The other day a friend of mine and I were sitting in the break room at work, taking a little afternoon time-out. The fact that this breakroom is on the 36th floor and has pretty stellar views of Lake Michigan really just means that we're some of the luckiest women ever.
So we're sitting there, in our posh leather chairs, zoning out at the Lake, and we got into a conversation about potty training. Specifically, how to you get over that last hurdle? Your kid knows what he or she needs to do, regularly does it, but still has an occassional "crap-in-the-pants", seemingly for no other reason than to drive you bat shit crazy.
Because my kids are a few years older, I often have something to offer in the way of advice. In this case, I had no idea what I'd done at that time, probably because potty training is that traumatic. Like childbirth, as soon as its over you push the details out of your mind only to be ridiculously optimistic when it comes time to do the same with your next kid.
But I did remember my youngest son going through that stage.
"Did I ever tell you how Will used to poop his pants almost every time we went to the McDonald's PlayLand?" I asked.
Eyes wide, I think she said something like, "Wait - what???"
Yep, its true.
And only when at the McDonald's PlayLand. I still take my kids there quite regularly. Even if we don't eat at Mickey D's, or even if we just go and have ice cream, its a pretty cheap way to entertain your kids and get rid of excess energy in the dead of a Midwestern winter. Two years ago, when Will was three, I swear he pooped his pants every single time we went.
It was during a time when my life was utter chaos. I was working full time, my husband (at the time) wasn't around and I had two very small kids to entertain constantly. I wasn't handling my life so well and letting them play in that germ-infested cage for 30 minutes meant I got to read a few chapters and regain a bit of my sanity.
Before my kids would go play, I'd ask, as any good mother will, if they had to use the bathroom. Sometimes I'd even take them and both would go, but it didn't matter.
There would inevitably be a point at which I'd see Will come down the slide with a slightly shocked and horrified look on his face.
I knew exactly what it meant. I'd round up both boys, attempting to ignore the fact that the older boy was wailing about how UNFAIR it was that he had to stop playing and drag them both to the bathroom.
The absolutely gross, dirty bathroom.
Too heavy for the changing table, I'd pull off his pants and dirty underwear and throw the skivvies away in the diaper pail. I'd then lean him over my leg while squatting down on the floor and fix him up. Most times I had an extra pair of undies with me or a pull-up, but I'll admit - there was a time or two when the pants would go back on, commando-style, and after washing up well we'd make our way back out there.
What? You mean to tell me you'd let a little lack of underpants stop you from getting your 30 minutes of shriek-laden sanity? Pshhhh...WUSSES!
Then...there was that day.
That memorable, fateful day.
It was about -10°F outside with the wind chill and we were at the gool ol' PlayLand. There was the grimace at the bottom of the slide, the clean-up, the re-release of a lighter, freer (ahem) child back into the box of germs.
A few minutes later, when doing my regular child head count...what was this? Will? Wait! Will! What the hell?!? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHILD, YOU DID NOT JUST COME DOWN THAT SLIDE WITH THE LOOK OF SHAME AND DISGUST ON YOUR FACE!!!
Oh no he di'int.
Oh yes, he di-id.
My cherubic-faced toddler had, in fact, crapped his pants. Again.
While wearing no underwear.
Its a damn good thing they're cute!