“I saw God pee pee and poo poo on the floor!” (Finding God at Home, Part I)

Anna, Beka, and Katherine, about the time of this story

“I saw God pee pee and poo poo on the floor!” (Finding God at Home, Part I)

One of our daughters’ favorite rituals is to obstruct the favorite rituals of their parents. However maddening, their obstructions usually end up providing moments of enlightenment for us.  This is clearly not Anna and Katherine’s intention.

When our daughters were little, we enjoyed a regular practice at the end of each day where we would look back for holy moments. When all the other nighttime rituals were done, we gathered on their double bed and asked, “Where did you see God today?”  For a while the girls cooperated beautifully, naming high points of their day – a family walk, a favorite movie, a piece of candy. But one night when Anna was almost 3 and Katherine about a year and a half, Anna upended our ritual.

“Anna, where did you see God today?”  Jumping up and down on their bed, Anna yelled, “I saw God pee pee and poo poo on the floor.” She liked the line so much, she made it into a chant to keep time with her jumping.  “I saw God pee pee and poo poo.  I saw God pee pee and poo poo. . . . Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha  . . . ”

I was not laughing. This is the almighty we are talking about, the maker of the universe. God is not going around pee peeing and poo pooing on the floor. I began to stutter my objections, but my wise husband stopped me.  If I left Anna alone, she would quickly tire of this game; but if I tried to stop her, she would still be at it when she was 13.

So I shut up.  But she didn’t tire. She kept it up, night after night, the same sacrilegious, interminable chanting and jumping. And it got worse; Katherine took up the chant, though altered to suit her more limited verbal range: “God peepee poopoo! God peepee poopoo! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!”

Ha … ha … ha. My husband now claims this went on for less than a week, but it felt to me like a couple of decades. One night, I had had enough.  It was too much. Sitting there on the bed listening to all this racket about God’s excrement, I couldn’t take it anymore, “Girls, wait a minute, this is God we are talking about.  God is the greatest … the biggest … the strongest … This is the almighty we are talking about, the creator of the universe!  God did not peepee and poopoo on the floor!”

Anna stopped jumping, took my face between her hands, and said very slowly, so that I, with my limited capacities, could understand.  “But mama . . .  God . . .  was . . .  a . . . baby!”

Suddenly, I understood: “Oh yeah. God pee peed and poo pooed on the floor.”

Then, the deeper truth came on me. Anna and her cohort of three year olds were all at various stages of potty training.  This was the issue of the day for them – their point of pride and shame.  Of course it mattered to her that God pee pee peed and poo pood on the floor!

Somehow Anna knew that long before God took on the form of adulthood, God in Christ had taken on childhood with all its struggles. Like Anna, God knew what it was like to pee pee and poo poo on the floor.

It would be hard to find a better image for the incarnation  — the word we use to say that God took on human flesh. When God assumed human form in Christ – the form of an infant, a young child — God took on the struggles of childhood, including, no doubt, pee peeing and poo pooing on the floor.  And God took on all the struggles of our life too.

Honestly, ordinary life in the household sometimes strikes me as boring and frustrating and maddening.  Some days, it doesn’t seem like a likely place to encounter God.  But then I remember the incarnation.  God in Christ chose to come into the world as a child in in a family, in a household.  And still today, there is no better place to meet God head on, than in the ordinary life of a household.

3 responses to this post.

  1. If that’s part I, I can’t wait for part II. And, you are exactly right. There is no better way to understand (in our limited capacities) the depths of what the Incarnation really means than in the fleshly existence of babies, toddlers, adolescents, … etc.
    😉

    Reply

  2. I loved this post as the mom of a toddler and as a child of God who needs to hear that he’s been where I am. Thank you!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Fred Wideman on February 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    What a wonderful story! I will definitely share this with my daughter whose 3yr old son is right there. Keeping you and your delegation in my prayers.
    Fred

    Reply

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