Monday, May 21, 2007

The Inconvenient Poop

I took Monkey and Volcano to the local library to check out the new Children's Center. This is a play area set aside in the library where kids can explore and touch things that are representative of literature. For example, for the book Jumanji, they had a bunch of stuffed animals, tropical trees, and books about jungle animals. It's a new theme every month, and it is set up and run all by volunteers.

The only problem with this particular library is that the nearest parking is a metered parking structure. So, to check out books in the library (for free) and to play at the Children's Center (for free) and to listen to the story time twice a week (for free), you have to pay 25 cents for every 15 minutes. (Kind of a rip off, and certainly a deterrent for going to the library. I thought the point of a library was to put books in the hands of all kinds of people: rich or poor, right? I might as well go to the book store and buy a book I could actually keep!)

Anyway, we went. I parked the car, plopped in a grand total of $2 in change into the parking meter (there goes my Starbucks for the day), and took the kids out of the car. Then we walked about 100 yards into the library, climbed the stairs, and made our way to the Children's Center. Whew! As any mom knows, just getting to where you're going can be exhausting!

This was when Monkey decided to tell me, “I have poo-poo!” She was not yet fully potty-trained, so this simply meant, “The poop has successfully made its way into my Pull-Up.” I pulled back her shorts to check and sure enough, there it was. At this point, she had already gone, and there wasn't much I could do about it.

Like I said, I had just paid $2 for parking, and we had literally just gotten there. So I checked for an extra Pull-Up in my purse: of course I had left them in the car. Waaaaaaay back in the parking lot. Where I had just paid $2, and managed to get my kids out of and into the library.

So I did what I always do. I sniffed her butt. I didn't smell anything. Unless she was really stinky, the matter could wait. But I knew it would only be a matter of minutes. “Okay, guys,” I told the kids. “You have about 5 minutes to look around, and then we have to go.”

“5 minutes?!” Volcano whined. “That's too short! We just got here!”

“Now you have 4 minutes,” I told him, and they both got the point. They immediately scurried off to play.

I turned around and a librarian was so suddenly at my side, that I actually jumped. “Excuse me,” she began. “I couldn't help but overhearing. But I think your daughter needs to be changed.”

“I know,” I said with a smile. “We're leaving in a couple minutes. I want to give them a chance to play really quick before we go.”

“We have a restroom right around the corner,” she informed me.

“I understand,” I said. “We'll be leaving soon. We just got here.”

She sighed, exasperated, and put her hand on my shoulder. “I think you should leave now.”

I turned fiercely so her hand fell off my shoulder. “We're leaving in one minute. I just paid for 2 hours of parking, so I can at least stay for one more minute.”

She went back to her desk and looked at her watch, then at my children in disgust. Monkey and Volcano, oblivious to anything wrong, kept playing. After two minutes (just to prove a point), I told the kids, “Okay, guys, it's time to go.”

Volcano grumbled a little but didn't complain. As we were walking out, Monkey turned to the volunteer and waved excitedly. “Bye! See you lay-ler!”

Ah... children. So naive. (sigh) Thank God.

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