[Note from Besh's Dad: This story, like the first part, contains poop. If that at all disgusts you, I'm right there with ya.]
Dear Kind Sir,
You will, no doubt, still be scratching your head over some of the things you heard coming out of the handicapped stall in the men’s room at the Barnes & Noble bathroom yesterday evening. I hope this letter puts some of your concerns at rest.
First, I must give you some background. I’ll not discuss what happened at another Barnes & Noble just 10 days prior, but clearly the heady combination of books, music, and a very expensive Thomas the Train table has an inexplicable laxative effect on my son’s intestines. This is good information for us to have in the future, but something we did not learn in time to avoid your experience.
Before your trip into the bathroom, Besh (that’s my son, the youngest voice you heard), had already had one accident. A true accident, an unknown. Upon arriving at the store I took him to the bathroom and discovered that his underwear was, let’s just say dirty beyond repair. So after an interesting shuffle of Crocs, socks, shorts and underwear, I was able to get him cleaned up, he went on the potty, and the shorts went into the the bathroom garbage bin. Yes, that’s how those end up in the garbage bin sometimes–I made the calculated decision that it was better to go there than to carry it outside, through the book store, potentially past several customers drinking very expensive Starbucks coffee, and disposing of it outside or in a plastic bag to sit in my trunk for an hour or two.
Having some extra underwear in the car, I also made another well-intentioned decision to have Besh go commando until we went to the car. A good plan. A necessary plan. Unfortunately, two things happened. The first is that Besh saw the Thomas table, and he immediately wanted to play. We had a little bit before we were set to meet people for dinner, so I let him play. After a few minutes, we met up with his mom (the female voice you later heard), and started to walk towards the exit. That’s when the second thing happened.
“I have poop!” Besh proclaimed. This is a phrase that will make you laugh when you have a toddler in diapers. This is a phrase that will make you sigh when you have a toddler in underwear. This is a phrase that will create chills if you have a toddler going commando in a nice, clean Barnes & Noble.
Besh’s mom reached down and felt Besh’s shorts and confirmed the delivery. An immediate plan was formed. I went to the bathroom while she went to the car to secure new clothing, better wipes, and plastic bags. Lots of plastic bags.
So into the stall we went, Besh and I. Just so you know, there’s no delicate or truly effective way to remove an inquisitive toddler’s shorts when he was going commando and just went poop. I had been nervous on the walk to the bathroom, constantly looking to see if anything had left the shorts early. Now that we were in the stall and nothing had exited, this meant it was all there, waiting for me.
Off came the Crocs, placed to the side. The floor, as you know, wasn’t that clean in the bathroom. I figured I’d remove his socks later and we could just wear the Crocs. Then it was time for the shorts. Off they came, and a large, let’s just say mass, rolled down the leg and ended on the floor. This required cleaning, while simultaneously placating and refraining from movement a previously mentioned highly inquisitive toddler. That experience resulted in my newly purchased iPhone to fall from my shirt pocket onto the floor and, I must admit, one expletive to escape my lips.
“Did it break?” Besh asked, a bit interested because he has a lot of Wiggles clips on it.
“We’ll find out later,” I sighed as I shoved it into my pants pocket and turned back to the floor. A brief moment of irony entered my mind where I realized that if it was broken from the impact then it would have been better for the phone to have landed in the poop to possibly soften the blow. But that would be a Sophie’s Choice for later.
Floor thus cleaned, but obviously not disinfected, I then needed to turn my attention to Besh’s dirty areas, which now included the obvious tush but the less obvious thighs, knees, and calves. His feet were saved by the socks, but the socks were also in clear need of removal now.
At this point, Besh’s mom showed up. The bathroom was empty besides me, Besh, and the poop, so she came into the stall and we proceeded to clean him up. This was complicated by the fact that the B&N toilets are incredibly loud when flushed. This is good in terms of the power they contain, but bad in terms of scaring a toddler into trying to move away while his parents may be trying to clean his legs. Which led in no small part to the conversation you must have heard as you used the bathroom. It probably went something like this, which you heard and we knew you were there as we heard the door open but there was nothing we could do for you.
Besh’s Mom: “I need you to spread your legs a bit, honey.”
Besh: “Don’t flush, Mommy!”
Besh’s Mom: “Just hold still.”
Besh: “Don’t flush!”
Me: “We won’t flush without telling you Besh.”
Besh: “Okay, I close eyes. You flush.”
Me: “Not yet, we’re still cleaning up.”
Besh: “Oh, okay, I flush.”
Besh’s Mom: “Wait, Besh, don’t move.”
Me: “You’re doing great.”
Besh: “I do this.”
Besh’s Mom: “I need your tushy in the air, Besh.”
Besh: “Oh, okay.”
At this point you left. Or somewhere around there. The conversation didn’t get much more interesting. But hopefully now this provides you with the context as to why you heard three voices, one clearly female, from the stall in the corner.
Rest assured, the cleaning was finished and the clothes were changed. And now we’ll be much more wary of any Barnes & Noble until we get this potty thing resolved. You were unfortunate collateral damage in our battle against Pants Pooping, but I’m sure you’ll recover.
Now, if you don’t mind, I need to write a letter to the janitorial staff at a certain bookstore.
P.S. The iPhone is fine, thanks.