Today was a glamorous day. I mean, when isn’t my day glamorous? If you know, me, I obviously didn’t need to write that. But in case you don’t… glamorous. All. The. Time. So in order to stay with the day’s theme, I decided to take the kids to McDonald’s for a treat. No, I didn’t CHOOSE McDonald’s Playland. I do not enjoy McDonald’s Playland. My butt squeezes, and I try to repress phrases like, “don’t touch the slide when you go down” or “don’t touch any little bugs on anyone’s body” or “be sure to step AROUND the puddles in the tubes hanging from the ceiling, if they are yellow or stinky” (which puddles aren’t?) And whose idea was that anyway? Well, I’ll tell you. It was the guy who knew that it would be disgusting to clean up the kid stuff inside the tubes, so he hung them from the ceiling and made them small enough that most adults wouldn’t dare go inside. And not to be sexist, it could have been a woman, but not a mother of small children.
So who chose McD’s? My kids did! They always choose it, so big props to the big people there. They have done something right. My kids had put up with me trying to conquer the world today from my little main screen, so I would in turn, do something nice for them. So we run in and order our treats and walk into the play area. I say this not to bag on McD’s, but to share the shock that met me. The smell of urine was not just in the air, like most places with little people—it was all around me as I walked into the room. It filled the air. It was pervasive. And I stopped dead in my tracks. I was trying to decide how bad it was. You know how awful it is to tell your kids ‘no’ to a treat, and I try to never let my little gross outities get in the way of my kids’ fun. I’m a trooper, but not this much of a trooper. It took me five seconds to decide we were not playing the playland. I couldn’t do it. It was disgusting.
But what bothered me more was the fact that there were children and parents all around me, MANY. I looked around for a familiar nod of a head telling me they smelled it too, perhaps another adult smelling their crotch to see if they had wet themselves? Uh no, not one. And there were more coming in! People were diving in! And no one was complaining. There was no one in uniform searching for the source of the smell. And I KNOW the source was either 10 sources or there was a broken pipe in the sewer. I was disgusted that no one cared! I couldn’t believe that not one parent was worried about the pee bath their child was engaging in.
I turned and argued it out with my kids. I was grateful they were so excited to be eating their treats and that they weren’t two years old and ready to throw down—dast I might give in. But I realized we all have breaking points. We all reach a place where the gross outities go away because we can’t take one more head-induced moment inside our homes with our little people (AZ summers). I realized I was lucky enough to have children who are old enough to entertain themselves, even if it is usually loud and obnoxious. And I wondered if three years ago I would have marched in and not even noticed that the air around me was wet with piss. I wondered if I had already played in a playland like this in the year of stupor, no sleep and toddlers? I remembered clean McD’s, but did I do this?! I decided to suspend judgment. I decided not to partake either because I’m not that desperate today. Also remember, I am glamorous (oy). And I felt grateful for the toddler days becoming a fond memory. I don’t have it together most of the time still, but whether or not I was that desperate at some point, today was not that day. Cheers to that, bitches!
To desperation, to martinis and cheeseburgers. I bet they go nicely together too.