What trickery is this? I put the kids to bed and they…stayed there? Not a single solitary “I need to go pee” (for the third time), no “mom I have a question for you” (hold on while I think of something), not even “I forgot to hug and kiss you” (the most adorable, nearly irresistible and therefore the most frequently used by those manipulative little twerps).
It’s the bouncy castle. That did it. I love a good bouncy castle. They suck the energy right out of all children.
We went to a birthday party today. It was for one of Dirt’s preschool classmates—a big first for me, going to a stranger’s house for their kid’s birthday. Well, not total stranger, but very casual acquaintance—like one you’ve spoken to in passing when dropping off or picking up your kid. And once at the neighborhood playground.
Hold that thought. Let’s go back in time a couple years. The potty training diary…
Phase 1: Poop in diaper. Gross but contained. Except for those epic blow-outs where strange yellow ochre poo mysteriously gets on your baby’s neck. (That’s one of my favorite paint colors, incidentally.)
Phase 2: Poop in pullup, occasionally on training potty, occasionally elsewhere…like on the floor, or outside. Extra fun because you get to clean poo in SO. MANY. DIFFERENT. PLACES. (Sometimes the dog helps though.)
Phase 3: Poop almost exclusively on training potty. This is super gross because a parent (aka MOM) has to dump it into the real potty for disposal, but they (the poops) typically don’t roll out all neatly and…let’s just say they (the poops) can have serious sticking power. It’s also quite problematic when there’s no training potty to be found, and in a moment of desperation you offer to let your kid poop in a trash can since they refuse to go on the big potty. Yeah. That happened. Go read "Poop Soup" if you're in the mood.
Phase 4: Poop on big potty. Hallelujah! Except you still have to assist with the butt-wiping, unless you’re a big fan of super skid marks in all those little underpants. This phase usually includes a very demanding small person yelling at the top of his or her lungs: “I’m DOOOOONE! Come wipe my BUUUUTTTTTTT!” Or, if they’re more self-sufficient, it may involve them emerging to show you how well they wiped by themselves, typically by bending over and spreading cheeks. In the living room.
We’re on phase 4 with both kids currently (Boy is 5 and girl is 3-1/2). We’ve had a few more *adventures* with boy than girl. A fun quirk Dirt recently developed is that he insists on being completely nude when he poops. Well, sometimes he’ll keep the socks.
When he was in phase 2 he liked pooping outside a LOT. Maybe because little boys are thrilled about peeing outside and that seemed like the same thing. Maybe because dogs do it. Or maybe we encouraged it in order to avoid cleaning poo elsewhere. For some reason he really liked pooping on the deck for a while. We live in a rural development so there weren’t too many neighbors to witness such an appalling display, but we still told him no…at least just go in the dirt or grass. Then he started pooping in front of more witnesses, like in my parents’ yard. Then at large family gatherings. Just drop trou and go on the spot, happy as can be. Then one time he did it at a baby shower…at a stranger’s house. On their lawn. With people everywhere. Mostly people I didn’t know.
Which brings me back to today’s party, the party where the only adult I know is the mom of the 4-year-old birthday girl. My husband/social lubricant is out of town. I’m being brave and chit-chatting with her friends and family while all the kids play (everyone is super nice), when Tuesday runs up and abruptly shouts in a very forceful tiny voice, “I need to go POO!” Okay, fine. I politely excuse myself. We go. She doesn’t poo. She laughs and says “I was just kidding I needed to go poo.” Hilaaaaarious joke.
Shortly thereafter she accosts me a second time. “I need to go POOOOO!” I wince at her volume and vigor. I tell her to wait for the piñata, because I don’t want to miss it. She pulls on my hand anxiously. I tell her CANDY will soon be falling from the sky. Suddenly her urge subsides. Weird.
It is a Frozen themed party, because duh. All little girls are obsessed. The piñata is appropriately Frozen-themed too: it’s the main character Anna. A human. This makes it especially creepy and especially awesome because the children take turns beating a Disney princess until her limbs fall off, all to the tune of the traditional Spanish Piñata Song, performed by the host and all her female family members. Dirt, the only boy at the party, is the first to knock off a leg, which we take home with us as custom dictates. Our prize kill. Then, because the family is Mexican, Anna ultimately explodes with spicy mango lollipops and Strawberry con Chili candies.
Oh and they left the disembodied head hanging. All Game-of-Thrones-ish. A warning to all princesses.
After Tuesday has one piece of candy she remembers. Poooooooo. We barely make it and she’s whimpering by the time I put her on the potty. This time she means business. I realize we are stinking up the main bathroom at a stranger’s house. I search for air freshener to no avail. Rummaging through all the drawers and cabinets I find some all-purpose 409 and spray that around. It helps a little.
Much to my horror and dismay there is someone waiting when we finally come out. An adult. I awkwardly apologize for my daughter’s stink and then get more embarrassed as I walk away, thinking how I probably totally looked like the person who blames their OWN stink on their children. Eh.
So then there’s more bouncy castle time and lots of food and other party-ish stuff. Then comes Dirt with the same look. He’s a little older now, much more discrete. He informs me quietly that he needs to go poo. (I’m thinking: Seriously?! BOTH of you? Like you had to both go in the same 2-hour window that we weren’t actually at home???)
We go. He tells me firmly to stand RIGHT outside the door. His stink is so powerful it immediately creeps out from under the door and into the hallway. At least this time I’m clearly not the source. After several minutes go by I peek in, to be greeted by an overwhelming blast of stink and an angrily yelling, completely naked boy. “MOM! I’m not done yet!”
The host passes by and I sheepishly ask if she has any air freshener. She gets me a lighter for the candle, which I go in the bathroom to light despite Dirt’s wrathful demands for privacy. I also spray some 409. Giddy-up. Dirt soon accepts my presence and starts thoughtfully discussing the consistency of his deposit, lamenting repeatedly that it’s diarrhea and saying “Poor tummy. Poor, poor tummy”.
I wonder what the frick I fed those kids to give them both the runs at the exact same time. Maybe they just thought a Frozen party was the best place to "Let it Go". Heh.
I also wonder if that family will ever want to hang out with us again.
I also wonder if that family will ever want to hang out with us again.
At least we'll always have the bouncy castle.