee like a boy," she reflected.
I was just beginning to worry about whether this was an indication that she might need gender reassignment surgery one day and if so, if that was covered by health insurance, and if not, was it smart to maybe start saving now, when she spoke again.
"When I grow up, I want to be a tiger," she said.
"Me too," I said.
And then I stopped worrying, and started enjoying my kid instead.
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.