This little monkey scared the willies out of me today. Scared me, infuriated me, made me cry, then made me laugh. All in a days work. I pray every one of my children have at least one child who is just like them someday.
Since today was cold and rainy we decided to meet some friends for lunch at The King, also known as Burger King, but to my children, for some reason it's just called "The King." The place was packed. Lunch rush hour mixed with cold winter mess caused most of the moms in our area to show up at the same time, since The King is one of the few places in town with an indoor playground. We had fun, stuffing ourselves with empty calories and laughing with our friends.
I have a set of rules The Hudson Fam goes by, no matter where our playdates are. The children all recite in unison as we drive to our destination. I start with, "I need listening ears..." The kids all put their hands behind their ears, to show me they are listening. Sometimes one or two of them will put their hands over their ears when I turn back around, which causes giggling among the peanut gallery. After they are all in attention, we all recite: "No pushing. No shoving. No biting. No whining. No hitting. No tattling. Keep your hands to yourself. Be a good friend. And when it's time to go... It's time to GO!" That last part means, when Momma says let's go, they better all run to get their shoes on. If you don't leave nicely, you don't get to go the next time at all. So, those rules being explained....
It was time to go. I did my usual, "If your last name is Hudson and you have red hair, it's time to go!!" Thunder and Her Highness came bounding down out of the slide with Hail close behind. They tugged on their shoes, and came over to our table where I was buckling Flash Flood into his carrier. "Where's your brother?" I asked, fully expecting my smart-mouthed children to refute, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Instead I got, "He's not up there, Momma." "Yes he is. Go back up and tell him I said it's time to go, NOW." With my bag on my shoulder, and Flash Flood's heavy carrier in the nook of my arm, I began hollering, "Lightning Hudson! Where are you?? It's time to go!" Thunder came back down the slide again, "Momma, I told you he wasn't up there!" A mom sitting in a nearby booth interrupted, "Could he be in the restroom? My son just came out of there and said there was a little boy screaming, 'Mommy, I'm all done!'"
I sent my friend's son in the men's room to check for me. "Yep. He's in there and he pooped in the potty. He's waiting for you, Mrs. Holly."
Great. I then had my BFF watch all my other kids in the playground section as I went to retreat my 3 1/2 year old from the men's room. Hail insisted he go with me. I stood with the men's room door cracked and asked loudly, "Excuse me. Is anyone in here??" I got a couple of responses, "Uh, yes ma'am." "Just a second lady." Two men finished up their business and got out. At first I tried to coax Lightning out, "Honey, you need to just wipe yourself and come on out." All he could say was, "But, Mommy!! I can't reach the toilet paper! It's too far away!" I then went in to find the stall door was locked. Of course. At this point my blood pressure was beginning to rise. With clinched teeth I said, "Buddy, you're going to HAVE to come unlock this door. I can't get in there unless you open the door. NOW." All Lightning would say over and over in his husky little voice was, "But, Mommy! I've got poo-poo on my booty! You open the door! I don't wanna get up with poo-poo!!!!" I think I said a few things after that like, "Poo-poo on your hiney is the least of your worries son!... You're gonna get it... I mean it too...."
Hail decided he would help out and climb under the door to unlock it for Lightning. Only, when he got into the stall he couldn't figure out how to work the lock. "Both of you just be still! And quit touching stuff! Hail, I'm talking to YOU. Don't touch anything else! Get your hands away from your face!!! Gross!"
About this time a young male employee walks in and says, "Your son stuck in there?" So I explain that he's three years old and needs help with the lock. The employee says, "Sure, I'll help. I just gotta go first." And he waltzes over to the urinal, with me STILL IN THE RESTROOM, turns his back to me and begins doing his business. I literally screeched, "OH MY! SORRY!" And darted towards the door. Being the Momma Bear I am, I stayed with my foot in the door, keeping it cracked, but obviously it wasn't going to phase this young man since he was going to take his bathroom break with me in there or not. He finished up, came back over to the door, then WITHOUT WASHING HIS HANDS said, "You gonna just be patient or you want me to help your boys out?" Nodding, as I was speechless, he hoisted himself over the top of the stall door, then reached down and flipped the lock over, freeing Hail and allowing me in to rescue Lightning. The employee exited, (without ever washing his hands) and went back to flipping burgers. NICE. I probably would have been more offended by the employee's restroom manners, or lack there of, if I didn't have so many boys myself.
Before we left the men's room, Lightning got what was coming to him for leaving the playground without telling me. I was so mad that I sent him straight to bed when we got home. He stayed in there for a while, and when he came out I asked, "Why were you in so much trouble? Can you tell Mommy?" Lightning shook his head yes, then said very matter of fact, "Because a stranger could get me." I'm just glad he understood the danger in what he had done.
Lightning has always been my most self-sufficient child. He insisted on feeding himself at six months old. By 18 months, when he was thirsty he would climb up on the counter and get his own sippy cup, climb in the fridge to get the juice, then drag it across the house to me and ask for a drink. The kid has always just taken care of business. So I guess this time was no different. I should be thankful.... Thunder would have just pooped in his pants and Hail would have screamed at the top of his lungs, "I GOTTA GOOOO POO-POO! I GOTTA GO POO-POO! NOW! NOW! I GOTTA GOOOO POOOO-POOOOO!" For everyone in the entire restaurant to hear.
Whew. I'm just glad that everything came out all right.