Another One Bites the Dust
March 2, 2017
“HOW DO THESE THINGS ACTUALLY HAPPEN TO YOU?!
I’m being totally serious–you are a completely engaged, capable, attentive mom–and yet?!?”
– my friend Aimee. Also, probably my husband.
There’s a list of about 5 establishments our family should never enter again. Due to unforeseen bathroom emergencies, we should never again step foot inside the Kroger pharmacy, Panera Bread, King Wok II, Rosa’s Tortilla Factory, or Braum’s.
It’d been a while since we’ve disgraced ourselves publicly with a banishable offense, so we were probably due.
And so it was that yesterday, sitting across the table at Chick-fil-A from a sweet friend, engaged in a serious discussion, I saw my son standing ramrod straight in the middle of the restaurant. Frozen like a statue halfway between our table and the play area.
He was, maybe, 10 feet away, so I yelled his name and called him over to our table.
me: Hey. What’s going on? Come over here.
me: Buddy, come over here.
His posture was weird and he had this, like, shocked expression on his face.
It wasn’t until a few seconds in that I noticed something on the ground by his foot.
Something big enough to be seen from our table.
Something important enough he didn’t want to venture away from it.
Sand from the park? No, we didn’t play in sand.
A pile of hashbrowns? No, we weren’t eating breakfast.
Chocolate ice cream? No, we didn’t get ice cream.
It was then I realized.
The “something” was poop.
On the ground, in the middle of the Chick-fil-A dining area, 6 inches away from a 60 year old couple enjoying lunch, 10 feet away from me – A. HUMONGOUS. PILE. OF. POOP.
Not, like, a little bit. A lot a bit.
Have you ever made eye contact with complete strangers at a restaurant while grabbing fistfuls of human feces from the ground adjacent to their table?
Ever grabbed a wad of napkins to casually dispose of excrement before the smell affected their appetite?
It’s not an experience I’d recommend.
Like, how do you even close that conversation out? Nobody prepares you for these parenting moments.
I went with, “…aaanyway, sorry again. Enjoy your lunch!”
(It didn’t feel great. Hindsight’s 20/20 I guess.)
After taking care of the obvious offense, I carted my son to the bathroom to get cleaned up.
It was there I encountered yet another conversation I was unprepared for.
How do you make small talk with a lady washing her hands at the same time you are washing behind a naked kid’s kneecaps?
The answer is you don’t, really. You just let it go and pray her eyes can unsee that moment.
(And, to be fair, he wasn’t completely naked. He was wearing a shirt. And one sock.)
After cleaning him up the best I could, I realized I had nothing to put back on him. Not underwear, not a Pull-Up, not pants, not a loincloth. Nada.
The only thing worse than pooping IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DINING AREA would probably be toting my naked kid around, so I did what any reasonable person would do – yelled for my friend.
“THERE HAS BEEN A SITUATION. I NEED BACK UP.”
She provided a Pull-Up, I got my toddler (whom I’d completely abandoned back at the table), and we got outa dodge.
But not before I confessed our transgressions to an employee.
I felt terrible, but I also felt like Lysol bombing the floor couldn’t hurt.
“Excuse me, ma’am? I’m not really sure how to say this, but, uh, I thought my kid was potty trained and….I mean, he is mostly….but not today I guess – ha! – because, you see, he pooped on your floor.
….well, technically he didn’t poop ON your floor, more like the poop fell OUT onto your floor. From the leg of his shorts. Well, and his boxer briefs. I guess this is why you shouldn’t buy tiny boxer briefs. Cute as they are, they don’t hold stuff in, should there be an accident…knowwhatImean? Hah..ha..h…”
She did not know what I meant.
She also was highly upset by the situation.
There was no, “Oh my goodness, it would be my pleasure to help during this humiliating time.”
“Poor guy! Please have a year’s worth of free chicken sandwiches because I can tell you guys feel bad, and I’m incredibly gracious and forgiving. Plus, I know that – over the course of the past 5 years – your purchases here have singlehandedly paid my salary.”
She was straight up mad.
She got all ‘tudey and, “Well – *exaggerated huff of disgust* – are you going to show me where this happened so I can sanitize this eating establishment?”
To which I replied, “
You know, ma’am, maybe next time I’ll have him aim better. Like onto the ground right outside your car door. (Or something. Just thinking out loud here.) Yes. Right over this way.”
I know she was actually mad not just because she was fairly unkind in her response to me, but because one of my teen friends was working the drive-thru during this whole debacle. If there were any doubt, Ms. Shame-Heaper made her disgust quite well-known to the other employees after we left.
“You know your little friend? Her kid pooped on the floor.”
– her actual words
It’s unfortunate that we can never go back there again.
…but it’s super fortunate that we have about 91 other Chick-fil-As within equal distance to choose from.
If you feel like you’re bombing as a human…if you’re feeling down about your parenting skills….just consider the time this girl and her entourage dropped a turd next to a lunch date.
We will overcome. And so will you.