Today, I went to Target. It was a luxurious trip, which means I went ALONE, and not just alone, but alone after a weekend of solo parenting, which means bringing the kids everywhere with you, so, for example, getting milk is a 45 minute long (minimum) exercise in seeing how many times you can say "do not LICK that" in public. So things like going to Target alone or taking a shower and either not hearing a major crash or, at the very least, knowing that if you DO hear a serious crash and breaking glass and whatever, you can be assured that it is being dealt with by a competent adult, and that that competent adult is not the mailman that your son asked in and who came in worried that you'd left your five year old home alone when, no sir, you actually were just taking a shower which would explain why you now have soap in your eyes and you are squinting here in a towel.
But I digress.
ANYWAY so I was at Target. And while I was at Target, a little girl, whom I would put at 3 years old, came barreling around the aisle mouth holding her butt and yelling, "I have to poop!" in increasing levels of panic. Following her a moment or two later was her slightly older sister, who grabbed her around the waist and yelled, "Stop yelling!" (I enjoyed the irony, personally.) Anyway, the three year old (understandably) freaked out and the intelligible "I have to poop!" went out the door and was replaced by growling and generalized yelling while the five year old started hauling her away.
At this point, the mom rounds the corner, talking rapidly into her cellphone, and tells her kids to knock it off and be quiet, and I am reasonably sure that she has no clue that her daughter has sent up poop emergency signals at threat level Alpha (I checked the codes: It goes to Alpha when they hold their butt while yelling.) since she missed the intelligible portion of this show, and only came in for the wrestling and shouting part. So, do I say anything? "Ma'am, sorry to interrupt your phone call, but I, person who is currently without her kids and so who is not currently carrying her parenting membership card which would make this statement less creepy, wanted to let you know that a moment ago, your daughter there was holding her butt and yelling 'I have to poop.' And we all know that the butt holding is threat level alpha, am I right?" I am pondering this, while appearing to read a label (but not really reading the label) when the kid solves my problem for me and starts up with articulate "I have to poop!" again. Yes! It is now out of my hands.
But... what's this? The mom takes the phone away from her mouth and says, angrily, "I asked you if you had to go before we left the house and you said no, so now you're going to have to wait!" and goes back to her call.
INSERT RECORD SCRATCH NOISE.
Okay. I try not to be parenting judgy, because I have for sure had my moments, but... really? Not to get all literary, but I am pretty sure that Jane Austen said "It is a truth universally acknowledged that any child who is screeching 'I have to poop!" and clutching their butt is going to take a crap right in their pants in the middle of Target if you do not RUN to the nearest restroom, which is all the way on the other side of the store behind the customer service desk."
Not everyone reads Austen, though, I guess.
I am sorry to say that our paths then took us in different directions and I do not know, nor did I smell, the end of this story. Alas.