Namely, the Safeway bathroom.
This isn’t a pregnancy thing. I haven’t been getting sick in the grocery store or having to make a pee stop in every aisle. Rather, this is about my kids’ ability to have to relieve themselves at the worse times, in the worst places.
Allow me to elaborate, because I know you are dying to know the details.
We are at Safeway for what I hope will be a fairly quick shopping trip. No sooner had I started perusing the bananas when Kaya informs me she has to pee. We trek over to the other side of the store to the bathroom, which is not the most desirable place to spend an afternoon. It’s one of those institutional, 1970s-era restrooms that looks like it hasn’t had a good clean in as many decades. You kind of feel dirty just standing in there. Kaya is still wearing her ballet outfit, which makes the process that much longer. Off goes the coat, down goes the leotard, the tights and the underwear. On goes that damn crinkly toilet seat cover that never stays put, practically forcing you to touch the seat. Once Kaya is done and reminded to wipe (“Kaya, you don’t want a red putter, do you?”), we start the process in reverse – up go the underwear, the tights, the leotard, the coat. Done.
But our time in the icky bathroom is not over. Kaiden had to pee but of course only wants to go in the big stall that Kaya is in, so once she is done now it’s his turn. Off goes the coat, which he throws on the floor – gross! Meanwhile, I have to keep a close eye on Kaya who, after washing her hands, wants to touch everything – the garbage can, the walls, the disgusting hand dryer (I hate those things!)
15 minutes later, which feels like an eternity, we are finally out the bathroom door. Grocery shopping resumes. We make it to the check-out aisle. As my groceries are being bagged, Kaiden looks at me with this painful look in his eyes and his legs squeezed together and says, as if I don’t already know, “Mommy, I have to poo.” Of course you do.
I leave my cart there, hoping no one will steal my $150-worth of food. We walk back to the bathroom, which is now feeling oddly familiar, like returning to a house you used to live in but no one has cleaned in a year. I settle in for a long haul. It takes Kaiden on average about a half-hour to push one of his turds out. I wish I had brought some reading material.
Kaiden sounds like he is in labor. Grunting and groaning, I have to hold back my laughter so I don’t embarrass him. Of course, Kaya announces she has to pee – again. “Really??” I ask, hoping she is just pretending. No luck. The leotard process starts all over again. I pace the bathroom floor, check my complexion in the mirror, read the directions on the hand dryer. GET ME OUT OF HERE! I AM TRAPPED IN THE SAFEWAY BATHROOM! I am suddenly feeling very claustrophobic, and dirty. Very dirty.
Finally, the baby has arrived. Kaiden is done. He calls me into the stall for the mandatory ass-wiping. What I want to know is this: When will the butt wiping ever stop??? At what age are kids capable of doing it by themselves without leaving skid marks on their underwear? I can’t help but glance in the toilet. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! It’s the biggest shit I have ever seen! Like seriously, it’s over a foot long. It barely flushes down the toilet. No wonder Kaiden winces when I wipe him, yelling, “It burns! It burns!” I tell him: “That’s because you just pooped out a 2-year old.”
Kaya is done also, her leotard back on. I look at the kids. “Are we done here? Can we please leave this disgusting bathroom now?” We walk back to the cart and towards the door. I hold my breath. Will we make it without one of the kids having to go? Finally, we are out in the fresh air. Hallelujah! Home free!
I walk outside like a free woman who has just been released from prison. Of course, now I have to go.