Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It all started out rather lovely.


"They have a butterfly garden," she said, "The girls would like that, wouldn't they?" We agreed that they would, and made the plan; Hubby and I would make the hour drive on Saturday to meet my in-laws at a local botanical garden for an afternoon visit. We hadn't seen them in over a month, and it was time. Kids grow too fast.

A few days later we arrived at the gardens at about 3 PM, hours later than we had planned of course, and quickly unloaded our gear and our girls and headed on our way...first to meet up with the in-laws, then on to the butterfly portion of the gardens. Excitement was abundant.

The butterflies were graceful and beautiful...and mostly various shades of orange...dancing over our heads and landing once on Little...which she didn't much appreciate. Big spent the remaining amount of our time there chasing after the rest of them, trying to convince them that she, also, was a sufficient landing zone. Sadly, they didn't care. The rest of us watched and pointed and oooh'd and aaahhhhh'd with the masses as we walked around the swampy, humid indoor area, discovering that, really, humid does nothing for odors in a room full of people. Lovely. At one point we wandered upon a glass enclosed chest that was filled with various species of butterfly chrysalises, and even a few newly hatched butterflies waiting quite patiently to be released, and hit the jackpot. A volunteer approached at just that moment, allowing us to be there while she unlocked the glass doors and let the hatchlings fly out into the world for the very first time. It was beautiful, and the girls adored it...but 30 minutes of flying bugs was enough for them, and I concurred, so we moved on.

The outdoor area was lovely, and large. I couldn't even tell you how many varieties or even colors of plants there were to gaze upon. Big galloped a few yards in front of us, ever the independent one, while the rest of us hung back and mosied along in a more relaxed kind of way. Little, the luckiest of all, hung out in her stroller and allowed herself to be pushed along the path. No screaming, lots of smiles, pretty flowers...it all started out rather lovely. At one point, about fifteen minutes into our stroll, we came upon an Asian themed area with a large golden temple-like building. There were stairs leading up to the building, and stairs on the other three sides leading down into various zen-like displays, some with still pools of water, some with flowers and benches, all very much right up Big's alley. So she ran and the rest of us sat and watched and just generally occupied ourselves while she burned off a little energy, you know, the usual. At some point, a few minutes into her routine, I joined her up on the building platform and sat on the steps while she showed me her very impressive physical abilities. I smiled, and then I noticed her pulling at the crotch area of her pants. "Potty," I thought, because I had seen this all before, and I figured that it was time to head back to the entrance, where the bathrooms were located. It was a fifteen minute walk from where we were, remember, and there was nary a port-a-potty to be seen amidst the dahlias and daisies. It was time to go. In what seems now more of a formality than an actual gesture of inquiry, I walked over to Big and, as I ushered her toward the steps of the building to head back to the path, I asked her "Do you need to go potty?" And of course she said no. She always says no, especially if, at the moment, she is entertained. I ushered her anyway...a mere three steps down...when all of a sudden she had a change of heart. "Yes, Mommy! Yes! I need to go potty!" she said, but it was already too late. "I'm going!" she said, as I cringed and quickly grabbed her under the arms and moved her off of the steps onto the grass, waiting for the streams to trickle down the insides of her legs and the puddle to appear beneath her...but there were no streams, and no puddle was forming. I was confused at first, thinking that maybe it was a false alarm and she could, indeed, hold it until we made it to the building, "Don't go!" I gasped, "Hold it! We'll go to the bathroom really quick!" I told her, but again she told me it was too late, she was already going...and suddenly the wind turned and blew in my direction, and it all made sense. Horrible, horrible sense. Dear Lord, it was a number two.

So there we were, at the far end of a public garden, a fifteen minute walk from any bathroom, more than an hour from home and Big had an obviously large, stinky poo hanging out in her underpants. "Hubby!" I yelled in a hushed tone, "Hubby, come here!!" and I think that by the look on my face he knew there was no time to mess around. He quickly ended the conversation with his parents and headed right over to my side, where I let him in on the secret. He cringed, and we began discussing our options. The best option, of course, was to make the trek back to the building, where I could take Big into the bathroom and clean her up...but as we stood there, commiserating, she got tired of watching us whisper and decided she was going to walk away from us, and that put an end to option number one. I wouldn't even call what she was doing "walking", it was more of an open-legged waddle at .01 miles per hour. Obviously uncomfortable, and gross, it was both horrible and hilarious at the same time. Clearly, we weren't going to make it more than ten feet from where we stood, so Hubby grabbed the diaper bag and the three of us headed up a little secluded path, which Hubby would later tell me was called a "serenity path"...oh the irony, to get down to business. A few minutes later it was anything but serene back there.

My portion of the clean-up was to take care of Big...Hubby's was to take care of the rest. At one point I looked up from my cleaning duties to find Hubby standing a few feet away from us, holding as little fabric between his thumb and forefinger as possible, staring at the dangling pair of soiled Littlest Pet Shop underpants with disgust and wonder. "It looks like a sling shot!" he declared, and at that point all composure flew out the window. It did. It looked like a puppy decorated, sparkly, white cotton poo sling shot, just dangling there between his fingers, as we stood out in the middle of a public garden...our little girl's dimpled bare buns exposed for the world to see...with the tour tram's speaker noise growing ever closer, threatening to expose our horrific, secret mission to the unsuspecting elderly who had climbed aboard expecting a G-rated botanical tour...and damn it, it was funny. So we laughed, gut busting laughter, for a good two minutes...and then we went back to work.

About a thousand wipies and a few minutes later, Big was all cleaned up, dressed in new clothes and happy as a clam, as she skipped, tra la la, back down the path to where my in-laws had seated themselves on a bench, with Little, while we went on our alternative adventure. Hubby and I, on the other hand, hung back behind the bushes for a few additional minutes, bathing our digits in copious amounts of anti-bacterial liquids, staring off into the distance in a sort of shell shock over what had just taken place. Only us, we thought, as we gathered our soiled belongings and made our way behind Big back down the path to rejoin our group...and it was then that it occurred to me. Something was missing. "What did you do with the poo?" I quietly asked Hubby, expecting that he would have placed it in the ziploc bag with the undies for us to discard in the nearest trash bin...but alas, I was holding the ziploc bag...and in it there were pants and terribly funky undies...but no poo. "Well," he began, "I needed a place to put the pants...and I didn't really think that we needed to pack up the turd and take it home with us, so..." I cringed, and prepared myself for the rest. "I tried to shake it out, but it wouldn't budge, so I grabbed a stick and impaled it, and it kind of made like, a poopcicle? So I took it and I tossed the whole thing over the rocks as far behind the bushes as I could get it." And I died a little bit inside.

"You left it there?!" I gasped...and he simply nodded. I mean I guess I could see his point...we did only have one ziploc bag...and the thought of packing an actual poo in with our daughter's clothes and taking it home with us was kind of horrible...and we were sort of out in nature, where many species had littered the ground with poo long before us...or so I told myself in order to alleviate some of the guilt I was feeling over the incident. If only we had packed some sort of orange flag, or warning sign in our bag as well, for the unsuspecting gardener who would soon be wondering how on Earth someone had smuggled a dog into the gardens. My sincerest apologies to that gardener...and to everyone who happens to travel that previously serene path in the next few days in general. Leave it to us to take a trip to a beautiful botanical garden and totally shit upon it...umm...literally. That's us...destroying the ecosystem one poopcicle at a time. Heaven help us.

3 comments:

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

Whoa. Speechless. :-0

SaraB said...

Jenny, that is one of the funniest posts I have ever read! Very well written! I thoroughly enjoyed it :)

Rebecca said...

Oh goodness! Hilarious! I feel for you, but OMG...

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