The cashier simply leaned over the counter, around the customer waiting to be served, and handed me a large, industrial-sized roll of brown paper towels. I’ll never forget it.
In an effort to find a topic to write about this month, I read a friend’s blog about motherhood. She writes, as I do, about the normal, everyday topics that come up while being a parent. Her blog reminded me of that old Boy Scout motto of always being prepared.
Day care duty fell to me that day, with duty being the key word. Little known to my young daughter, I would be the one picking her up at the end of her day. Her mommy usually picks her up from school.
I pulled up, jumped out of the car and made my way under the greenery-filled arch that hangs over the walkway leading to the front door. Of course, I forgot the keypad password that would open the door that stood between me and my kid. I dropped my head, gently knocked and was grateful to be let in by a teacher who recognized me.
“Don’t forget to pick up her ‘daily,’” I remember my wife saying. The “daily” summed up the day that little one experienced while under someone else’s care. What she ate, when she slept, what she said and more littered this piece of paper that would be my ticket to entering the house when we arrived home.
Back to the car, with the “daily” in hand, and baby in carseat, I backed out of our parking space with one stop between me and getting these dress shoes off. (Yeah ladies, guys aren’t crazy about wearing cramped, less than giving shoes, all day long either.)
I’d say little one had just reached her second birthday at the time of this incident. By the time it was over, I felt as tall as a two-foot-tall two-year-old.
Of course, the pharmacy line inside the store looked as though the pharmacist gave away drugs and money each night at 6 p.m. My daughter and I took our spot, second in line, where we’d pick up one medication. I’d need another before climbing back into the car.
When hearing my wife say pick up the “daily,” I somehow missed the part where I should take little one to the restroom before leaving daycare.
“Daddy, I need to go bathroom,” my daughter said.
“Can you wait until we get home?” I said.
Mind you, we live two minutes from the pharmacy. I thought, move up in line, get drug, pay, leave, and keep the clouds from opening up next to the cough drop stand.
No sooner had I asked that question, did a warmth come over me that proceeded to fill the floor of the pharmacy. The levee broke and flooding took over the Walgreens. I kid you not. Apparently, my daughter, God and I were the only three aware of what had happened.
Nobody even looked in our direction. What do you do when your kid makes the line at the pharmacy her own potty?
That’s when the cashier leaned over, and with an “I’ve been there before” look, gave up the paper towels, which I used to wipe up my embarrassment.
And I thought splitting my pants in high school would characterize my life. That’s a story for another day …
Jay Hardy is the father of a grade schooler and a toddler in Holly Springs. He's a former sports photographer and reporter for WRAL-TV. Find him here once a month on Wednesdays.