Proximal causes

Lillian is quite capable of going to the toilet by herself, but sometimes she likes to use her potty, which is usually hanging around on the kitchen floor somewhere, mainly because it doubles as a footstool, being designed for this purpose with a strong plastic box and a fold-down lid.

This morning Lillian did a pee in the potty, and naughtily just closed the lid without emptying it first.

This evening, I accidentally kicked the potty.


Pee had splashed over the floor. Lillian looked over.

“Daddy, did you spill it?”

“No, I didn’t spill it. YOU didn’t empty the potty this morning, and so it got spilled.”

Lillian was quiet for a moment, trying to understand how it could be her fault, when so obviously what made the pee go on the floor was my kicking the potty.

“Daddy, did you spill it?”

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