I need the kind of succor only a large group of non-judgy people who know things about children can offer. There is discussion of bodily function and human waste in this story, just FYI, because it’s a story about small children doing something terrible.Today we were at the park. The GOOD park. Seriously, folks, come out to where I live and I will show it to you, it is AMAZING.My kids were playing happily and I was tracking where they were. And then, in a horrible epiphany, I recognized the look on my 4.5 year old’s face. The poop look.
“Honey, let’s go to the toilet!” I said. I called the 3.5 year old over and we all headed off to the mercifully-close bath house (I told you, this was the GOOD park). We take over the handicapped stall (I know, I know, but two kids and mama in a regular stall is NOT happening), 4.5 pulls down his pants and hops onto the toilet and something is horribly wrong.
Poop in his pants. Absolutely. Poop on the toilet seat, probably unavoidable. But this was poop everywhere.
The child, bless his heart, looks up at me in a mixture of horror and bafflement and says “Mommy, why my feces are all over?”
And I say “Oh honey– I think maybe you should have gone to the toilet sooner.”
And only then do I remember that I don’t have the diaper bag.
I have nothing.
It’s literally just me, the children, the clothes on our backs, and my drink and sunglasses.
No back-up pants. No back-up undies. No WIPES. No oh-so-useful cloth diapers. No wet naps. No paper napkins. No wet bag. No plastic shopping bag. NOTHING.
So, because I am a PROFESSIONAL, I flush the toilet and use the water running into the bowl to wet several wads of the cheap toilet paper available in the stall and wipe and wipe and wipe. We talk about the ways he can tell his body might need the toilet. I leave 4.5 on the toilet, basically clean but holding up his shirt just in case because Murphy’s Law, to take 3.5 into the OTHER stall to use the toilet. I take the soiled clothes and wash them out in the sink, which is a trial unto itself because it’s a motion-sensor sink so I have to keep moving them in order to get enough water and the soap dispenser is broken. I wring out the pants. I roll the pants in some paper towels to squeeze out as much water as possible because the pants are, of course, WHITE, and will absolutely show poor little 4.5’s junk to the ENTIRE world if he wears them wet.
Then I dress him and we all wash our hands furiously (again, broken soap dispenser, and then the dragging of the small children away from the motion sensor faucet WHY DO PEOPLE THINK THESE SAVE ANYONE ANY TIME).
We leave the bathroom. I send 3.5 back to play and station 4.5 next to me on the bench until my husband comes back with the car and the diaper bag to save our lives.
We are in the clear.
Except that there is a small but obvious piece of renegade toddler poop on the walkway leading out of the playground.
Again, because I am a PRO, I told 4.5 to stay put and nonchalantly meandered over in the direction of the leash-your-dog sign, snagged a doggy duty bag, scooped up the poop, dumped my drink out over the spot on the walkway, and tossed the bag into the garbage.
Somebody tell me that they can top this.
Somebody tell me that I did okay in this crisis.
And please, somebody tell me that I can take my kids back to this park. Because it’s the GOOD park. And I don’t want to be exiled from the good park.
My friend Elizabeth sent a message to her girlfriends last night, after midnight, and it pinged to my box while I was laying in bed listening to the snoring husband and the snoring children and the snoring dog, all of whom were in my bedroom, maliciously keeping me from sleep, and I knew immediately you needed to see this message, too. Because Elizabeth reminded me we’re not alone in the crap. Even when we think we are. And also, Elizabeth needs us, friends. STAT. She needs us terribly, as you’ll soon see.
Here’s her story.