• Matt Keyser

How a goat taught my daughter all the wrong things about going potty

I didn’t think much of it when my daughter, Emery, saw a goat take a leak in the grass at our neighborhood zoo.


It was a family outing with my wife, Elissa, Emery, and myself on what was likely a Sunday afternoon. We’d been there dozens of times before to see the donkeys and pigs, and say hi to the white cockatoo and rainbow-colored macaw.


But this time was different. This was the first time the brown-and-white goat walked away from the fence after some head scratches and took a whiz 10 feet away from where we were standing. Emery thought it was the funniest thing.


“Look!” she yelled. “The goat is peeing!”


She followed with the kind of hearty laugh she does when she really finds something funny.


At the time, I thought it was pretty damn funny, too. I mean that dude must have peed for a solid two minutes.


But now, I’m not so sure.


In the weeks that followed, there’s been a disturbing trend going around the Keyser household. Emery has been regularly peeing in the grass.


In our backyard, of course, away from public view—unlike her goat friend who whizzed for all inquisitive eyes to see.


But does it really matter where?


My almost 3-year-old daughter has taken it upon herself to open the back door, walk outside, find a spot, pull her pants down, squat, and let it loose in the grass.


Okay, I admit in the beginning it was a little funny.


"I PEED IN THE GRASS!" she yelled excitedly the first time for our entire neighborhood to hear. "LIKE THE GOAT!"


“You did what, Emery?!” I asked her, laughing at the absurdity of it all.


But that was then.


At least two weeks have gone by and she’s still doing it. She’ll see our dogs do it and mimic them. And how am I supposed to tell the dogs not to pee outside to prevent our little wild child from doing the same?


Elissa and I have both told Emery to only use the potty when she needs to pee or poop. And for the most part, she’s got it down. She doesn’t pee in her undies and she’s decent at pooping at the potty—we’re still working on that, but hey, she’s not even 3; cut her some slack.


But ever since seeing that damned goat taking a leak, it’s like something has clicked in her baby brain that makes her think she’s supposed to pee outside.


I thought it was a phase.


But now I’m not so sure.


Because this morning, she told me she pooped outside.


And sure enough, she led me to a big fat turd lying in the grass that most definitely wasn’t from either of the dogs.


Thanks, goat.


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