As I walked with my kids up to the playground at our local elementary school, I noticed the ground was littered with empty soda bottles, candy wrappers and beer bottles (way to keep it classy, Fredericksburg). I wished for a trash bag and one of those litter sticks they give to the prisoners doing highway clean-up. What a bunch of lazy bastards, I thought, as I mentally formulated a plan to come back with a trash bag later.
My kids proceeded to play on the playground. Climb up the slides instead of the stairs, catapult off the see-saw, climb the rock wall and get stuck at the top – the usual. My 3-year-old has a habit of not going to the bathroom when she’s in the midst of playing because she has severe FOMO. We were just about to load the kids in the wagon and head home when she announced, while pointing to the giant lump in her pants she proclaimed, “I pooped.”
Fantastique! She pooped out here at the playground and I had no spare clothes or wipes or anything because I am clearly not a planner. Big mistake. So, I had to improvise. I didn’t want her riding a turd pancake all the way home, so I had to find a place to dump it. We walked to the edge of the playground, where it meets the woods. I pulled down her pants and shimmied her over the brush until a massive turd falls to the ground. This way she only had to ride home with a small skid mark in her pants and she can go directly into the shower.
Now I’m faced with what to do about this turd. I could cover it up with some leaves and pretend nothing happened, but I am guilt-ridden as I think about some kindergartener at recess wandering off to the edge of the woods and finding the poop, stepping in it, or worse yet finger-painting in it. I must find a better way to dispose of it.
I searched the wood line and spy a fairly fresh piece of litter. It doesn’t look dirty and sun-bleached like a lot of the other trash out here (because only the finest will do to pick up my kid’s dung out of a pile of leaves). It was a bag of gummy peach rings. I scooped the massive, warm turd with the candy bag. I could feel the heat through the bag and it is just…well, not that bad. As I stood there holding someone’s garbage filled with human shit, I notice I am not all that bothered by it.
This is my life now, I thought. I am holding human feces wrapped in someone else’s garbage, a turd and trash burrito of sorts, and this is just everyday life for me now. I walked for a considerable distance holding the poo-rito until we located a trash can. Before tossing the bag in the trash, I offered my 10-year-old a peach gummy. He starts to reach for it and then pulls his hand back, disgusted. That is how much he loves candy. He KNOWS I picked up his sister’s turd with a candy wrapper, yet for that split second he forgot at the promise of sugar. He tells me how truly sick I am, and I know it’s true, as I laugh and laugh and laugh, so hard I snorted ever so slightly.