I’ve been low, lately. I’ve been low, down and it’s a dirty shame. It’s the SAHM curse. We don’t have to dawn make-up and look more than “presentable”, when we’re in a funk. Deodorant is only a requirement for the indoor activities. No one is sitting next to us in a meeting or close enough to see our greasy hair. With the sun’s glare and a hair tie, it looks like the latest salon style. Slicked-back-in-a-bun never really goes out of style, as long as there’s no scrunchie to greet it, right? There are no fluorescent lights to highlight our wrinkles and stained clothes. Maybe the 80s fashion, retro-revival will kick in soon…again. Our children’s fingerprints on our garments may soon be as chic as a painters cap once was, if even for 15 minutes.
I’m finally getting out of my funk. My brain agoraphobia has subsided. I’m ready to forget the past and move on. Today, I decided to venture out to Macy’s and Target with my Babyface. Leaps and bounds, I’m telling you. So far, people have just come to my house and I haven’t had to go on any type of unforeseen journey. When I say “unforeseen journey”, I’m referring to the small excursions in life that with a toddler are like mommy diarrhea to a single person’s regularity.
I picked Babyface up from school. I thought it would be simple. I’d hand her a Kidz bar and some water and she’d be ready to go. My daughter is an extrovert, in the sense that she enjoys everything external to our house. She’s not necessarily social, but she likes to be out and about, even if it means she’s fighting a nap. She’d puke in the car, if it meant she could see a park swing. She’d stand out in the freezing cold with a 104 degree temperature, if it meant she could do the Phoebe run, free and clear of furniture (those of you that watch Friends know what I’m talking about here). Everything is Disneyland for her and she can stay out for hours and hours without even reminiscing about the beautiful bubble of a home that we have. Her excitement for activities, no matter what they are…never fades (Please let this phase subside and not foreshadow her wearing a sash that reads “party girl” someday, while she sells Jell-O shots).
She will do anything to stay out of the house. That includes lie to her Mommy. When I picked her up from school, I asked, “Do you need to go potty?”
I asked it in every way under the sun:
“Did you go potty at school or do you still need to go?”
“Did you go potty with your best friend again, today?”
“Did your teacher wipe your butt today?”
“Was there toilet paper at school today?”
“Did you wash your hands after you went potty today?”
She answered, “yes”, to all, so it seemed we were good to go. Today, I learned that my kid is a master manipulator. My four-year-old can lie through her pants, even if it means she’ll be walking in wet pants.
Macy’s is situated right next to a major, downtown street. She gets out of school right around lunchtime. That means, all of the parking spots are taken by the working folk that feel safe enough in this economy to take a lunch break.
Target was a couple of blocks from Macy’s, so I decided the walk would do us good. I didn’t have the patience to get on the parking-space carousel and hope that someone took an early lunch. I’d rather walk, than deal with the stress of searching for a parking space.
We got out of the car. We held hands. We skipped as we swung our hands back and forth. And then, she turned. She let go of my hand and cupped her you-know-what. “Mommy, I have to go pee pee. The pee pee is going to come out!”
There was terror in her eyes, like she had just realized that a zombie had bitten her. The drama was worse than a foreign, soap opera. “Honey, why didn’t you tell me you had to go, when I asked?” (I wanted to say, “asked and asked and asked” here, but with a four-year-old repeated expression never works. They only see one question, when there were twenty, unless they’re doing the asking.)
“I didn’t have to go then! I have to go now! Mommy, the pee pee might come out!” she yelled.
We were still hustling to Macy’s, but I kept asking questions, partially to keep her distracted and partially because I was thinking, “WTF! Your bladder control is about as good as Mommy’s was after she gave birth to you.”
“How can I hold it, Mommy? How can I hold it?” she asked.
She asked me this question like her heart had been broken and I had the answer to mend it. It was, well…heartbreaking. I picked her up and ran knowing that my hip could possibly be re-sprained and sprayed. I was wearing black, so I felt a moment of luck. Good fashion decision, Mommy!
The lunch patrons were like linebackers. Don’t mind me with the kid; I’ll walk around you while you carry on with your conversation. I opened the heavy, glass door to the department store, almost smacking us both over onto the floor from behind. I felt like I was carrying a gunshot victim into an ER, waiting for the gurney to dawn upon us, after our entrance. No gurney. No nurse to lift her to safety as I hustled behind. No salesperson in sight.
I ran to the nearest checkout station in the men’s department. A saleswoman was talking to an elderly gentleman. I tried to catch my breath. All the while, my daughter was holding her pee pee and whining, like a sad puppy. I almost pushed the old man aside with my elbow. “Where’s the restroom? My daughter needs to use the restroom?!?”
“Um, oh, it’s…a…right back there by the fitting room,” the saleswoman replied.
My eyes rotated around until I saw the holy grail of a 4-year-old bladder/##-year-old mommy bladder. “Restroom”, the sign said.
I ran. I almost dropped my load. Um, I mean, my kid. I ran in. We did the potty dance together, until I could make sure the toilet seat was “acceptable”. She went potty and we both sighed with relief.
The Walking Dead is starting on Sunday, so I’m about to get my zombie fix back, but the break hasn’t been missing an apocalypse. Unfortunately, it’s been the preschool, potty apocalypse.