“You can’t whistle and expect your child to squeeze one out.” Indeed, concerned parent, indeed.
Western parents in Beijing, nay, all God fearing peoples in Beijing, take serious offense to the fact that thousands of years of Chinese tradition boils down to the fact that they allow their children to take a dump on front of your doorstep. Personally, I say poop away. Providing I don’t step in it, get in a cab and proceed to blame the driver for smelling like a medieval dungeon, then traipse the foul smelling excrement into my place of work, you’re all good.
My parents were hippies — the soymilk, vegan margarine, non-ice cream eating kind; actually their application of the peace movement seems to revolve largely around the ousting of the dairy industry. As beard-sporting, organic vegetable farming people they also had a penchant for cloth nappies. All of this is fine and I wholly support their earth saving, landfill reducing efforts, but the reality is: Washing cloth nappies requires removing the contents of said nappy first. That’s right, y’all better get your hands dirty if you wanna play this game.
Based on my hippy, excrement-handling parents, I feel it’s pertinent to ask: Is it better to handle your child’s crap or let someone else step in it? I think we all know the answer to that.
But the whistling. Seriously? You’re going to do that? This may need some cultural context, because I’m fairly sure you have that squinty look on your face that people get when they’re trying too hard to understand something (or are listing to someone recount a very personal experience with a hamster). Here it is: To encourage children to go to the loo, Chinese parents will whistle in their child’s ear. Like a voice activated Japanese doll, these kids obligingly bend to the whistler’s will and proceed to let it all out, literally. More often than not in the form of a neatly wound coil in front of my apartment.
The beauty part of this choreographed dance is that these delightful little rosy-cheeked balls of fat have been equipped with shit-on-the-run pants. With a harsh utilitarianism even the Germans would be proud of, Chinese babies all have standard-issue crotch-less pants. Parents don’t even need to pull the kid’s pants down! Now, I’m sorry but that is just genius. Pure unadulterated genius.
But hey, if the public displays of bodily functions in Beijing really do disturb you, you could request the local council install poop-scoop bags in every playground and kindergarten. That wouldn’t be weird at all.