Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bike Shopping Ends Badly for All Involved; Expectant Couple PossiblySecond-Guessing Life Choices

Zuzu's birthday is coming up next month, and we've decided to get her a bike. We've had some debate about whether to get a balance bike or a small bike with training wheels. After weighing our options, I think we're going to go with the training wheels option, but we took Zuzu to a toy store to try out a couple of bikes and see what she liked. (Spoiler alert: We decided to get her a bike with training wheels, but we already bought it off Craigslist for $20. I'm cleaning it up and adding handlebar streamers and it will look brand new!)

Zuzu was more interested in the bike accessories (helmets, knee pads, etc.) than in the actual bike. The Frozen bike received admiration for a few minutes, but the instruction manual was attached in such a way that it prevented her from  pedaling and she quickly lost interest. 

Instead, she modeled every helmet within reach for us. David noted she was more interested in the outfit and accessories than in the actual sport--just like me and tennis!

After she'd gone through every helmet they had, she obliged me by trying out a scooter. Really she was overstimulated by the entire store, so it was hard to get her attention focused at all. I was putting the scooter away and David was looking at the bikes and suddenly we turned around and she was gone.

She'd been out of our sight for a split second, so we knew she couldn't have gone far, but a quick jog down neighboring aisles didn't locate her, so my heart was POUNDING by the time we found her a minute later in the most obvious place: sitting in a Frozen Jeep. 

David was joking that she needed to ask Grammy to get her that Jeep for her birthday when she said, "Uh-oh. Poop!"

So we took off running for the bathroom. And we ran completely the wrong way at first, so we had to circle back. I was holding her hand and we were both sprinting through the store. She looked up at me and said, "Mommy, this is FUN!"

What was not fun was when we got to the bathroom and the "uh-oh" was already in her pants.

I then found myself in the enviable position of first wiping her poop-smeared butt with single-ply toilet paper and then trying to rinse a turd out of toddler underwear in a public toilet. I had to call David on my cell phone to tell him to go out to the car and get the diaper bag. We needed wipes and a change of clothes. I knew there were wipes in the bag, and an emergency pull-up, but we didn't have an extra pair of shorts or pants.

Zuzu told me she wanted to go back to the Frozen car and I said, "No, when you poop your pants we have to go home. That's why you need to poop in the potty."

Clearly, I am an unfeeling monster for not allowing my daughter to poop her pants and then frolic through the toy store wearing only a pull-up, because that statement unleashed THE FURY of Zuzu.

She started screaming and then she bolted.

So there I was, bent over the (public) toilet, flushing it in an effort to get most of the poop rinsed off her underwear. She was completely naked from the waist down, having removed her own shoes in a public restroom (gag gag gag, but also the least of my problems), and she still had poop still smeared on her butt and one thigh.

And she took off running--shockingly fast.

She got the bathroom stall unlocked, managed to open the (heavy) main door to the restroom (running on pure adrenaline, obviously), and RAN into the store. When I realized she was strong enough to open the main door to the bathroom, I dropped the wet and poopy underwear on the floor in the stall, left her shoes and skirt next to it, and took off after her, chasing her down the main aisle near the entrance of the store. I grabbed her and picked her up (carefully trying to avoid touching the poop-smeared areas). I carried her (SCREAMING and kicking) back toward the bathroom.

I was so intent on catching up with her before she made it back to smear feces all over the seat of the Jeep that I hadn't noticed we had an audience. As I staggered back to the bathroom with my half-naked and thrashing toddler, I passed a couple who had just entered the store. The guy laughed and said, "Looks like she got away from you!" Zuzu shrieked and flailed in my arms. His very pregnant wife rubbed her belly and looked somewhat alarmed, while also undoubtedly judging me, as I would have done before I actually had kids.

I managed to smile at them like "haha isn't this so funny? Toddlers! Wild and crazy! Hahaha" but really I was fiercely whispering to Zuzu through clenched teeth, "You do NOT run away from Mommy!"

We got back to the bathroom and she tried to repeat the escape (my fierce whisper does not penetrate the psyche of a crazed toddler) but David (and Coco in the stroller) had gotten back from the car at this point so he caught her outside the door and, between the two of us, we managed to get her cleaned up and wrangled into a pull-up, while completely blocking access to both bathrooms and the drinking fountain (thank goodness the store wasn't crowded.) Then we gathered up wet and poopy undies, an outraged toddler, a confused-looking baby in the stroller, and what was left of my dignity (very little), and walked quickly out the entrance-only door to escape to our car.

Where we listened to Zuzu scream and cry in protest. 

How could we be so cruel, really? 

This incident also reminds me of the story of my friend Monica when she was little and went to Wal-Mart with her uncle. She sat in a Cozy Coupe and didn't want to get out of it so she peer her pants in it. Her uncle was embarrassed, so he bought the Cozy Coupe rather than leave it full of urine for the next unsuspected kid. Perhaps this is an instinctive toddler thing? If they can just mark child-size vehicles with their poop or pee, they get to take them home! 

It's really a good thing Zuzu's efforts were unsuccessful. Our garage does not have room for a Honda and a Jeep.


  1. Omg. I was busting up through this whole thing. You know my kid is uncooperative, so I laugh with EMPATHY.

    I am in the process of writing a blog post about bikes as well. But this one is funny and that makes me want to delete mine. Hahah.

  2. Oh no. Hell hath no fury like a toddler denied of something they want.

    I remember George shit his pants once and I just threw out the underwear, so kudos to you for making the extra effort!

    Zuzu sounds a lot like George in the determined/stubborn/fierce department. I'm still recovering from some of his more epic meltdowns. And I hate to tell you but sometimes he still has them at 4 years old (Friday night comes to mind when we passed the doughnut shop and had the audacity to drive on by). I honestly thought we'd be over them by now but they still rear their ugly head once in awhile - thankfully not as often.

    Hang in there - it does get better.

  3. Seems like your friend Monica turned out ok, so I think Zuzu will be fine.

    Man alive, I feel for ya. Toddlers can be such little shits, can't they?! ;)

  4. This sounds terrible! So frustrating.

    Bode's very used bike from Craigslist is "new!" Because we call it that. Older kids might not be so keen on how used it looks but he has no idea and loves it!!

  5. I have been known to throw away poop filled clothing. Because eff that nonsense.

    This made me Laugh. So. Hard. But I'm really sorry you had to go through this.

    G has 2 jeeps that were passed down from twin cousins that are not princess in any way but that matters not at all, she loves those things. She has zero interest in her bike, (which is a bit concerning? I think?!) but those jeeps, the hit of every party. Just sayin. ;)

  6. This is one of the best stories I have read in a long while. I love toddlers! So defiant. So difficult. So adorable.

    I realize you already bought the bike with training wheels, but I have to plug the balance bike. Eleanor took a long time to start using hers, but eventually she could cruise on that thing. It took us less than an hour to teach her to ride a regular bike after that. And my child is basically the opposite of athletic.

  7. Oh what a nightmare!! For what it's worth, good job on keeping your cool!

  8. That's THE WORST!!

    Dorothy got that Frozen bike for Easter, and she LOVES it so much. And we had one of those balance bikes, but nobody liked it, so we sold it at our garage sale. You made a good choice

  9. Oh my gosh, best story ever! I'm going to remember this someday when one of my kids has an embarrassing bathroom related incident. :)

  10. Oh my!
    The balance bike was a big flop for Lucas but I am determined to get it to work for Matthew. We got Lucas a lightweight bike with training wheels from an expensive bike store hoping that we will be able to take the training wheels off sooner but right now we are just trying to get him to look where he's going while pedaling (he ran into a neighbor's mailbox a few days ago) . If/when you decide to upgrade bikes, the twowheelingtots website is a great one for reviews but those suckers are expensive.

    Sorry about your poopy day!

  11. lol! I throw out poop filed knickknacks. I don't deal well with poop at all.
    I'm dying at the thought of a shit-filled motorized jeep.. OMG, can you even imagine? lol

  12. Wowza! No words. Poo is hard enough at home let alone public. Someday you will make her read this post and you can laugh together! ~ M

  13. This is HILARIOUS. I just laughed the entire time I read this. Zuzu. Oh, my goodness.