My husband has been having a hard time motivating to exercise. To be fair, he cannot go during the week, as he is away from home all week. On the weekends, I fear I have enabled his gym-avoidance because I do not particularly want to be left alone with all three children for a few hours. However, my parsimony won out over my sleep deprivation: if we’re paying for the damned gym, the man is going to use it.
So it was that I sent him out the door at 6:45 on a Saturday morning to be waiting at the doors when his gym opened. I figured he could get a good workout and still spend most of the morning wiping poopy bottoms. My children had other plans and decided to poop as a team before he returned.
Lilah was up first, feeding and pooping like the newborn she is. Zachary got up second, tiptoeing out of his room at 7 so as not to wake his brother on the bottom bunk. We are very strict about this requirement, but it is usually honored more in name than in practice by the boys who tend to rouse one another so as to get in as much fighting time as possible before starting their day. I was pleased that Zach decided to show a little respect for his fast-asleep brother.
“Where’s my Daddy?” he asked, a use of the possessive that always amuses me. Does he really think he needs to clarify that he’s looking for his daddy?
He looked sufficiently crestfallen when I told him his father had gone to the gym but would be back after breakfast, so I explained. “Do you know why Daddy goes to the gym?” Head shake. “He goes to exercise so he can be healthy and live a long time.” That is a project Zach can get behind, so he forgave me for my inability to produce a father on command.
I fed him breakfast. By the time we had both eaten, Lilah was ready to nurse again. Tweedledee decided to play in the other room. After about five minutes, he came running in, announcing “I need a poop! I need a poop!”
“Well, then go make a poop.” Armed with these instructions, he went into the bathroom, picked up a toy catalogue, and parked himself on the throne. This is how it came to pass that Benjamin’s first sight upon stumbling out of his room was his brother perched on the crapper reading the F.A.O. Schwarz catalogue. (If we ever unsubscribed from the toy catalogues, I fear the child would suffer chronic constipation.)
Now, I carried both of those boys for almost nine months, had my abdomen sliced open to remove them, and sacrificed my perky bosom for their dining pleasure, so it will not surprise you that the first words out of his groggy little two-year-old mouth were: “Where’s Daddy?”
“Daddy went to the gym,” Zach told him.
“No,” Ben contradicted for the sake of disagreeing with his brother. “Daddy’s in his room.” Remember, I was sitting in a glider just out of sight, feeding the baby. That didn’t matter, because no one cared where I had gone.
“No,” Zach replied, thrilled to have a chance to argue and poop at the same time. “Daddy went to the gym so he could exercise and live a long time. So you can have a daddy forever.”
“No! Daddy’s in his bathroom, pooping and peeing on the potty.” Deciding he had said the final word on the matter, Benjamin stomped off to the kitchen, No one had asked where I was, so I didn’t feel the need to contribute until two minutes later, when Zachary came running in, sans pajama bottoms, and stuck his tushie at me.
“Look. Did I wipe off all the poopy?”
Five minutes later, after I had re-wiped the aforementioned bottom and gathered the quarter-roll of toilet paper that he had used without actually accomplishing anything and then left on the bathroom floor, J walked in. Good thing, too, because Benjamin needed a diaper change.