So the other day I’m standing at the checkout at Target talking with my main man Ardvin (Yes, I know his first name, but what’s scarier is that he knows mine). I pull out my wallet to pay and something else flies out of my purse onto the counter. A pair of little girl Rapunzel underpants. Agggh! Just a tad bit mortifying. Either:
A. I’m shoplifting
B. I’m a pedophile
C. I’m a mom who carries around extra underpants in her purse
Ardvin is eyeing me suspiciously, but I want to say to him, “Really? Do you really think I’m going to steal a $6 pack of panties when I spend over $2000 here every month?” Not really, but close. Of course, I’d look much less suspicious if my daughter were there with me.
Alas, being the mom of a potty-trained kid comes with all sorts of fun privileges. You get to wipe someone else’s ass. You get to hold your kid over a pee-covered toilet seat until your arms go numb because she says she has to poop but never does. And my personal favorite, you get a special kind of experience at the Brookfield Zoo.
Last weekend we’re standing at the zoo in front of the sloth bear asking ourselves what the hell is a sloth bear when Zoey utters those five dreaded words— I have to go potty. It’s go time, people. We have exactly negative 10 seconds to get to the restroom before she’s soaked. Introducing el problemo— one tiny, little distraction standing between the sloth bear and the restroom— the carousel. So I do the only thing a mother can do. I scoop up Zoey like a football, blindfold her like I’m Christian Grey, and sprint past the ride like a madwoman.
Phew, we make it. I let Zoey choose which stall, and suddenly I see her eyes light up like she has discovered the Holy Grail. My Holy Grail would be a bathroom stall without a female sanitary product trash bin that she can put her hands in. But hers is a stall with the shortest kid’s toilet seat you’ve ever seen. It’s only about eight inches tall. She is in heaven. I’m surprised she doesn’t break out a 3-2-1 Contact magazine and sit there all day. Finally she’s done and it’s my turn to go.
“Okay, let’s go to a different stall for Mommy,” I say.
“No, use this one,” she demands.
“No, Mommy needs a grownup one,” I say, but then I feel a little guilty. Every day this poor child has to death-grip grownup toilet seats so she doesn’t fall in, but here I am demanding a potty my size. “Okay,” I say and agree to use it.
Big mistake. I have to squat so low my knees poke my eyeballs out and my thighs burn like I’m back in field hockey two-a-days. Plus, you know how you can see people’s shoes under bathroom stalls? I’m pretty sure my tush was on display for all to see. I’d personally like to apologize to all of the people who went blind that day. I’m sorry. And I’ll never do that again. Ever. Never. Ever.