Thursday, September 25, 2008

next time, it's charlie's turn

Tonight we went to Costco.

One minute we are having fun chattering in the freezer section, the next minute I am informed - very loudly - that one of our children needs to go poop. As in, NOW. THIS VERY SECOND.

Charlie has one cart loaded with groceries, I have the other, partially loaded with children and more groceries. Our eyes briefly connect while our child is dancing around our feet, clutching themselves and yelling, "I NEED TO GO POOP! I NEED TO GO POOP! I NEED TO GO POOP! POOP! POOP! POOP!!"

As our children are rapidly approaching the age of four, their language has become much more articulate than it was just a few short months ago. No longer are we the only ones to understand the words that they use. Now when they speak, anyone who has any grasp of the English language would know exactly what they are saying.

There's no covering this one up, so we do our best to ignore the fellow shoppers who have stopped their shopping and turned to stare. My husband actually attempted to feign oblivion to the situation and looks around, saying aloud to no one in particular, "Oh would you look at that! Raspberries are still in season and they're on SALE!"

Meanwhile, I abandon my cart and taking my child's hand, lead them to the restroom - all the while praying that they don't drop a load somewhere between the absolute back corner of the store and the very, very front. As we are walking away at a brisk clip, I notice that my other two three-year-old children are running behind me yelling, "I need to go POOP too, Mama!! Wait!! WAIT!! I GO POO POO TOO!!"

To all the people who had stopped to stare at us as we trotted along the 1,000-foot corridor from where we had been standing in the freezer section, to where we were going in the latrine section, I smiled and nodding my head to the back of the store declared, "There's a great deal on raspberries! They are on sale and going fast in produce!!"

We make it to the bathroom and there is a long wait. And while we wait my children are chanting in unison, "I need to go POOP. I need to go POOP." Which very soon causes a stir because in the land of three, when you have to go poop, only YOU have to go poop.

No one else dare lay claim to that bodily need.

Yet because more than one of my children purportedly needed to go poop, there was bickering, "You not need to go poop. I NEED TO GO POOP!" Followed by, "NO. YOU NOT POOP. I GO POOP!!"

And on.

And on.

And finally, after what seemed like 15 minutes, after much shushing and mouth covering, a stall opened up. One of the standard small stalls, not the over sized handicapped stall I had been hoping for. I ushered the kids in to the small space and then tried to corral them in the corner while I closed the door. They are trying to kick the trash can which is piled high with who knows what. They are trying to pull seat covers out. They are trying to flush the toilet. They are touching everything and attempting to squeeze in behind me and open the door.

"HOLD STILL!!" I bellow.


I wipe off the seat and put a seat cover on before depositing the child who started the mad dash to the bathroom. Only to see that their request to use the bathroom came about ... uh ... five minutes too late. They finish what remains of their business while their siblings crowd around the back of the toilet and inquire, "You go POOP? Lemme see the poop. Where the poop?!"

I put the next child up. While they are trying to do their business, two other children are crowded around the back of the toilet inquiring "You go POOP? Lemme see, lemme see. Lemme see the POOP. OHHH!!! I SEE POOP!!!!" and then grabbing at their noses, "OH, it's STINKY!!!"

The second child is taken down and the third is put up. They don't have to go poop. They just like all the attention and fanfare, so they sit for a while, soaking up the excitement, reveling in the moment.

The third child comes off the potty and I decide that while I'm there, heck, I may as well go, too. As I'm preparing to sit down, one of my children kneels down in an area where only a three-year-old could fit and demands, "Hey, where's your PEANUT?"

My other two children stop talking long enough to hear me respond, "Girls don't have peanuts." Now although I believe it is important that children know the correct nomenclature for parts of their body, the public restroom at Costco is not necessarily the place I want to give the kids a lesson in anatomy. KWIM?

In that time that I was talking to the children, I noticed that the bathroom was eerily quiet. For a brief moment, I thought that maybe everyone had vacated and we were left alone in the restroom. But when I peeked out underneath the stall door, I could see that there were at least 20 pairs of shoes - standing in line - and the stalls on either side of me - were occupied.


One of my children saw me look under the stall and dropped to their knees to see what I was looking at. The other two children were attempting to cluster around the back of the toilet. "Mommy, you go poop? Lemme see, lemme see, lemme see. Do you go poo-poo, too MOM? Where's the poop? I don't see any poop? Mom, you go poop or you go pee-pee?"

I pulled the child off the ground who who was now attempting to crawl under the stall, and as they stood up, they exclaimed, "HEY MOM! You have a BIG bum!! Look at your big bum!! Turning around they pointed to themselves and continued, "I have a wittle bum!! See my wittle bum?! It's WITTLE!"

Chuckling I replied, "Yeah, but you know what? You have a BIG mouth!"

I'll be darned if everyone wasn't eavesdropping on us, because the whole restroom erupted in to laughter.


  1. Seriously one of the best laughs I've had in a while...because I sooo see myself it that very same situation one day!! Your sense of humor always brightens my day!! :) ~Jen

  2. OMG!!! HAHAHAHA!!! Thank you for sharing. I had an identical experience. Except I was fortunate to have the handicap stall and I had 5 under age 8... HAHAHAH!! :D

  3. Priceless! It made me laugh to read, but I am also sweating bullets at the thought of my own future bathroom escapades with my twins. Think I'll be safe if I stay away from Costco? :-)

  4. They are so cute in their evil little ways.

    "Mommy, look at my wittle bum!!! it's wittle!" LOL

    "Wheres your peanut?" OMG

    I have no idea how you do it.



  5. Wonderful! About as embarrassing as going to the Medical Centre bathroom only to have your 2 year old say "Mummy, your poo is VERY SMELLY" - only to exit the cubicle and bump into my Doctor!

  6. Hilarious! Thank you for sharing. It made my day....

  7. This is the reason my MIL would not let her kids say poop. They were only allowed to say poot. Try the story with poot, instead of poot. What do you think?
    Priceless story. I'm glad you have a great sense of humor and are willing to share the expereince with us. Happy Friday!

  8. sorry - poot instead of poop

  9. ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard reading this!!! I only have 1 little one (well, she's not THAT little anymore, she's in 1st grade) and even NOW she's got a BIG mouth in the bathroom. It's like the echo of a PUBLIC restroom is enough for her to talk louder than she normally does.

    Ahhhh, kids, don't you just LOVE getting embarrassed by them??!! Just think, one day you can do the same back to them when they're teenagers..... (grin)

  10. Wow...I've clamped my hand over a mouth in the washroom stall before... poor don't have three arms!

    I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard! Thanks for always sharing!

  11. that is priceless! I would have been smiling at you when you came out had I been there:)

  12. Hilarious! My daughter once announced to a full restroom in Bravo that she was pooping. And it was a big poop. And it was CORN POOP! I can't imagine it times three!!

  13. Oh, damn, that was good. I can just see it....especially the part where everyone in line is listening in. Classic. Hope they were all rewarded with churros :)

    Great comments too!

  14. hysterical, just what I needed today as my toddler left the house with a diaper and underwear on OVER the diaper because she refuses to poop on the potty:)

  15. You made my day! This was hilarious! My 2 3/4 daughter is on training so I heard some of these stories already! Have a nice weekend!

  16. That was hilarious. My son (now 14 yrs. old) once said in desperation (LOUDLY) in the middle of Vons, "Mommy, Mommy! My penis is leaking!"

  17. I'm laughing so hard here, thanks for the chuckle! We had our own Costco bathroom moment yesterday... the kind where you ask your kid if they need to use the restroom before leaving preschool as we'll be going to Costco first before going home... and they say, 'no', and not 3 minutes later (not even at
    Costco yet, but after leaving preschool) they tell you
    that their "penis is full."

  18. A Mastercard moment for sure......groceries $578 dollars; listening to 3yo trips & Mom in the bathroom - priceless!

  19. my daughter never misses a chance to share that her brother and daddy have peanuts but she and I do not. :)

  20. Karen in Buffalo9/26/08, 1:19 PM

    I love "put you hands on your elbows"! That will be my new phrase when I don't want my girls touching things!
    Thanks for the funny (at least for us!) post!

  21. This was hilarious -- and although I only have two (who are now 4 and 5) I have had experiences much like this -- I just love how bathrooms echo -- so every word expressed by my children are five times louder then in any other place. And why do they choose a public bathroom to have a "serious" discussion -- or is that just my daughter who does that -- sigh.

  22. THAT WAS HILARIOUS!!!.....ahhh, I'm wiping the tears away as I type.
    Between your story and the other ones in the comments, I'm dying! My office is wondering what my problem is :)

    Have a good weekend! And hey, enjoy those raspberries...I heard they were on sale :)

  23. You are for real, right? You're not just making this up? Too funny! Althought my youngest once went into a discussion in a public restroom about the size of his "unit" compared to the size of his daddy's "unit." And yes, there were other people in the bathroom.

  24. That is an awesome story. Great comeback to the bum comment. I can totally see myself doing that w/my twins one day. Ugh.

  25. lmao because I know this is coming for me oneday!

  26. Tracy, not only DID this happen, it isn't the first time an almost identical scene has played out.

    Whenever I take all of the children in to a public restroom, something happens. There is ALWAYS something.

    It's just when the situation happened last night - I decided that if I didn't write about it, I'd soon forget.

  27. This wasn't quite as funny for ME! It was reliving a scary flashback I've supressed! LOL! I need to start reading travel blogs! :)

  28. Oh, I so needed to read that today... thanks for the laugh. I think I'll go get some raspberries. ;o)

  29. Hilarious. I only have one the same age and it's difficult to use a public restroom. I never even thought about what if there were 3 of him :o I bow down to you. I told my husband your story and his response was "she was able to go without one of them running away?"

    Lorraine B

  30. ROFL this was such a great read after putting the kids to bed tonight thanks!

    I've discovered that all bathroom conversations with triplets are bound to be embarresing!

  31. mama bunny tam9/27/08, 2:16 AM

    So incrediably funny! I honestly haven't laughed that hard in a long time! Everybody I read it to thought it was hilarious. You are also a wonderful writer. You really bring things to life and can describe things with great detail.

  32. Mom in Iowa9/27/08, 2:24 PM

    Thanks for the laugh, that totally MADE MY DAY!!! Alas, with a one year going on 3 year old, I know my day is coming too

  33. OMG you just described exactly what occurs with my 3 every day. going to the bathroom is crazy. perfect description of how it really is. Jeanmarie

  34. ROFLMAO!! :D

    I avoid public bathroom trips with kids at all costs for these very same reasons-and the germs. Ick.

    I'm glad that you have such a great sense of humor about it all!

  35. I would literally shrivel up and blow away! I would be scarred for life and have to stay away from all Costcos in the future! You are a brave, brave woman and I take my hat off to you and all the others out there who have more than one baby at a time...