Wednesday, December 15, 2010

24 Hour Disgusting

Last week I made my triumphant return to the gym.  Stella had hit the required six month point and I was very excited about the potential of two hours of childcare six days a week if I wanted it.  I will be the most fit and peaceful mom, EVER! 

After day one of dropping the kids at the childcare room I felt even better about things.  The girls in the room were crazy for Stella, because clearly they recognize the cutest baby on Earth when they see her, and the boys loved all the stuff to play with....nothing like a joyful drop off.

Day two drop off went equally well, but a few minutes into my run  I saw the girl from the childcare room heading straight for my treadmill.  I did think momentarily about pretending to not be able to hear her over my Kanye West, but she looked serious so I decided to hear her out....despite that this was clashing with my goal to become a fit and peaceful mommy image.

"Your middle kid is naked in the bathroom, freaking out and won't let us help him."

Umm...this sounded odd, but it's Cole and well, it's Cole. 

I walked into the little kid potty (love those by the way) to find Cole sitting on the miniature potty with his face in his hands, pants and underwear in a pile next to him.  After I asked him if he was ok he looked at me and what he said made me want to cry.

"Mommy, someone said I'm disgusting."

I seriously teared up, while simultaneously wanting to beat some one's ass. 

I've never heard Cole say that word. It sounded gigantic and awkward coming out of his little slurred speech mouth. The fact that he felt sad about it told me he definitely had heard it from someone that was truly grossed out by something. 

Yes, he had pooped.  But as far as poop goes, this was as good at it gets in the feces world of parenting.  Solid and pretty normal smelly.  Had someone really told my child that he was disgusting over this?  Other than the fact that it was just simply cruel, that person really has a low tolerance for gross and I feel like they should swing by my house for a day of disgusting.

I, of course, immediately told him he wasn't disgusting.  I started talking about how everyone poops.  I described what poop is, how it is just part of how our body works, how it smells and isn't fun but it's just the process.  I felt like I had too much poop knowledge during this discussion. He kept talking about how we don't talk about poop. 

He wouldn't answer me as to who told him he was disgusting.  I immediately flashed to me screaming at the girl that had some to get me.  She had told me he was "naked" and that wasn't the case. She had seemed perturbed, but I'd only met her for 5 minutes, maybe that's just how she is because she has to work with little kids all day.  She did say he was freaking out and when I got there he was just embarrassed, sitting on the potty.  So was it her?

I don't know.  I don't know and it is really frustrating because I would really like to speak to that person.  It could have been Aiden though for all I know.  Or that really sickly looking child that I overheard telling another kid she couldn't share her toys because her mom told her to stay away from everyone because she was sick...thanks mom of the sick girl.  It could have been something Cole saw at school.  I didn't have nearly enough evidence to go yell at a girl I barely know.  So, for that day I did nothing. 

I made sure Cole felt ok about me leaving to workout again and I left him.  He genuinely seemed fine and when I picked him up, he was.  That girl was no where to be found though the rest of our visit. I immediately assumed she was hiding from me and Cole's poop. 

So after days of thinking about how to approach this I decided to be calm and only speak to what I know is true.  I am such a good and mature person!  Right?  I had to watch out for my kid, but I couldn't just freak out on the employees, right?  I didn't want them all hating me and my kids.  Oh crap, my incessant need for people to like me should not be any part of this.  

First, I told Aiden and Cole that if they ever feel like they are uncomfortable they should ask for someone to go get me. Next, I told the girls in the childcare room what had happened.  I didn't accuse or place blame, but I did let them know that someone had embarrassed my little boy and he felt pretty rotten about it.  I asked that they always come get me if one of my kids needs me or if they don't want to handle something one of them does (like poop.)  THE girl was there and she acted shocked and in disbelief as I described what happened.  Perhaps a little over dramatic?  I'm watching her.

Did I do the right thing?  I tend to be very non confrontational and I hate creating a big stir. Damn my compulsion for every one's approval.   I also tend to not be really over-protective of my kids.  (I don't perceive myself to be over protective, but not sure I would be an objective judge of this anyway.)  But shouldn't I get a little confrontational and a little protective if I feel like my kid might have been shamed for pooping at 24 Hour Fitness? 

Cole seems fine.  We haven't had any mention of the incident since.  Think he'll need therapy about pooping in future years?

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