Five years ago, when the oldest boys were aged two and four, my husband took them to the movie store to choose a DVD to watch. Master two (M2) had just graduated from day time nappies but preferred to ‘go commando’ and not wear underpants. We didn’t see this as too much of an issue, even though he was still getting used to the warning signs of an imminent pooh. There were many false alarms when we would race around trying to find a public toilet only to have him change his mind at the last minute. It became a bit like the boy who cried wolf.
They arrived at the movie shop and, as usual with toddlers, M2 took a long time to choose a DVD.
“Dad, I need to do a pooh,” says M2, clutching his bottom with both hands.
“Now? Can’t you wait til we get home?” asks Jason.
M2 shakes his head, clenches his knees and bounces up and down. “Nooooooo, dad. Hurry.”
“Right, let’s quickly choose a movie then,” says Jason as he races back to get a movie for us to watch after the kids have gone to bed.
He returns, only a minute later, to the two boys, grabs their chosen DVD and goes to pay for it at the counter. He turns around to M2 and says, “do you still need to go, mate?”
M2 shakes his head, “no. It’s gone,” he says.
Jason thinks nothing of it, considering M2’s numerous false alarms, pays for the movies and walks the boys to the car. As he places M2 in his car seat, Jason gets a waft of a fresh fart – one that tells him that a pooh isn’t far away.
M2 continues to fart happily for the entire ten minute journey home, to the point that Jason unbuckles him from the car seat quickly and tells him to go straight to the toilet. I am waiting for M2 and help him get his shorts off. When I take them off him, I realise that there is a pooh mark inside. A long pooh mark.
“Hop on the toilet, sweetie,” I say to him.
“I don’t need to. It’s already come out,” he says.
This piece of information, added to the pooh mark in his shorts leads me to believe that there is a turd…somewhere.
“Where did it come out?” I ask. Jason is now standing next to me, probably wondering the same thing.
“On the floor,” says M2, pointing towards the car.
So, Jason checks the car floor – the black car floor. Ever tried to find a pooh on black carpet?
“Nope, there’s nothing here,” Jason says, now looking slightly worried.
I seek to clarify the situation with M2, “is the pooh on the floor of the car? Or the garage?” I ask him.
“No. On the floor. Of the movie shop,” he says blankly.
Jason and I stare at each other. Only for a few seconds, but it seems much, much longer.
My internal voice is saying, ‘no. That can’t be right. My son just said that he did a pooh on the floor of the movie shop. But surely I’m misunderstanding him because no one poohs on the floor of a movie shop.’ Then my brain snaps into motion.
“Jason,” I say, “you’ve got to ring the movie shop and tell them.”
“Me? Why me?” he asks.
“Because it happened on your watch, that’s why. Go on, ring them. It’s by the beach, someone might walk in there in bare feet.”
Reluctantly, Jason dials the movie shop and speaks to the lovely young boy who serves us each week.
“G’day mate, I was just in there with my two little sons,” Jason says.
“Oh yeah, Jason. How’s it going?” says the boy.
“Yeah, great, listen, um…my youngest has just advised me that he…ummm…may have had a, umm…an accident in the shop.”
“An accident? Is he ok?”
“Yeah, he’s fine. It’s more of a pooh accident.” Jason cringes.
“He says he had a pooh, accidentally.”
“A…pooh? Oh. Right.”
“You may want to check around the floor,” says Jason, blushing as he waits for the boy to search the shop.
Thirty seconds later the boy says, “nah…nah…there’s nothing….oh…yeah…there it is…right in front of the new releases.”
“I’m so sorry mate. If I was closer I’d come and pick it up for you. I’m so sorry.”
“How far away are you?”
“Ten minutes. I’d just be concerned if someone came into the shop and walked through it, especially in bare feet, you know?”
“Yeah, I guess so. Ok, no worries. I’ll pick it up.”
“So sorry, mate. I’m really, really, really sorry,” Jason says and then hangs up.
We stare at each other again, and try not to burst into hysterical laughter. In front of the new releases? Can a two year old understand irony?
“You did a pooh on the floor of the shop? Why didn’t you tell your dad?” I ask M2, who is neither upset or laughing at the situation.
He shrugs his shoulders, “it just fell out,” he says.
From that day onwards, M2 has been made to wear undies, because not only are they hygienic and polite, they also catch things that accidentally fall out of toddler’s bottoms. A big lesson learnt.