‘I’m having such an auspicious day!’ a hippie-ish yogi-ish twentysomething remarked in my presence last night. I had to suppress a chuckle. Who says things like ‘I’m having such an auspicious day’?
Well, less than twenty four hours later, I want to find her phone number and give her a call. Just to tell her ‘I’m having such an INauspicious day!’ It seems the most benign way of describing today’s horreur-des-horreurs.
I retrieved my oldest from a birthday party late afternoon. His excitement about games and cake and pizza vanished the second he saw me. ‘I need to go to the bathroom,’ he told me. So I combed the halls of the particular leisure center, looking for the necessary facilities. I settled on the nearest available women’s locker room; figuring it was an emergency situation.
The two year old and I stood guard while the newly six year old went about his business. Taking care to avert our eyes. The last thing I – woman with two male children in my company – needed was for ‘someone’ to point at a woman in the process of changing and make some sort of loud inappropriate comment.
Mission accomplished, we hustled out of there a few minutes later. Before the grandmother sitting on the bench could drop her towel.
We’d barely exited the building when the suspiciously quiet Gort complained ‘I don’t feel very well.’ Confirming my own recently acquired suspicion that he was ill. I’d planned to take the two boys with me to the grocery store, but quickly scrapped my plans. ‘Let’s go home and you can lie on the couch on watch a movie,’ I consoled as I loaded the blondies into the car-van.
We hadn’t even exited the parking lot when the Gort yelped ‘I need to go to the bathroom!’ With a this-is-an-emergency kind of voice. Actually, he said ‘I need to go poop’. Which doesn’t sound particularly good on a public blog. But it is important information in this particular story. ‘We’ll be home in just a few minutes…can you hold on?’ I pleaded, as I desperately scanned the side of the road for a suitable place to stop.
The sighs from the back of the van led me to believe we had to stop. Now. Anywhere. I remembered there was a Starbucks in a nearby shopping center. I maintained running commentary in an effort to distract him. ‘Okay, I’ll stop at Starbucks and you can use the bathroom there…and then I’ll get you an icy cold water to drink.’
I pulled into a parking space and jumped out to release the hounds. The Gort jumped out and I grabbed his brother and locked the van. We started walking to the Starbucks entrance. Roughly twenty paces away.
The oldest had a bit of a coughing fit. Which resulted in a bit of vomiting. Onto the parking lot. And his black shoes.
Not what I’d expected.
‘Okay, let’s hurry,’ I said, steering him towards the door.
I opened the door and let him walk in first as I quickly scanned the store layout for the location of the bathroom. Roughly ten paces to the left. I felt a sense of relief and thought to myself ‘it’s going to be okay!’
Except the little man halted. And puked onto the franchise’s checkerboard tiled floor. In full view of the customers who’d been relaxing in the stuffed armchairs with their lattes.
While I stood by and watched. Helpless.
We were about eight paces from the bathroom door at this point and I, naively, thought the ‘worst’ was over. He’d puked a bit on the Starbucks floor. And it was gross, but it wasn’t ultra embarassing. Really, a five on a 1-10 scale. Maybe a six.
And then he stopped again. And unleashed a torrent of vomit onto the floor. And I was stunned. In a matter of two seconds I managed to have many thoughts like: ‘what DID he eat?’ as I tried to decipher the contents of his stomach laid bare on the floor for all to see. Along with ‘am I really standing in Starbucks and did my kid just create a massive bio-hazard situation?’ Followed by ‘I thought he had to poop!!!!’
I couldn’t even look around to see how many people had witnessed the horror. Or what their reactions were. Instead I escorted my suddenly dehydrated child to the restroom; left my other child standing in the germ-infested corner of said restroom, while I went to the counter to talk to the barista.
Because I (stupidly) thought I needed to inform him that ‘someone’ had just desecrated the floors of the establishment. AS IF HE HADN’T SEEN…OR HEARD.
‘I’m so sorry,’ I apologized, ‘my little boy just threw up.’ ‘That’s okay,’ he said, ‘it happens.’
Which was probably the most gracious thing anyone could have said.
I returned to the restroom and helped the Gort wash his hands. I determined to spend a LOT of money in an effort to somehow compensate the employees for what we’d just put them through. Maybe some gift cards? Or a new coffee maker?
But there was a lengthy line. Along with a guy talking to his girlfriend ‘hurry and get your coffee. It STINKS in here!’
I didn’t dare stand in line with the perpetrator of the stink. And I had no cash to throw at the put-upon baristas.
So I left.
I vowed to send the professor back. With a note and a hefty tip.