Today, the dreaded thing happened. Anyone who has ever been in a vehicle with children knows the anxiety of wondering if someone is going to need to go to the bathroom on the trip. You could be headed back home after a baseball game, but probably not. You could be a block away from your front door, but it’s not likely. You’re probably stuck in the middle of nowhere when it comes. And then it did.
“Mama, I have to use the restroom.”
(Yes, my kid actually says ‘restroom’. We don’t know where he got that because we are not that polite.)
Me: Do you think you can wait?
H: No, Mama. I have to go stink.
Excellent. At this point, I need to tell you that my kid hadn’t had a solid bowel movement in a week due to a nasty stomach virus. I was really in for it. We were at least 20 minutes from our house, so I had to think fast.
Me: OK babe, we’ll stop at the store if you don’t think you can make it home.
H: I can’t Mama. I have to go stink reallllllly bad.
Oh crap. Literally. We had spent the previous weekend cleaning out Ella’s car seat because she got car sick on our way home from New York and that was no picnic. I wasn’t ready, and my gag reflex wasn’t ready, for another mess like that.
So here I am on the slowest road of all time, the only road that I ever take that ever has traffic. Ahead of me, there’s a black Jetta actually swerving back and forth because his driver is so bored going along at the current speed. I started getting nervous. Would we make it?
H: Mama, I’ve got a full load.
Good God. Did that mean he had a full load in his pants, or a full load coming? I did not know and at this point I was sweating bullets in fear of what I was going to find when we got to the store.
We pulled into the shopping center drive, and H says to me, “Mama, are we going to a store?”
I said, “We’ll be there in just a minute, baby. I’m hurrying!!”
H: What are we gonna get at the store?
Me: We’re not getting anything. You have to go to the bathroom.
H: They have bathrooms at the store?
Me: Yes, I told you that was where I was taking you so you could go to the bathroom.
At this point I had a sneaking suspicion that his urgency was not so, umm, urgent any more. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to take any chances. I flew into the parking lot, found the closest spot, and yanked the kids out of the car in a mad dash to get to the toilet.
Target has this neat family restroom where you can bring your whole brood in and lock the door with out concern of someone sneaking under the stall door. I love it. We headed that way when Harrison was all of a sudden distracted by the water fountain. He deemed this a perfect place to wash his hands, and miraculously forgot about this need to poop. Once I wrangled him, now crying because I took away his right to wash his hands in the fountain, into the family restroom and got him on the toilet, I instantly felt relief. We’d made it. There was no accident in the car. His Lightning McQueen underpants were still clean. I was mother of the year.
After a few seconds of wiggling on the toilet seat and a few “how does the world work” questions, there was a short grunt, and the deed was done. Do you know what I saw in the toilet bowl? The tiniest turd of all time. THAT was what we stopped for. THAT was what the whining and crying was for. THAT was the urgency. Sometimes, I wonder why we pushed the potty training…