Sometimes I think I might like to swap my life for something a little less exciting, like being a secret double-agent, but I’d probably just get bored.
I took Squish to the used bookstore last week. It’s a fabulous place. 5000 square feet of media. Books, CDs, movies. You name it, they probably have it, will have it, or had it yesterday. I could live there.
Anyway, Squish and I went last week. We peeked in the free bin first thing, and we found a large collection of model train magazines, circa 1986. I let my littlest engineer take one of them. He tucked it proudly under his arm, and we went inside.
After a few minutes of browsing the children’s books, I looked over at Squish. He was doing an unfortunate little dance. When it comes to toileting urgency, I operate on a scale from 1-5.
1 – number one.
2 – (what do you think two is?)
3 – one + two =3
4 – Elizabeth, this is the big one!
5 – Better use someone else’s bathroom
We were clearly operating on a 5. I grabbed the kid up and made a dash for the nearest facility. We got there in time, but barely. Crisis passed, it was time to wrap up the paperwork. Unfortunately, in our hurry to make the money shot before the clock ran out, I had not had time to check the facilities for crisis readiness. There was no toilet paper.
I checked my pockets for a stray tissue, but I was wearing my sweatpants (don’t you dare judge me!) and had none. This particular store doesn’t offer paper towels, either, so we were left high and dry there. Or maybe not so dry.
I even considered asking the woman in the stall next to us if she could pass us a bit of tissue, but she was in worse shape than Squish. I heard her mumbling to herself anxiously, apparently talking herself through her own special event. I didn’t want
whatever germs she was carrying to disturb her. We were on our own.
Squish was bored with the whole do, so to speak, and he was ready to get back to perusing “Everybody Poops”, but I was a little stuck. I toyed with yanking his pants back up and forgetting the whole mess, but no. Just no. And he wasn’t wearing any socks. Finally, I looked at his train magazine, and the light bulb came on. If it was good enough for Grandpa, it was good enough for us.
I could have told him what I was going to do, but I didn’t for two reasons. First, the thought of tearing a page out of his new train magazine to do his paperwork might really upset him. The second reason, it might not upset him at all. In fact, it might amuse him so much that no magazine would ever be safe around him again. I could just see my husband’s entire collection of Runners World coming to a bad end.
I asked him if I could see his magazine for a second. He obliged. And then I betrayed him. I sang the ABC song, his very favorite, to cover the sound of tearing paper. He even joined in. I am a terrible parent. And it was terrible paper. But sometimes a job must be done, and it’s up to you and the little engine that could. And did.
Life may hand you bad cards, but sometimes you come up with a royal flush.