Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Boys, bowels, and bathrooms...

make excellent blog fodder. This one is for Lora Lynn in light of her musical toilets escapade.

Long, long ago when no one under 3 feet could wipe their own bottom, I decided we needed to go to the library and check out some books. No one under 3 feet could read, but it seemed like a really good idea. At home.

Chess was 3, Pele was 2 1/2 and the Chairman was an under 6 months nursling. Chess and Pele were in the midst of potty training, but full success had not been declared. This combo of characters required the packing of diapers, pull ups, wipes, tissue, butt cream, changing pad, change of clothes times three, burp cloth, receiving blanket, sippy cups, snack cups and the miscellany that finds its way into diaper bags of this sort.

The plan was simple. Go into the library, check out some books, go home. Everyone was taken to the bathroom before we left the house, and the baby's diaper was changed. I was on a water fast because moms don't go to the bathroom for the first 9 months after birth especially when you have other littles with you. Public stalls are not big enough for the crowd.

We made it into the library and were comfortably seated on the floor between the stacks looking at books. I had a nanosecond of motherly glow over my little brood before the Chairman decided it was time to eat. Curious George or not. I was an experienced in public nursing mom so no problem. I unhooked, hitched and latched on and not even the man in the yellow hat knew anything had occurred.

Nursing produces two things, stomach satisfaction and bowel loosing. The rumbling sounds were quickly displaced by the growing smell. I unlatched, unhitched and rehooked all while persuading Pele not to wander off and convince Chess that yes, he could carry the diaper bag for Mommy. We headed into the bathroom to discover that there was no changing table.

There were three stalls and two sinks. Not even a chair to concoct an adaptation of a changing table. This  taxpayer began to complain under her breath about where the money was going in public libraries. While in there, Pele decided that he needed to try to use the bathroom. I settled him in a stall with the usual don't touch this, don't spin that, and keep it pointed down instructions. Chess was backed up against the wall because he had an overactive fear of the sound of industrial strength toilet flushing. His hands were pinned to his ears. Chairman was slung over my shoulder and the door to Pele was slightly open so I could make sure the this, that and it instructions were being followed.

Pele, taking his smelly time, must have inspired Chess to try too. He did not want to go into the stall at all but when the poo poo dance began in earnest, I required it. He refused to take his hands off of his ears so I did a delicate balance with the Chairman while pulling down the entirety of Chess' drawers because he would go no other way. The Chairman was more than mildly displeased that his britches were still unclean but there was no way in Timbuktu I was going to lay him down on the bathroom floor so I nursed him while standing and waiting. Which brought more rumblings.

Both boys finished around the same time so the wiping and redressing commenced while balancing the Chairman. Pele loved to flush the results but Chess was terrified of the industrial flushing sound. I told him to cover his ears and stand against the wall. The sequence ensued. Pele flushed, Chess screamed and ran out the door into the library. I was split. One child admiring the flushing toilet, his hands not yet washed and a screaming child somewhere in the library, complementing the now screaming baby in the bathroom. I ordered Pele to the sink and dashed into the library to grab Chess.

Hauling him back into the bathroom, everyone was washed and dried. To this day I think we may have left a toilet unflushed. I apologize. The nerves were jangling.

Heading back into the library I still had the Chairman to deal with so back to the Curious George stacks we went. Out came the impromptu changing table. Translation: pad on the receiving blanket on the library floor. I was sure that the Chairman was done. I was positive.

Until the last wipe revealed a picture not unlike a long ago play doh ad. Legs up and here it comes. Of course, I all ready had the clean diaper underneath him and it was clean a scant 1.3 seconds. Wiping up that mess caused another little boy reflexive action fondly referred to as the fountain. Smack in the smacker, on the floor, and on a book. The only thing close enough to grab was his outfit which stemmed the stream but now necessitated an entire outfits change.

Chess and Pele had during the show decided that pulling stacks of books off the shelf was a good idea. As good as the one that had started this trip of a fiasco. By now, the commotion had caught the attention of the children's librarian who was headed her way towards us. With a less than child-friendly look on her face.

I quickly finished dressing the Chairman, disposed of the detritus in the diaper bag, grabbed the books and somewhat neatly stacked them on top of the bookcases and with more of a motherly sweat than glow hauled everybody out of there.

At some point I made a solemn vow to never return to the library until everyone could wipe their own bottom and flush the toilets without screaming. Me included.


  1. Ok, wait. That last comment was from me, I was just logged in as somebody else altogether. So, um, solidarity??

  2. Completely awesome story. I loved picturing you going through this. You told it very well! :)

  3. Oh, yes. I've been there. Not exactly there, but there enough to both commiserate and laugh. What a glorious day when everyone could bathe, dress AND wipe themselves!

  4. If your bowels are not moving properly, you may be suffering from constipation. Diaper Potty Training

  5. There is something about books and print that moves the bowels. I can't read greeting cards without doing a dance. And when we are on vacation I go to bookstores on PURPOSE...but not to buy books.