The Long Walk

Zoe is almost three now, and the terrible twos appear to have arrived. In addition to be late, they’ve been inconvenient in other ways. The last couple of weeks we’ve had several fits where we just have to wait for it to blow over and then try and figure out what happened after the fact. Last night was a doozy.

We’re working on potty training, and so we’d left the house with Zoe without a diaper. She’s done really good all week, and so we didn’t prepare for our trip out of the house as well as we should have. We decided to grab dinner at the local Mexican restaurant, and soon after we sat down it became obvious that Zoe needed to use the bathroom. We asked if she’d like to go to the bathroom and of course she said no. So, Mom said she had to go and Zoe then wanted to go with.

When they came back to the table Zoe refused to sit down in the booth, and Mom explained that she had refused to use the bathroom at the restaurant. So I suggest we switch her to diapers, and then we realized that all the diapers were back at home. The restaurant is only a couple miles away, so it would only take a minute to run home. We’d already ordered, so I held down the table and Mom and Zoe ran home to get a diaper.

A few minutes later the food showed up and my phone rang. It was Jessie. Zoe was throwing a tantrum about putting clothes back on, and she’d refused to use the bathroom at home. Then she finally couldn’t hold it any more and wet herself in the middle of her room. So, I got off the phone so Jessie could deal with the situation and asked the waiter to box up the food to go. I finished my food and waiting for Jessie to either show up or call with an update.

Apparently things did not improve. Jessie had gotten Zoe more or less dressed (well, less dressed. She couldn’t get pants on her by herself, but she was wearing a diaper, shirt, and socks), and was trying to load Zoe into the car seat so she could come get me. If you’ve never tried to put a toddler in the middle of a tantrum into a car seat consider yourself lucky. They go as stiff as a board while screaming at you at the top of their lungs and any time you make a bit of progress they thrash around undoing the little bit if progress you’ve made. The bottom line was that Jessie was afraid of hurting Zoe, so she’d given up on loading her into the car.

I was on my own.

So I said I’d walk home, and handed my card to the waiter to pay the check. After which I realized that my phone only had about 2% battery left. I texted my wife and told her that my phone was about to die, and my gift for prophecy was confirmed when the phone shut down moments after the message was sent. Now I’m really on my own. This is March in the Pacific Northwest, but I was lucky that we’d had a nice day and there was no rain in sight. I’d left my coat in the car, my phone was dead, I had a plan to meet up with someone in about 45 minutes, it was dark out and getting colder, and I was two miles from home. I did mention that we’d left the house fairly unprepared right?

The walk home was pretty uneventful. Jessie had called our friend Dave to pick me up, but since I had no idea what is going on I didn’t find that out until he found me after I was most of the way home. I spent most of the walk amused, because there really wasn’t anything I could do to fix the situation.

Well…that and the thought of telling this story when Zoe is a teenager to all her friends.

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