No errand is quick, because toddlers.

Earlier today, my three year old son pooped his pants in the middle of a clothing store.

Fortunately, the mess stayed within the confines of his pants, but still – my kid shit in a store, without warning, despite the fact that there was a public washroom several meters away. WHY? Because he can.

The fallout was as such: I had to get a key to the store washroom, strip my child of his dirty clothes, and then clean his body using 1-ply toilet paper, paper towels and cheap industrial soap. It was not pretty, or efficient.

So then he was clean – but he was naked from the waist down, in a public washroom. Oh, and I had a pile of poop-covered clothing folded up carefully beside the toilet. What to do?

I noticed that the small garbage can beside the sink had JUST been changed, and the bag was completely empty – perfect. I bagged the dirty clothes, happy to have that taken care of, and then turned back to my naked son. So naked. Why didn’t I have snow pants on him?!? I could have at least put those over his naked legs and dashed to the car. Should I wrap him in my coat and run? Nope, because he’d be naked, gross and freezing in his car seat for the 15 minute ride home. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, potty training is torture. My daughter never did anything like this.

After banging my head on the concrete wall for a minute (or considering it, at least) I stuck my head out of the bathroom and discreetly waved a cashier over. “Hiiiiiii,” I started awkwardly, and then dove in. “So, my son pooped in your store and his pants are ruined so I stole your garbage bag and now he’s naked, basically, and I need to get him home. Can you please grab me those sale sweatpants in a size 4 and I promise I’ll pay for them on the way out?”

The woman smiled, completely unfazed. “Sure!”

Thank EVERYTHING this was a children’s store. What if I were in a grocery store or a Starbucks or somewhere else that doesn’t sell tiny pants? I honestly would have put a plastic bag under him and driven home as he was, in his own filth. Or taken him home clean but naked. What do you even do? I keep a change of clothes in the car, but he’d used them at school that morning and the car was across the parking lot. How prepared do I actually need to be on a simple trip to ONE STORE? How many damn pairs of pants does one carry around on a given day? More than two, apparently.

I changed him into the brand new pants, went up to the cash register and paid for my purchases, and booked it out of there. It definitely wasn’t a first for them – their calmness proved that – but it was a first for me, and I was done. SO DONE.

So what is the moral of this story? Nothing. I learned nothing, he learned nothing. I got a coffee on the way home, and felt better, and with any luck, there will be no public shitting tomorrow. Here’s hoping. To a new day, and the weekend – cheers!


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