There is an interesting little "island" of property about a mile from my house. It's formed by three roads, two of which merge together in a fairly sharp point. A dinner, a CVS, a beer distributor and a Burger King all sit on this little plot of land. Even though they are all clean, well run business, I almost never go to any of them. The CVS parking lot is a nightmare, I'm way too young for the dinner, and I can't buy beer by the case or I drink it by the case. However, there is nothing wrong with the Burger King.
In fact, it's one of the nicest Burger Kings I've ever been to. It's very large and clean. The staff is polite and competent. They have free WiFi. And they have a very nice indoor playground. It's perfect, right?
Well, no. It's the playground that's the problem. That's not fair, it's Michael that is the problem. Whenever we go, Michael always manages to coerce me to climb in it. It's one of those modular thingies that is a little to tight for an adult to play in comfortably. I hate climbing in it. I mean HATE it. I'm a fairly indulgent mom, but I hate that thing so much that I find every excuse possible to avoid it.
On Saturday morning, Michael asked if we could go to the BK playground. It came out of nowhere and I my first reaction was to say no. But, in light of our recent campaign of going to bed without stalling, sitting at the dinner table, and otherwise being a civilized human being I decided that this would be a good opportunity to set boundaries for Michael and to stick to them. It would be a learning experience.
We decided to make it a lunch event so Andy joined Michael and I. On the way over I explained to Michael that I would not be climbing on the playground. Period. Once I explained to Michael that I'm too big to play in it, he agreed to my condition.
We ordered our food and sat down to eat before going into the play room. The idea was to try and get Michael to eat before playing. (I was so committed to this that I didn't even order food for myself knowing that I was going to end up eating Michael's food.)
Two things happened while we were eating. 1) I realized that I hadn't switched from my purse to my diaper bag. You know, the one that contains a change of clothes for a potty training child. 2) Andy started to experience tummy problems. Have I mentioned that Andy is not very comfortable with public restrooms before? (Really, really not comfortable with them.)
We should have just left, but since we ate first, Michael hadn't had a chance to play at all. How could I make him leave before he even got to go down the slide? Andy decided to give it a try so we let Michael into the play room. He took off his shoes and climbed right up.
Of course, Andy realized he wasn't going to make it. Instead of getting Michael to leave, we decided that Andy would take the car and I would stay with Michael. When Andy returned, he would bring the diaper bag. No problem. Kill two birds with one stone.
No sooner had Andy left than Michael decided he was scared and started begging me to come and get him.
So, I fought that battle. It took about five minutes and the almost in tears face, but when Michael realized I wasn't going to cave, he gave up and decided to have fun on his own. It was a very rewarding moment. Not long after, a girl came in and she played with Michael.
He was so proud the first time he went down the slide. He was beaming as he came over to let me know. I gave him a high-5, reminded him to tell me if he needed the potty, and then watched as he jumped right back on.
I sat back and played with my iPhone while Michael romped on the playground and Andy did...well, you know.
Hmm...where is Andy? It's been a while. I hope he's OK. Eh, he'll be back soon. I'm just glad Michael is having fun.
"I forgot to go potty."
I glanced down. Sure enough. He forgot to go potty. How, I have no idea. I only reminded him a minimum of 10 times.
So, here's my question. What do you do when you are trapped at the BK playground without a car or a change of clothes, and your kid has soaked himself to his socks?
Obviously, you can't let your kid go back on the playground. Heading to the bathroom and waiting until the spare clothes show up doesn't sound all that great either. I considered standing outside the BK to wait, but I was pretty sure Michael would freak out in about 30 seconds.
"Here Michael, why don't you stand right there and drink some chocolate milk?"
I had already texted Andy to find out when he would be back, but he didn't respond. I considered that he might be on the way back, but we live so close that after waiting 5 minutes I started to freak. I decided to call him.
I have no idea what was going on back at home. That involves details I don't need or want to know. I'm just really glad that he answered. After making it very clear how badly I needed the bag, he assured me he would be right there. I just needed to keep Michael still until then.
Thank goodness, Michael was in a good mood. I managed to distract him long enough for Andy to show up with the clothes. I whisked him off to the restroom and got him cleaned up, then returned him to the playroom for some more fun.
Me, I just jiggled my leg nervously as I vowed to never leave the house again without the diaper bag.
And, to never head back to the Burger King at the Bermuda Triangle of Pennsylvania.