When I was a young mother,
I screwed up all the time.
I would like to think that I screwed up
then more often than I do now.
I laugh as new mothers ask me
how I do so well with 4 children.
I laugh because they don't believe me
when I tell them that there's a learning curve.
To prove my point, here's a great story.
One time, LG and I went shopping with Abigail.
Remember, we only had ONE child.
Maybe two, I can't remember if Sophia was born yet.
We went to Utah's finest hub for young poor college families:
The Wal-Mart in Orem, UT.
Abigail started whining that she needed
to go to the bathroom.
We cut our shopping short,
and checked out quickly.
LG was assigned to take the things to the car.
And, I took Abigail to the bathroom at the front of the store.
I took her in a stall and got her situated.
When all of the sudden,
a wave of "I need to relieve myself too"
washed over me.
I told Abigail to stay in her stall
and that I was going to run into the stall next to her.
I talked to her as I ran over and the whole time
I was doing my business.
In the middle of this, I see her feet hit the floor.
I adamantly encourage her to wait for me.
I tell her to sit back down.
She took a step.
I tell her to stand still.
She keeps walking.
I see her feet run out of her stall.
I don't know if she can hear me.
I start raising my voice.
"Abigail, Abigail, mommy is right here."
"Abigail, come here."
I notice that she left her pants and her underwear
on the floor of her stall.
I hurry and pull my pants up.
I don't even think I flushed the toilet.
By the time I got to her,
she had walked out of the store.
With no pants on.
So much for Code Adam.
So much for Wal-Mart greeters
watching for suspicious activity.
And so much for me being
a natural at raising kids from my first.
And I have never EVER tried to go to the bathroom
at the same time as one of my toddlers
ever since that horrifying day at Wal-Mart
back in 2000 or 2001.
And one lesson, after another, and another,
has made me into the amazing mother
that I am today.
And lucky for me,
none of the rest of my lessons,
consisted of me
running after a naked child
in the parking lot
Did I mention that she had pooped
and hadn't been wiped?
And the same goes for me.