Encore for the Birthday Boy

This is an old post I wrote about Grandson #2, who is nine years old this week.

Birthday boy, soccer shark, and wonderful grandson!

He’s the kid who, although small for his age as a tot, babbled baby talk in a Rod Stewart voice that most guys manage only after years of too much booze and cigarettes.   An ingenious little rascal, his escape tactics forced his parents to devise a top for his crib to keep him from climbing out before he could even walk. Otherwise, HE was the thing that went BUMP in the night!

He’s fearless, funny, and FUN.  A good week for him is one without stitches.  There are so many stories. . . !  This one I’m repeating because it’s one I’ll never forget!


GRANDPARENTS:  Forget the American Express card, just don’t leave home without at least two spare diapers or underwear changes if you take the little cuties on an outing.  Ignore any parental assurance of potty training graduation.  (Think of it like menopause; one can never be sure that a hot flash won’t surface. )  Personally, after this harrowing experience, I plan to continue this cautionary practice until the grands have drivers’ licenses and can drive themselves home to change their own poopy pants.

I am the voice of experience.

Once, several years ago on a visit to Indiana,  Dearly Beloved and I took the two grandsons to the Children’s Museum.   We planned to make a day of it, starting on the third floor of the Slinky-like building and working our way down and around its spiral ramps, checking out every exhibit.  Although we started out together, their  dissimilar interests meant we needed to separate to divide and conquer, so DB took Older Brother into the space exhibit while Little Brother pulled me toward the carousel.

Lifting LB onto the hobby horse put his bottom at (my) nose level and I was assaulted with irrefutable evidence we needed to be somewhere else.  He protested innocence, but I pulled him off the horse and toward the bathroom in what I thought was a precautionary gesture.   I was mistaken.  Precaution had left the building.

For one thing, this potty-trained, mommy-certified two-year-old was, suspiciously, wearing a diaper under his shorts.   That wasn’t gas assaulting my nostrils.  Houston, we’d had lift-off.

Crisis at 10:30 am:  no spare diaper.

I cleaned him with wet tissues and redressed him with his little shorts, commando-style.  I had no choice.  Without the diaper to hold them up,  the pants kept sliding down his skinny little behind and made walking difficult for him and cracked up the people behind us.   I lifted him  just in time for a fresh  nasal assault which sent ice water through my veins.  Brown alert!  Brown alert!

We rushed over to a crowded seating area in search of a mommy with a large stroller and a kid larger than infant size.  Spotting a live one, I shoved a dollar in her face and begged to buy a diaper.  She pulled one out of her stash and Little Bro Grandson and I were soon in the restroom to re-arm or, more accurately, re-butt. He was back in the saddle again.

Even with the diaper padding, his shorts  simply wouldn’t stay up.  “His favorites,”  my daughter had told me, in apology for their faded appearance.  She hadn’t mentioned the spent elastic in the waistband.

Back to the area with benches, this time in seach of a grandmotherly type with a large purse.  There is always one around.  Sometimes I AM that person, but that day I carried only a small shoulder bag. The grandmother I zeroed in on did indeed have a safety pin and wouldn’t accept the dollar I waved at her.  The pin  was huge… large enough to hold an amorous Scottsman’s kilt closed, and certainly strong enough to hold up a little boy’s pants.

We had been there over an hour and had spent most of the time keeping HIM from being an exhibit, but still there were warnings of a gas leak.  Now this kid has a voice like a fog horn;  he could have evacuated that entire building with a good shriek, but he was decidedly mute about needing to use the bathroom.  He probably didn’t want to miss anything, but neither did I… so we headed back to our old bathroom stomping grounds for some serious stall time.

It seemed prudent  to find Dearly Beloved and Older Brother.  I needed backup.  It took a good half hour to find them and the four of us went to an archaeological exhibit for a rootin’, tootin’ adventure, if you get my drift.   Dearly Beloved and I sat on a rock and watched the two boys brush sand from dinosaur bones in the Egyptian “dig”.  I began to relax–what could be more perfect than a giant sandbox?

“I need a potty break myself,” I told DB after a few minutes.  “Can you watch both of them?”

He looked insulted by the question.  I reminded him that Little Brother was fast and didn’t have an Off switch, then I hurried to my potty home away from home.  In less than five minutes I was back at the archaeological dig.

I looked for my guys. . . one. . . two. The little stinker was not in the sandbox.

“Where is he?”  I hissed at DB.

Unruffled, he looked around casually.  “He has to be in this room.  He was here a second ago.”

But he wasn’t.  Not in the sand box, the cave maze, nor any of the digs.  My panic rose.

“Stay here and look for him.  I’ll start searching the other exhibits.”

It had taken me thirty minutes to spot DB and he was a grown man.  How was I going to find one small boy in droopy, poopy pants?

Just outside the “dig” was a glass display with a popular model train exhibit. I looked for a little blond head as I dashed past.  Nope.  I pushed through the crowd and hurried up the ramp, sick with terrifying scenarios of where our grandchild might be.

But wait!   Sniff,  sniff.

I turned on my heels to re-examine that crowd of children in front of the train case. Sniff, sniff. I knew that smell; he had to be in there somewhere.  Sure enough, at the very front, eclipsed by taller children, stood Little Brother,  nose pressed against the glass, watching the whistling trains go by.  Toot, toot, indeed.

After a sixth bathroom visit which once again left LB in commando mode and my supply of dollar bills exhausted,  we decided we’d had enough museum adventure and headed for McDonald’s.

“Sure, you can have french fries and squirty catsup,  Sweetie.  We’re going home to Mommy afterwards.”

PS:  Fellow granny, when you’re packing that plastic bag with the underwear changes in your handbag, throw in an extra pair for yourself.  Sometimes sh–  happens. It can scare the crap out of us.

DSC02670 Two pondering peas in a pod–Grandson and Granddad


6 thoughts on “Encore for the Birthday Boy

  1. I know exactly every inch of that museum. My LAST visit there was as a school field trip chaperone. The Class Trouble Maker was one of my group. And yes, I lost him. More than once. That was also my last field trip.
    Also, I have been the New Mom without a spare diaper. I didn’t know the apple juice would literally go right through my toddler, filling up the plastic restaurant booster seat. With the adrenaline induced strength of a panicked mother, I carried the booster and still seated child straight to the restroom, cleaned him and the seat, borrowed a diaper and got home asap.

    1. Kim: You CHAPERONED a GROUP to that place??? I hope I don’t have nightmares tonight. Daughter told me later that she always taped her cellphone number to his back when she took him there. She had thought that two of us ought to be able to keep two kids corralled. (Actually, only one. Older brother was on OUR team and we still flubbed it!) If ever any family needed a Border Collie. . . !

      Your booster seat story is a classic. Obviously no one there had a camera or it would be on YouTube by now. 🙂

      TTPT: Ah, the dreaded high top shoes and the plastic pants that crunched after a few washings.

  2. Oh, that’s a great post! Reminds me of when I was a young mother back in the day of cloth diapers and plastic pants that were supposed to “contain” everything, but more often than not didn’t. You’d have not only the diaper and plastic pants full of poo, but it would be running down the kid’s leg and filling up his little high top shoes that cost a bundle and only lasted two months until the little critter outgrew them. Good times….

  3. What a funny story, although I’m sure the humor was lost at the time! I just might have to spend the day reading your archives to see what else I might have missed. Of course I’ll have to take a break for the Packer game!

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