To understand what happened to me this week, you need a little bit of background information and that little bit is this: I like the bathroom quiet.
Charlotte learned this much very early in life. She is free to be as loud as she wants in most of this house, but I reign over bathroom silence with an iron fist. I like my hygiene and bodily functions tended to in peace, thankyouverymuch. There is no unnecessary talking or noise allowed when: someone is on the toilet, someone is in the shower, teeth are being brushed, a diaper is being changed, or I am cutting Donald’s hair.
Yesterday morning I took the girls to a playdate at a nearby park. We left a little later than I had intended to, but I still made the decision to try to run a grocery errand on the way home.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but within about two minutes of entering the market I was made acutely aware of the fact that the last-minute errand was actually one of the worst ideas I have ever had as a parent. Charlotte was so exhausted that she was just bouncing off the walls to keep herself awake. She pushed the cart into an unsuspecting fellow customer, went running down the aisle, and generally made me question why it is that preschool-aged children are allowed on the planet at all.
I mean, really.
So with superhuman speed, I gathered what we needed and wrangled the beast and got us up to the cash register. Charlotte’s behavior did not improve while we waited in line. She was just…awful. I love my kid, but let’s call a spade a spade, it was miserable. She was exhausted, I was frustrated and everyone around us was suffering because of my mistake. I am generally an exceedingly patient person with children, but I could tell that I was losing my cool and then Charlotte knocked over a display case and I lost every bit of calm I had left. I reached out, grabbed her wrists, and pulled her face within an inch of mine.
“I have had ENOUGH!” I hissed at her. “BE QUIET AND STOP THIS RIGHT NOW!”
Instantly, Charlotte responded. “Why, Momma? Are you pooping? In your pants? At the grocery store?”
And then, looking more scandalized than a three-year-old ever has any business looking, she yelled out. “MOMMA! WHY ARE YOU POOPING IN YOUR PANTS AT THE GROCERY STORE?!”