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Friday, September 7, 2018

Sometimes You're The Dog, Sometimes You're The Tree.

"Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree." That's Cam Eubanks' instagram bio and I laugh every time I see it, and every time I read it, it reminds me of parenthood. 

Let me paint you a picture of my Saturday. 

On my way to meet my friend Sam at the mall, Jack passed our hard. This was perfect, because he slept in his stroller all through our shopping. When we were done and he was still sleeping, I decided to get a little greedy and extend the trip to TJ Maxx. 

I was fighting the leftovers of a migraine, so I swung through the drive-thru on my way and ordered an extra-large diet coke. I was at TJ Maxx before I realized my giant, oversized cup did not come with a straw, so after a few messy tries of sipping out of the side of the monster cup, I left in in the car. Now, I'm gonna stop past me right here and tell her that she should have accepted this bad omen and driven her still-sleeping kid straight home where she has plenty of straws.

Instead, I went into TJ Maxx, where Jack woke up almost instantly. After a few minutes of a fussy toddler, I think he might be telling me he has to go to the bathroom. The joys of potty training, you know?

I'm trying to fit the stroller through the bathroom door when he runs ahead and locks himself in a stall. Okay, not ideal, but at least he's taking initiative! Positivity! I try to unlock the door from the outside, no luck. I knock on the door and ask him to unlock it and am met with an emphatic, "nope!" Luckily, no one else was in there, so I decided to wait a minute and let him do his thing. 

After a minute or two, I knocked on the door again. This time I was met with silence, which everyone knows is way worse than a "nope!" Okay, time to escalate this. 

As someone who frequently locks myself out of dressing rooms, I'm no stranger to this move. I mean, it's not usually on a sticky public bathroom floor, but I just won't think about that. I lay on the floor and slide under the door...except I don't. Instead, I get stuck. I don't fit under this door. From this angle, though, I can see Jack.

This child is butt naked. Just standing there, chillin' with the toilet, sans clothes.

Now, there are not many times I wonder what my life would look without a kid. But I'd be lying to you if I said that the thought didn't cross my mind, while laying on a dirty bathroom floor, stuck under a stall, staring at a naked toddler: I wonder what all the non-moms are doing this fine Saturday?

Of course, my thought was interrupted by someone coming in to use the bathroom. I tried to gracefully remove myself from my stuck position, but I'm sure it looked more like a wild animal scurrying away from something. I tried to explain what was going on, but she didn't care, and just waved me off while going into the stall next to Jack. 

I'm standing outside Jack's stall, trying to figure out my next move, when she screams.


Turns out, while I was too big to climb under the stall, Jack was not. But instead of climbing out to me, he climbed into a strangers stall. 

Me: I'm so sorry!
Her: He's naked!
Me: He's potty training!
Her: He's naked!
Me: He's naked. 

The screaming sent Jack right back into his stall, and I had to shamefully avoid eye contact while the woman came out glaring at me. A few minutes later, I thought to use my keys to try to pop the lock open, and it worked like a charm. 

I have never fled a TJ Maxx so fast in my life. But, in my hustle to get the heck outta there, I pulled onto the highway before I realized Jack was holding my keys. "Hey, Mama!"

He threw them to me and they landed in the giant, uncovered cup of diet coke, which then went all over my car, my clothes, my face, and in my eyes. Happy Saturday to me.

What can I say? Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the tree. 
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