There are zillions of things that I love about motherhood. There are countless activities that I adore doing with my three zany monkeys.
Visiting the Costco bathroom just isn’t one of them.
When you have three boys who eat like there’s a six-foot long tapeworm growing in their bellies, you tend to spend a lot of your time stocking up on food at Costco. And for some reason, we can’t seem to get through a shopping trip without visiting the bathrooms at least once….sometimes twice if they decide to gorge themselves on free samples of fruit juice and those mini cinnamon buns with the cream cheese icing that everyone goes bonkers over.
When the hubby isn’t with me, I have no choice but to dump our shopping cart in an aisle somewhere (and pray to the Costco gods that an over-eager store employee doesn’t confuse it for returns and put it all away…which has happened on a few occasions and the thought of having to start my shopping all over again has nearly broken me) and then run to the bathrooms before pee starts spraying out of my children’s ears (because they always wait until the very last minute to tell me that they have to pee).
And our trips to the Costco bathroom never seem to go quickly. For some reason, my kids can’t just do their business, wash their hands, and go. They like to start the bathroom visit by warning every one around them of what they’re about to do. Cal will usually say (in really loud voice that travels for thousands of miles), “Guys! I have to do a HUGE poo and it’s going to be HUGE. The biggest ever!” Then while he poos, his brothers stand around insisting that their poos will be soooo much bigger, just wait and see. And then they all have to compare poos and argue over who really did have the biggest poo….which eventually leads to talk about who’s poo looks like an anaconda and who only managed to push out a small worm. This eventually leads to an argument about who’s poo smelled the most and who could fart the loudest if they really tried.
And what am I doing while they’re fighting about poo and farts? I’m standing in the corner of the stall with my face in my hands, wondering if everyone’s kids are this disgusting, or if it’s just mine. Not to wish time away, but I’m really looking forward to the day when they can take themselves to the bathroom.
When we first had Finn, a fellow mom friend of mine warned me that boys tend to be obsessed with three main things: farts, poop, and body parts. I laughed hysterically when she told me this. She told me that I’d soon see that she was right. For the record, she was spot on.
Half way through our last trip to Costco, Finn told me that he needed to pee. Then Cal announced that he needed to pee and poo. And then Ro-Ro jumped on the band wagon and shouted out that he needed to poo really, really badly as well. As soon as one needs to go, they all need to go. Every single time.
So off to the bathroom we went. In an effort to speed things along and avoid spending my entire afternoon standing around a toilet stall, I casually mentioned to the boys that the store was only going to be handing out free samples for a little while longer (which wasn’t strictly true, but I said it in the interest of my sanity) and I was pretty sure that I saw a lady handing out those Lindt chocolate truffles that they like so much (completely true and I was planning on nabbing a truffle for myself as well….also in the interest of my sanity).
The thing about chocolate is that it’s a great incentive. The boys did their business in record time without any arguing over poo or anything. I’m finally getting the hang of this whole parenting thing, I thought to myself. Feeling rather clever and optimistic, I decided to also use the toilet before we returned to our shopping.
“Ok, Boys, turn around quick and give me a bit of privacy while I pee,” I requested. I don’t know why I bother asking for privacy. It’s pointless. The moment I popped out kids, my bathroom turned into Grand Central Station and I can’t so much as think about changing my clothes without someone barging in. But I keep trying nonetheless.
“You’re not going to poo, are you?” Ro-Ro asked in a queasy tone.
“No!” I told him. Not that it’s anyone’s business.
“Good,” he responded. “You’re poos stink SO much.”
“Yeah, Mommy’s poo stinks! Like rotten garbage!!” Cal agreed as he twisted his face in disgust.
All three boys broke out into a mix of giggles and barfing sounds. I could hear the lady in the stall beside us laughing. So much for escaping all the poo talk.
“No, they don’t!” I protested. “I have nothing but roses pedals and vanilla potpourri coming out of my bum!”
“You stink more than Daddy,” Finn stated.
“No, I don’t!” I exclaimed, scowling at him.
I could hear more women giggling. I took a deep breath and tried to pee as quickly as I could.
“Well, I’m just peeing, so you don’t need to worry about how much I stink,” I told them.
“Ok, but make sure you wipe your willy when you’re done,” Ro-Ro told me.
Before I could correct him on the difference between boy and girls, which we’ve gone over a gazillion times, Finn jumped in and said “Ro, Mommy doesn’t have a willy. She’s a girl. Girls have ‘ginas”
“She’s not a girl!” Ro-Ro protested. “She’s a LADY!” Well, that’s kind of sweet, I thought to myself.
“Fine,” Finn said. “Ladies have ‘ginas.”
“Actually, they have vaginas, Finn. Not ‘ginas,” Cal explained. “There’s no such thing as a ‘gina.”
“Yes there is!” Finn protested. “It’s called a ‘gina!”
“Noooo, it’s a vagina. I know,” Cal insisted. He ‘knows’? What the heck does that mean? I know we’ve talked about all of this and they should have an understanding of the difference between male and female bodies, but what exactly does he mean by that statement? Should I be concerned?
“Whatever,” Ro-Ro said, rolling his eyes. “Wipe your balls then.”
Wipe my what?! Where did he learn ‘balls’ from?!!! I told him that they are called his testicles! So much for using the proper name for everything, then.
“Ro-Ro, Mommy doesn’t have balls, remember?” Finn explained, as he sighed loudly. “Girls don’t have penises OR balls.”
“What?!” Ro-Ro exclaimed. “MOMMY DOESN’T HAVE ANY BALLS?!!”
“Nope. No balls.” Cal confirmed, looking very serious.
“Oh, no!” Ro-Ro said, looking incredibly sad. “I’m sorry you don’t have any balls, Mommy. I’ll give you a hug when you’re done peeing.”
I could hear giggles echoing throughout the Costco bathroom. It was official – we would never be able to leave that toilet stall. We’d have to stay there forever.
I took a deep breath and whispered “Thanks, Ro. We’ll have hugs in a minute when we’re out of the bathroom.”
“Can I have hugs, too?” Finn asked.
“Yes, we can all have hugs,” I assured them.
“What about the chocolates?” Cal piped up.
“Oh, we’re definitely having chocolates.” I flushed the toilet and grabbed my coat off of the hook. I’ll be sure to tell their girlfriends all about this conversation when they’re older.
As we were leaving the Costco bathroom, some woman tapped my arm and told me that my children are “just too cute”. I thanked her politely and then proceeded to walk over to the Lindt samples table, where I managed to cram two dark chocolate truffles right into my mouth at the same time (it’s amazing what you can achieve when you really try).
And for the record, my poos do NOT smell like rotten garbage. Just saying.