Thursday, February 9, 2012

Maid of the Mist

The flooding of the Flower Mound UPS store was caused by my toddler's consumption of a Vita Top muffin, a chocolate confection magically injected with nine grams of fiber and thus sold as health food.
I gave one to Charlotte, now age 2, for breakfast only because I had my girlfriend, Michelle, on the phone from North Carolina. Her husband is recovering from actual brain surgery, which is why I couldn't be distracted even by pouring cereal.
"Give her that and she's going to poop big," warned Michelle.
I was willing to take my chances.
Charlotte squealed with delight upon seeing me rip open the package and, three hours later, she gave me one of her own.
We were at UPS--the one on 2499 in Flower Mound--mailing a box to our cousins.
Charlotte peeked out from behind the rotating greeting card display, pretending to sort Valentine's cards. I knew darn well what she was doing.
I paid for my package to be sent first class--they'll take pity on me and allow me to use the bathroom if I paid full freight, I figured.
I took Charlotte's little hand in mine. We wound our way back behind the counter, past the boxes and the Styrofoam injector machine to the potty.
Remember now, Charlotte is my third child.
This means that I am full of useful information and good parenting strategies, yet I mostly ignore all I know in the name of time constraints and disorganization.
And while I happened to have one spare diaper stuffed into the bottom of my purse, I had no baby wipes to clean up the mess. I was even out of Old Navy receipts.
Moreover, there was no trash can. (And, of course, no Koala Kare changing pad--who changes a poopy diaper during the 32 seconds it takes to mail a package?)
Thus, I found myself simultaneously holding up Charlotte's multi-layered dress, removing overflowing output and trying to clean up her rump while holding the diaper.
Meanwhile, Charlotte had found the store's water cooler.
Strangely, it was placed right next to the toilet.
(This should be the subject of another blog post entirely. For while I will hold poop in my hand and even catch vomit in my purse, I will never, ever endorse placing drinking water within 150 feet of a flushing toilet. That's just asking for cholera.)
Anyhow, Charlotte's wiggling around as I balanced the colossal poop in my palm. She grabbed the water cooler taps and pulled down, spraying frigid purified water into the drain.
"Cold!" she screeches with delight.
The water cooler provided a perfect spot for Charlotte to begin washing her hands. It was, after all, right at eye level.
"Wash-wash-wash-your-hands-wash-them-together!" she sang, spraying water on herself, on me, all over the floor.
I would have to tell Miranda Howland--Charlotte's preschool teacher--that this was a very effective usage of a simple song.
Now, a less seasoned mother would have turned off the tap, but no, I am a veteran mom. I know distraction is my ally; I could easily clean up the floor after I re-diapered the baby and deposited the poop. This running water would provided me with ample opportunity to get my work done.
That idea would have been perfect had I not forgotten that water cooler drains fill up quickly--and overflow.
The puddle at Charlotte's feet began to grow into a pond.
The water cooler was like Niagara Falls.
Gallons of combined hydrogen and oxygen molecules surged through the little plastic taps.
Soon, a man wearing only a barrel would zoom through the roaring foam.
I wondered if barrels were even allowed anymore at Niagara Falls.
Maybe modern-day thrill seekers go cloaked in wet suits?
They used to let you take a boat right under the falls and you got to wear a poncho.
I seem to recall taking a seafaring vessel called "The Maid of the Mist" when I was maybe eight years old...
Charlotte was laughing like a hyena, gleefully sopped.
There was more water on the floor of the UPS store than in my backyard swimming pool.
Miraculously, the baby was diapered, the toilet was flushed and I was no longer holding a poopy diaper, but how those things happened I do not know.
I jammed the water cooler taps closed.
"Swim!" said Charlotte.
The thoughtful clerk who had placed the water cooler next to the toilet had also supplied a year's worth of paper towels atop a coat rack, for which I was grateful.
I sopped up the mess using several rolls.
"Let's go," I said, placing Charlotte on a hip, the wad of soggy trash under my armpit.
"Bye-bye," Charlotte said, waving to the clerks as we stomped through the shop.
Next time, I would know to wear a poncho when I fed my baby breakfast.

1 comment:

soner kaya said...

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