Thursday, May 11, 2017

More adventures in potty training

This afternoon the big girls were invited to a friend's house after school. He's on their bus route, so they just had to get off at an earlier stop, which meant that the kids and I had a "free" afternoon—an afternoon where we didn't have to be home to meet the girls after school. Benjamin has been begging to go to the museum for quite some time now, so that's what we decided to do.

He was excited to go without his older sisters because when they go with him he never gets to decide where to play. Not that he doesn't enjoy going with them, because he does. It's just that sometimes he also likes to go without them.

It was supposed to be super crowded today with twenty-three school buses, but we went late enough in the afternoon that most of the field trips had left already, leaving the museum relatively uncrowded for once.

Benjamin led the way and Zoë and I followed. Soon we ran into some friends and they all played together nicely in the outdoor playground before moving into the treehouse area. We weren't quite ready to leave when our friends called it a day, so we stuck around to play some more. Benjamin and Zoë were climbing all over the treehouse. I was watching them from below.

Benjamin would pop out of one of the little tree houses and appear on one of the suspended walkways, Zoë toddling along a few steps behind. Then they'd disappear into one of the houses and I'd watch the bridges until they appeared again. And so it went.

There's Benjamin, there's Zoë.

Where'd they go?

Okay, there's Benjamin, there's Zoë.

Where'd they go?

Okay, there's Benjamin...

...where's Zoë?

I waited a few seconds for her to appear behind him. But she didn't. Where's Zoë?

I stood up and started pacing around the bottom of the treehouse, but I didn't see her. Where's Zoë?

I called Benjamin over.

"Where's Zoë?" I asked him.

"Right behind me," he said.

"Not anymore," I said.

"Oh," he shrugged.

We split up to search the treehouse. We didn't find her in the treehouse. We didn't see her on the ground from our aerial perches.

I started asking around. Finally I found a man who'd seen her.

"Tiny little thing in pink and purple?" he verified. "We just saw her go down that slide. She can't be far."

He and his daughter began helping us look around. Soon we had everyone in the treehouse looking for her. She was no where to be found. We expanded the search area.

She wasn't in the creek. She wasn't by the hammocks. She wasn't over by the tree stumps.

I was beginning to panic.

What if she followed our friends out of the museum and they didn't notice?

What if someone took her?

What if a sinkhole opened up and swallowed her whole?

I was over checking the bushes by the creek again when a mom wandered over and said, "There's a little girl back there all alone and..."

"WHAT GIRL?!" I asked, running over. "Blonde? Pink and purple..."

The woman nodded.

"Where?" I asked.

"By the bathrooms," she told me, and off I ran.

There was my precious little girl, pants down, peeing on the ground in front of the bathroom door. She couldn't open on her own, I guess.

"Zoë!" I cheered.

"Uh-oh, yucky," she said.

"You've got to tell Momma when you need to go potty!" I chided. "You can't just go by yourself. You're too little!"

I scooped her up and hustled back to the tree houses. I held her up to the dad who'd kind of organized the search party over there while I was looking elsewhere and he announced from up high in the treehouse that the search was over.

Everybody clapped.

I don't think I've ever been so embarrassed and relieved all at once in my whole life.


  1. Oh, she's a pistol, that one!

  2. I hate those moments, but so glad so many good people where helping you look! It's awesome she wanted to use the potty though.