Saturday, July 11, 2009

A second career

Nearly nine straight years of constant diapering and I am ready for my youngest to be potty-trained. I am ready to be done. I would say that I can "almost taste it," but that would be gross. We have begun the training, complete with numerous tiny underpants and an enormous bag of M&Ms.

Three weeks into his training, he has only approached me once to tell me that he needs to go. I am waiting for the light to turn on, for that elusive cerebral "click", for that heralding of the end of diapers. I will celebrate! It will be earth-shaking! A monumental moment! We'll run with glee to the nearest commode and I will dance.

Yesterday I loaded the boys into the car and headed to Leesburg, a city about seven miles to our west. My oldest was attending science class for the week. He was learning about electromagnetic cars and trains, and he was loving it, my baby enginerd. The class was held at Leesburg's community center, next to a bucolic little park complete with a stream. I had whiled away every afternoon that week at the park with my two younger boys, and today was going to be no different.

I settled onto a bench and watched my little guys tear around the park. Suddenly we heard the sound of a helicopter. I looked up and noticed it was a police copter. I watched it circle, again, and again... and again. The circle got tighter and we appeared to be almost at the center. Then we heard sirens, more, and more, and more sirens. I grew up in the L.A. area, so it didn't really faze me. My boys just thought the copter was cool.

A little while later I saw community center employees heading my direction. They informed me that there had been an armed robbery and that the community center had been placed in lock-down mode, with my oldest inside. There was no way I was going to leave now, but I still wasn't too worried. An employee watched with apprehension as I stretched out my legs and folded my arms behind my head. "I'm from L.A.," I said. He shrugged and left.

Later I learned that the robbery had happened a half mile from the park. The perpetrator had unsuccessfully tried to rob a jewelry store, shot at someone outside the store, and fled to a nearby residential street. He broke into a house, tied up the couple inside, and stole their Jeep. He fled in the Jeep to another residential street. At this point I heard and saw the cop cars race past the park, but didn't know what was going on. I still wasn't going anywhere with my baby in lock down. I did, however, examine the park for good hiding places.

When the suspect arrived at the second residential street (a mile from our park,) he abandoned the Jeep and broke into a home of an elderly couple. They dialed 911 right before he took them hostage. I did not know this at the time, of course. I just knew that I wasn't going anywhere. Then, my toddler ran up to me.

"I need to go potty, mommy!"

The moment! The moment I had been waiting for! At the worst time EVER! All bathrooms were Fort Knox-ed during the moment that was to mark the beginning of the end of diapers! Finally, I was motivated enough to leave. My oldest was safe with his physics teacher and I was ready to dodge all law-enforcement vehicles in my way. We went to the outlet mall and did our business. And my oldest was released on schedule.

Why did we not just use the nearest tree? I didn't want my little guy to end up on the evening news sans pants. No, really, my dad's minimalist camping training is too deeply ingrained. I can't let my kids do their business that close to a running stream. Plus, my son hasn't learned to take care of business standing up yet. Man, he's going to hate me for this post.

Epilogue: The hostage situation lasted until ten o'clock p.m. when the suspect surrendered peacefully. Apparently the negotiators did their job extremely well and talked him down. And after raising three boys, I think that just might be my next line of work.


woodardjon said...

It made television, but was not nearly as exciting as your post:

Tracie said...

AWESOME!!! Kudos for your PT courage, I'm still working up to it. My plan is to do it while the preschool takes their break in August. ARGH! I can't remember dreading anything more than the thought of potty training! And what a post! Love the play by play and I know exactly which park you were at! Oh the memories of my fenced-in play date park! Douglas, right? YEAH for L!!! YEAH FOR YOU!!! I wanna be like you when I grow up!