Yesterday I took the three kids to the neighborhood pool while Dusty stayed back to fire up the grill. The little peeps have been sick around here (actually me too!) and I decided that a little time in the sun and pool would do all of our spirits some good. We loaded up the stroller, trekked across the busy street, came into the pool and began unloading everything. Yes, everything. Sunscreen, towels, dive rings, torpedoes, goggles, the puddle jumper, the baby floaty, a few little squid for Scout to chew on... then I proceeded to spray everyone down.
"Does anyone need to go potty?"
With a resounding NO! the older two were off to the baby pool (of which we were parked right by) while I got S ready.
Once dressed the biggies were thrilled to get in the big pool. I made small-talk with a few neighbors I didn't know, played games with the kids, and watched them jump off the edge. All for about 10 minutes. Then the not-so-surprising... "I have to go pee-pee."
Sure enough it was Faith Clare. Have you ever had that moment in the pool when you really want to be like "just pee in here!" but can't say it out loud and really don't want to tell your recently-potty-trained child to go in the public pool. Oooohh, so tempting. I'm thinking "seriously, all the kids here do it!!" but the words just can't escape my lips.
Now... the dilemma. Deacon is fairly easy because he can get out or wait for me on the steps. But Scout... what do I do with a wet slippery baby when trying to help my 2-year-old get on a nasty pool potty.
This conversation came up this morning with a friend at church and we had to muffle our screams of laughter as we described going to the bathroom with many small children.
Here is my norm. It might be at a Buc-ee's gas station stop on our way to Dallas or San Antonio. It might be in the bathroom at a Rudy's in College Station. Or just right here in our own little Chick-fil-a... But wherever it happens, it's always without daddy.
Someone has to go potty. Or more likely one has to go and the other decides he/she needs to go to. I take my two walking children and my infant on my hit towards the potties. Usually I will hear "I DON'T want to go in the girls!" from Deacon, which then gets one of several responses: "You can't go in there by yourself because I don't know who is in there.", or "Daddy says the boys bathrooms are nasty and you need to come with me.", or "You aren't quite big enough to go alone." Sometimes you can insert *objection* but either way he follows us into the girls.
We often have to pick a stall that is big enough for all of us but many times even those don't have the changer tables for the babies. Yes, I am that mother that will actually strap my baby TIGHT to that thing just so I have two free hands. But, in this example we are assuming there is no changer.
We go into the stall and close the door. The older two proceed to fight about who has to go worse and Deacon usually wins the battle because he is... well... faster. He goes without much of an incident. Then it is Faith Clare's turn and this is where it starts to get tricky. Remember, I have a squirmy, fussing 9-month-old in one arm. With the free hand I am putting paper down on the generally-not-so-clean potty. Usually a piece or two falls in, gets wet, or falls on the ground so this is a repeat process.
Finally the paper is in place. In one arm the squirmy baby, the other arm I am hoisting my 2-year-old up to place her on. I usually have to say more than once, and loudly, "stop touching the potty!!!" while she is waiting to go. Yes, wiping is actually okay and besides the occasional bumping of Faith Clare with Scout and both end up screaming, we usually manage the task alright.
Whew! Finally get her down and flush. Then... the joys. Yes, mommy often has to go.
Sooo, where exactly do you hold the baby? How do you unzip jeans with one hand, gets them down, hover without touching, get paper and wipe? Challenging... kinda like brain surgery and an obstacle course all at once.
And then all the ridiculous questions that I have to answer with two children watching and the third in arms. No, mommy doesn't need to go poo-poo. No, mommy doesn't need help. Yes, mommy is a big girl and can do it alone. No, you can't watch. No, Scout can't play on the floor. Yes, you have to wash your hands. No, mommy doesn't pee-pee or poo-poo in her undies.
Lately I have been excusing Deacon just for the simple fact that I'm tired of an audience and honestly, I know he can't wait to get out of there as well.
Seriously... all this just to go to the potty?! And how many times is it GO. EAT. REPEAT.
Not easy but I guess it's just what us moms do. If you have been there, you know the drill. If you haven't... well, wait for the joy to begin. Nothing is ever dull with little ones. In fact, when not in the midst of it, it's rather hilarious! Just us motioning this morning how it all has to be done... awesome!
And so yesterday... yep, I did the unthinkable and asked a neighbor I didn't know but had been chatting it up with (and who dropped that she worked in a daycare) to hold Scout for a minute while the rest of us made our way to the potty.
Some days I wonder how people ever do this alone!
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."- Romans 15:13