A few weeks ago, I took the girls swimming at the YMCA. Meaning I bundled them up into their heavy, winter coats, wrestled them into their car seats, drove the 15 minutes there, parked in the lot and then leaned my forehead on the steering wheel and imagined what a nap would feel like. Then I unbuckled them from their car seats and shuffled them through the building, and finally got us all into one of the family bathrooms where I attempted to change the three of us without catching a case of the Ebola.
I changed Heidi and Whitney into their swim suits. Once they were all set, I pulled out my own suit from my gym bag, and started changing. I was midway through pulling off my jeans when both girls found the toilet. Those girls love themselves a public toilet! The only way a public toilet could be any more tantalizing is if you glued hard candy around the bowl and let them lick it. But since they're not allowed to eat hard candy, they settled for rubbing their hands over every suspicious porcelain surface.
“Heidi and Whitney, move away from the toilet.”...unzip my hoodie...”Heidi! Whitney! Get away from the toilet.”...take off my tee-shirt... “I mean it. DON’T TOUCH the toilet!”...unclasp my bra..."SERIOUSLY girls that is gross; stop playing with the toilet paper!”...lunge for Whitney’s arm before she lifts up the toilet seat and I step barefoot into the mystery puddle of water next to the toilet. Really the story should just stop there, but no! There's more!
Once we were past the toilet thing, I got my bikini on. And when I say bikini, I'm not talking about a I-Lost-A-Piece-Of-Dental-Floss-Up-My-Crack kind of bikini. Just a regular J.Crew kind of bikini with a modesty skirt; a YMCA type of bikini. Then I wrapped a towel around my waist and gave myself one last cursory look in the mirror before heading to the pool. That's when I saw them and the bow-wow-chicky-chicky-bow-wow music started playing on the imaginary eight-track in my head.
My dear in-laws, you might want to close your eyes for the remainder of this post.
I don’t know how it can happen, but apparently I'm going through puberty again, starting with my boobs. That, or all my pre-holiday 'practice' weight or my birth control have something to do with it. All I know is that I’ve easily gained a cup size. And while under other circumstances this new development would have been blessed news, it wasn’t at all, since we weren’t at Club-Med; we were at the YMCA. The Young Mens Christian Association YMCA. And now, all these young, Christian men were going see my queen-sized fitted sheet of a bikini-top strain to cover my king-sized mattress boobs...right there in their own association! This was going to be like the Garden of Eden all over again except with racquetball courts.
I know, you're thinking this has got to be the end of the story! But again, there's more! So there I was sitting at the edge of the pool counting up all the missed patches of hair on my thighs when I noticed three women huddled around a stroller near the concession stand. All three of these women were wearing matching burgundy polos with embroidered YMCA logos on their reasonably-sized chests and all three were holding matching clip boards. I couldn't hear what they were saying, since they were a ways away and the noise from pool muffled their words.
After a while, the three women, gathered their clipboards and began walking in my direction until they were standing over me. All this hubbub caused the nearby moms to turn and watch what was about to happen next.
One of the burgundy polo woman leaned over and with veiled contempt stated, “Mam. YOUR baby is crying.”
Really now, my baby? What would make you think that was my baby? Sure the other moms might be fully covered. Sure I might be violating decency laws in some states, but that doesn’t make me a bad mom. Not that? Then maybe it’s because you've mistaken my big boobs as someone’s meal. Except this buffet's been closed for years now. No, I don’t got milk.
I did a quick glance over at the other moms. Wasn’t anyone going to fess-up to the hollering baby in the stroller. God knows babies cry! I mean, my first and third babies didn’t stop crying until they were old enough to sit up and shove handfuls of carpet fibers into their mouths.
Oh...burgundy polo woman, this is about to get awkward. And that's when I looked up and said these four words: That's. Not. My. Baby.
Lady, that’s someone else's toilet licker.
[Epilogue: Happily, mother and baby were reunited just as soon as the mom came out of the bathroom. Seriously, the woman had to pee. It's not like she left her kid in the car.]
Meredith blogs over at BuenoBaby; a candid, raw look at a life, a marriage and a mommy-hood. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters. She thinks she might have a cat.