The Pumpkin Fairy brought me poop.
Yesterday Dave left at noon to go to Ohio for four days (he’s going there because he wants to vote in a swing state) (kidding). When he leaves town it’s usually the best idea for the rest of us to get out of the house so we don’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves being all Daveless. (I can generally manage just fine when he has to travel, but I honestly have no idea how single parents do it every single day.)
We went to the Children’s Museum, where the boys romped, and we got to see the Children’s Theater of Maine put on Pecos Bill, which was adorable. When we walked out of the play, Eli turned to me and asked, “When are we going to the play?” We often joke that he’s like some visitor from another country who hasn’t caught on to all the ins and outs of our culture (sometimes he’ll walk up to us and say, “So…what is going on here? What are we doing?” in the same way you’d say it if you were visiting Italy and you thought maybe they were making fresh pasta out on the hillside in the sunshine, and it was all lovely and fascinating, but you weren’t entirely sure what was going on and wanted someone local to really describe it to you).
After the museum we walked down to Java Net after pulling the random fact out of the depths of my brain that Zeile plays there every Sunday. Henry and Zeile’s daughter Izzy are old pals, and happily played for a bit, drawing on the floor (drawing on pieces of paper, I mean, not literally drawing on the floor). It was totally lovely to sit there on a giant couch with the kids taking care of themselves and watching all the Sunday afternoon coffee shop people and pretending I was one of them and not completely draped with children as I was. But after a bit Henry and Izzy started goading each other on and essentially doing a performance art piece called “Hey! We’re Firecrackers!” and being pretty much the antithesis of good folksy music, so I took them all up to the toy store. Everyone was happy and doing the usual toy store puttering, and I ran into my friend Megan who I never see anymore, so I got to have more adult conversation. Megan was buying gifts to give from the Pumpkin Fairy (and prefaced her description of the Pumpkin Fairy with something about how she was giving me something to post about on my blog, so here it is): on Halloween you leave out all your candy, and the Pumpkin Fairy takes it and brings you a toy, and then brings the candy to someone who needs it (this is my favorite part of it – who really needs the candy?). I love it as a way to not have to worry about your kids eating all that candy, but since the boys usually gather exactly four pieces of candy on Halloween, I’m not going to worry about it.
Anyway, we’re there chatting away, when Eli announces, “Mommy, I pooped.” I think I actually said “Ack!” like a Cathy comic or something. There’s a bathroom in the toy store (THANK GOODNESS), so I ran him into there. I asked a very hopeful, “Did you poop already, or you’re pooping now?” to which he of course answered, “I pooped already.” What can you do? There’s no use freaking out, that would only lead to future poop issues. My plan was to pull off his undies and put his pants back on, but you can’t really remove that whole pooped-in system with out losing the pants to the Poop War. The bathroom door was open this whole time (so I could keep an eye on Henry and Izzy) and there was a whole wall of dress-ups, including an enticing firefighter outfit, complete with pants. But it was FIFTY DOLLARS and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay $50 for a firefighter outfit just to get the pants. It was not a $50 emergency. So I put his poopy pants back on him and walked everyone up to a cotton clothing store two doors up where an extremely helpful saleslady totally understood the situation and all my euphemisms and somehow understood that what I needed were the cheapest pants that would fit, but also maybe were cute and could possibly be handed down to a sister. She handed me an awesome pair of turquoise capri pants that are regular pants on Eli now but I seriously think he’ll be able to wear them for two years, at which point Zuzu will be ready for them. They were $17 but they were that Fresh Produce brand which I think is somewhat fancypants (no pun intended) (or, well, maybe it was intended) because all the other clothes were twice that. In my head I think I am remembering that this whole situation was crazy because my internal monolog at the time was something like, “Panic! Alarm! Panic! Alarm!” but I think the kids didn’t see it as any big deal, because I managed to hold it together and the kids were calm and fine and followed me around like baby ducklings. So that was our excitement. Went back to the toy store to reclean Eli and put on his new pants. Izzy hilariously picked out a giant doll crib and a doll and asked if I could buy it for her. Um, no. And then it was late (later than I thought since my watch doesn’t have any numbers on it and frankly half the time I can’t really read it) so we came back home and were mellow and everyone fell asleep quickly.
When I told the whole poop story to Dave later, he very sensibly said, “It sounds like that would have been the time to go home.” Well, yeah, ok, maybe. But really they were all having such a good time bopping around downtown and being in the toy store, that I think it would have been more complicated and upsetting to pull Henry and Eli out of that than it was to spend $17 on new pants. Plus we were several blocks from the car and I think it would have gotten very uncomfortable (whine-causing uncomfortable) for Eli to do that walk in his Poop Pants. It would have been like a punishment. Plus maybe there’s the fact that I don’t really shop anymore and so I’ll take my fun shopping trips where I can get them, even if it’s just in the form of emergency pants.