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Toddlers and Shopping

Ann E. Butenas


Generally speaking, I do not believe that many people with whom I am associated have cause to question my emotional stability. That is, of course, until they have seen me corral my three little boys into the car and off to the store. First of all, just the simple task of getting three boys, all in diapers still, ready to go out of the house commands the sort of discipline and knack for order and regimen that only a seasoned drill sergeant could dish out.

I basically have to line up what they will wear, their shoes and their diapers. I get the boys set up assembly-line style and start working. I place Boy #1 on the floor, take off his diaper, clean his bottom, place another diaper on him, commence to put his pants on and realize Boy #2 has dashed out of the room and is down the hall shampooing his hair with maple syrup. (Okay, this is why when I have only one appointment set for 3:00 in the afternoon on a particular day, I start getting ready at 4:00 a.m.!)

As I charge down the hall in hot pursuit of "Mr. Butterworth," Boy #1 has already messed his diaper and is "painting" the wall with its contents. I place Boy #2 in the shower, only comforted by the fact that the mess created by Boy #1 is reason enough to put him in the shower, too. As I am cleaning them up, I realize Boy #3 has yet to have his diaper changed. I frantically race down the hall back to the bedroom, relieved to find him sleeping peacefully on the floor. Thank goodness he is only 6 weeks old. At least he is not up and running at this time. Any more Pablo "Poop" Picasso paintings on the walls would be too much for me at this point.

Meanwhile, since my short, but painfully opportunistic absence from the bathroom, Boys #1 and #2 are now out of the shower, streaking down the hall, covered in shampoo lather. "Okay, " I pause to myself. "I can get my carpet shampooed, courtesy of this event." I finally manage to get both of the boys back in the shower, cleaned up, and ready for Step One again....diapers, assembly-line style. Fortunately, on this particular day, I am able to retrieve two more diapers from the nursery and come back to the bathroom before any further "Oh, isn't he cute" events happen. However, just as I am in the process of putting their diapers on them, Boy #3 begins to scream and wail. I frenetically get Boys #1 and #2 in their diapers, purposely hold onto their arms, and escort them with me down the hall to the room where Boy #3 is exercising his lungs to their fullest capacity. Upon picking him up, I discover Boy #3 has had an "exploding poop," and it has basically made its way up his back to the nape of his neck. I gently place him back down on the floor, which is now ruined, and quickly put clothes on Boys #1 and #2. If I do not, I run the risk of them yanking the diapers off of each other to explore their contents. Both of them cry and whine, as I did not get the right color of socks out for them. Boy #1 has yet to learn color coordination. However, in an effort to curb the whining, I acquiesce and place the green socks on his feet. I have him stand up to observe his tender fashion and blue striped shirt, blue shorts, green socks. I personally would have gone with either white socks or socks of a varying shade of blue, but green is the color of the day.

More from Ann...
Driving in the Burbs
Parking Lots

Ann E Butenas is a stay-at-home mom of three preschool-age boys. She has an undergraduate degree in Communications, a post-bachelor paralegal certificate, and a Master's in Business Management. She earned the latter during her first two pregnancies while running an at-home business at the same time. She has been professionally published as a writer since the age of 12.

Ann currently owns and operates ANZ Publications, a publications business specializing in family-riented projects. Her most recent project includes a very unique medical and dental records binder.a great way to keep track of a child's complete medical history from birth through adolescence. Visit the site at ANZ is an acronym, by the way, for her son's Alec, Noah, and Zach. It is pronounced as "Ann's," for her first name, but spelled as such to include the boys!

Her website showcases her new book.

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