Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You Told that Lady Sam was Potty Trained

In a parenting first for me, Francis called me out on a lie I told someone else. This weekend, we went to IKEA. Our plan was to drop the kids, including Sam, off at the playland. I probably could have told you that the First Rule of Småland is that children must be potty trained. Two-and-a-half year old Sam can actually pass for potty trained, except when he has soiled himself. Helping the ruse, if you ever ask him if he just pooped his pants, he always responds with an emphatic, "No!" Our plan was to put him in there with a pull-up on "just in case."

As we approached, an IKEA employee was putting out a sign that said, "Småland Will Not Accept More Children For 35 minutes." Viewing an hour of free childcare by complete strangers as worth the wait, I sat with Francis, George, and Sam while Sally started shopping. The kids and I waited, playing twenty questions to pass the time. Francis was stumping me by picking kids in her school that I'd never met. Finally, after about forty five minutes, our time came.

Wait. Have that one stand on the green feet over there. He's potty trained?

Well, yeah.

He's not wearing a diaper?

He's got a pull-up on. You know, just in case.

It's right here on the sheet you just signed. No diapers OR pull-ups. No exceptions.

OK, sorry Sam. Francis, George: I'll see you in an hour.

Sam had been watching the fun through the giant window as we waited. He'd pointed out everything he wanted to play with. When he was refused entry, he wailed. It was sad and I felt guilty for leading him on this fool's errand. I felt guiltier later that night, when Francis said: "you told that lady Sam was potty trained."

I looked at Francis and said, "that didn't work out very well, did it?"

Francis laughed, and I hoped -- not for the first time -- that kids could learn from their dad being a dolt.