Pooping At The Library- a story about 3 kids and their harried mom

My kids have made some sort of toddler/ baby magic pact to only poop at the most inconvenient times.

If there was a scoring system, I assume it would go something like this:

  • Pooping in the car- 1 point (shows a lack of creativity)
  • Pooping at the pool or splash pad- 2 points for counting on the fact that mom would never pack a SECOND swim diaper 
  • Pooping in someone else’s house- 3 points for stinking up their bathroom and ruining their toilet paper roll and delivering the kicker, embarrassing mom in front of her friend
  • Pooping at church- 4 points for creating another excuse to get out of the pew and for making dad’s pounding caffeine headache worse 
  • And lastly, pooping on the floor of the library- 175 points

The library brings out the worst in my kids. I bring them a lot of places, so it’s not like the expectations are a surprise. Don’t run amok, don’t scream, don’t poop on the floor. Simple, basic stuff.

But whenever I get the inkling to do an “easy” outing to the library, they get some kind of supernatural destructive power.

Something about the ancient carpet begs to be run on- sneakers pounding and echoing.

Something about the looks from the crabby, zealous employees beckons for my children to noisily try and climb under books displays. 

We make it to the kids section, and, literacy be damned, we apparently are there for the computer games. The inspirational quote about the magical world of books is lost on my children who clamor for a seat at the computer. It is naturally playing videos of their favorite cartoons for no other purpose than I can tell than to entice the children away from the books. So while they are otherwise engaged, I roam through the books, picking them up at random. Trying to stick my hand in and not come out with a book about Russian children freezing to death in the winter, or one about ducks that has….no words. 

The baby whom I have graciously decided to wear in the carrier instead of making her sit in her carseat, decides that now is the moment that she will fill her diaper after a poop strike that has lasted for days. I am praying, praying that her low quality, paraben and lead filled (according to the crunchy moms of IG) diaper has contained the horror. I change her on my lap a few feet from my children to the horror of the grandmother sitting next to me, and congratulate myself on a catastrophe well handled.

Meanwhile, something about the round, colorful, computer seats and the sprints my kids did upon arriving has triggered their intestines to churn viciously, and so we go on our merry way to the public restroom that has… a few homeless people inside. It’s fine, it’s fine- but have you ever tried to lift up a toddler onto a toilet seat while holding a baby in one arm and threatening the two year old with her life if she so much as touches anything? It’s a fun time.

No need to worry, the two year old took in my concerns, evaluated them and decided the safest place for her hands was… the floor. While she sits on it. 

Back in the kid section, I am once again able to marvel about the complete lack of planning when it comes to this space.

It should be a shrine to the imagination, an oasis of opened ended toys and Montessori type learning. Instead we get a play kitchen with one shopping cart. One. And so one, singular child has their arms wrapped around it in a corner, protecting their booty with all limbs, and the other fourteen children are crying because they don’t have a cart. 

Oh, and the alphabet puzzle has… 11 letters. I hear they all aren’t that important, anyway. The block table has become some kind of dodge ball game spearheaded by a child two feet taller than everyone else here who looks like he is most certainly nine years old. Whatever is happened over in that corner looks more intense than most sports I’ve had the misfortune to watch on tv. 

But we’re fine- we have a book about a unicorn who doesn’t like peaches, which apparently is a cautionary tale intended to give my children an understanding of social justice because that’s important when you are three. We’ve effectively fried our brains on electronics and no one has suffered a traumatic brain injury from the block throwing hulk. 

We might actually make it out in one piece, but then I see it- the sumo squat stance of a toddler who is peeing in the middle of the floor, and holding her butt at the same time. On cue, the adorable, if aggressive, cart-hoarder pukes on the carpet. 

Pee covered, germy, over and under- stimulated toddlers, a crying baby, and a mom make it back to the car.

“It’s just the library, for goodness sake!” I think to myself. I’ve had surgeries that were less painful than that. I’ve flown across the country with nap-striking toddlers with more minimal mishap. I’ve had a day at the hospital with less infectious diseases. 

And that was the last time we ever set foot in a library.

(Until next time, I never learn.)

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