She toddled about, looking for adventure in a way that might be described as suicidal. As a young mother, I was too addled and “adult” to always see the potentiality for high sea piracy and daring charges on the castle, but she clearly was not.
One fine day, a Sunday to be exact, and not unlike any other Sunday, one that had been complete with rushing and bustling and harrassment. But we made it to church nevertheless, intact in our Sunday fineries. She was always dressed in a frilly frock that would have appalled the mother at the age but seemed not to agitate the toddler so the frills went on uncontested. The totlet was taken to Sunday school, this not without protest, and was left in the care of the Sunday nanny who was well versed in the care of the church’s tiniest minds. (Never mind that tots should not be subjected to the ideas that are implanted there before they have the wits to contest them… that was not at issue this day…)
I rounded the corner to bump into my little one, fresh from an excursion and being closely followed by the church’s personal brood mare, one Zora Darrow who wanted to have as many children as her body could stand- never mind that the little christian community could barely stand the first two of her ultimate eight. The little face turned up to me, her generally happy and mischevious eyes sad and ashamed.
“What’s the matter with you?” It was no doubt an angst that came with dealing with said adult and I sympathized momentarily for her plight.
“I had an accident.” She whispered quietly.
“An accident…” With this simple phrase, the child immediately tapped into the Battle of Eau de Toilette– a battle that had been going on for some time between the child and the mother of her parent’s desire that the tot no longer have her bottom padded with costly two inch thick padding for excrement collection. “Did you pee or…”
“poop” was the sheepish response.
“You pooped your pants? At church?” Outcries of disgust and plugged noses filled my mother’s mind as I imagined the reaction of the all too close pew sitters. There was no backup of underclothing, let alone a dress. Washing and wearing weren’t going to work if the mess were in any way runny or even smeared.I bent down and none too gently patted the bottom and met the soft mass with my hand.
I sniffed with anticipation.