What’s Your Story — Guest Post With Kendra Shriver
Posted on November 7, 2012
by Susie Finkbeiner
Today, we welcome Kendra Shriver. Kendra is a blogger, a home-schooling mom, a wife, and a dear friend of mine. I love Kendra and you will too after you read this post. In order to protect her children’s identities, Kendra refers to her sweet ones as Dynamite and Cindy Lou Who.
Feel free to visit Kendra at www.thejoyofsneezing.blogspot.com
Why I Shouldn’t Have Taken Dynamite to Staples
All I wanted were two very simple student planners. No frills–just something to write down my kids’ individual assignments in. After church, I ask my dear husband, “Do you mind if I just shoot over to Staples for a few minutes? I just need to run in really quick.”
Then Dynamite and Cindy-Lou Who chime in, “We want to go too! Can we go too?”
“Okay,” I say, “that’s fine. But it’s just going to be a quick trip. In and out.”
Like that would ever happen…
Two minutes into my perusing the clearance rack for some discounted planners, I notice Cindy Lou Who doing the pee-pee dance.
“Do you need to use the bathroom?” I ask.
“The very tiniest bit, Mom” she says holding up her index finger and thumb to give me a visual.
Now to find a bathroom. We find a store employee and are pointed to the bathroom.
“Okay, just go potty and I’ll wait out here for you,” I tell her.
Now, here is where the story twists. That’s right, my friends. In just a moment, it can all fall apart.
“I have to go potty too!!” Dynamite chimes in.
Oh man. This is the kid whose butt is so little, he has to scoot all the way back on the toilet seat so he doesn’t fall in. This is the kid who still hasn’t mastered the art of aiming and leaves “art work” for me to find on my shower curtain.
There’s no, “Just go in and come out” anymore. That ship has sailed. So, the three of us trudge into the bathroom.
It smells like…well, poop. There you have it. It totally smells like poop.
The toilet is splattered and disgusting and I really don’t want my kids sitting on it. I get out my all-purpose baby wipes and meticulously wipe the seat. Then, I lay out strands of toilet paper for the child who only needs to go to the bathroom the tiniest bit, but is doing this amazing number that reminds me of Lord of the Dance.
As I’m trying to do damage control, Dynamite says what we’re all thinking (but not really):
“It smells wike pwetzels in here or sumping.” Probably not the first thing I would analogize the smell to, but I guess pretzels do have a different kind of smell sometimes.
As he’s doing what he needs to do, I can be overheard saying, “Point your peeper down. Dynamite, do not pee on your underwear. Make sure it’s pointed down.”
He’s agreeable and understands, I’m quite certain, that mommy is just doing a very quick in and out trip to the office supply. He totally gets it that I just need two freaking little notebooks that would’ve taken me five-minutes tops if I had only come alone.
“Um, I fink my undapants are wet,” he says as he’s getting off the toilet-paper lined seat.
“I fink so.”
Now, perhaps any good mother would’ve said, “Okay, let’s go home right this minute. We need to change your clothes.”
But I didn’t. Because sometimes I’m not a good mother. Sometimes I’m a very utilitarian kind of mother. And I really needed two measly little notebooks and I was out with only two kids instead of four.
So I said, “Okay, I don’t think they’re that wet. Let mommy just find these (insert naughty word that I said in my head so only I could hear it and prayed later that God would cleanse my heart and help me stop thinking those naughty words when I’m frustrated) notebooks.”
Dynamite walks around pinching the seam of his pants and pulling it out so it doesn’t touch his rear end.
“My pants is wet, Mom.”
I’m beginning to think they’re a little more wet than I realized.
I grab some cute stripey paper-clips as a consolation that I am not getting my notebooks, but at least I will have gotten something that I needed (read: helped ease my feelings of defeat).
And that is why, next time, I will leave Dynamite and Cindy-Lou Who at home when I need to get two little things at Staples.
Oh man how frustrating and I feel you pain because I, too, have been there.
It’s starting to feel like an everyday occurrence, Jessie! 🙂
Oh those days. I remember those days. ((shiver)).
I wish I had a nickel for every time…been there. Feel your pain. And LOVE your characterization of your kids–Dynamite’s voice is super! I can hear it in my head and it’s quite precious. Thanks for writing (and don’t forget to refill your wipe supply!).
Thanks for reading, Michelle! I think I need to pack extra underwear as well! And maybe a pair of pants…and socks… 🙂
A classic tale of the nightmare kind, reminiscent of many adventures in our early family life when we were still trying to figure out how the little miniature people worked. They didn’t work very well, especially (in my best Captain von Trapp imitation) “in public!” The worst part was being out – alone – with the girls when the Gotta-Go-Go Dance began, realizing that, as they were quick to remind me, they did not use the Little Boys’ room because they were Girls. But Daddies cannot go into the Little Girls’ Room (unless they desire a trip to the Police Station) and so must somehow trust that their little girls will not have ‘difficulties’ while Taking Care of Business. Because Daddy will not be able to help. Woe betide the Daddy who has to ask Sally Stranger to “Please go check on my daughter because I think she has fallen in!”
It does get better, though. And I cannot wait to read more stories of your incredible journey, because you have brought the old memories and feelings and anxiety and frustration right to the forefront of my brain.
Good thing I have my handy wipes.
Oh, Rob, your reply made me laugh. My husband could share in the frustrations of dads taking daughters to the potty. 🙂 Thank you for reading.