Cleanup on aisle two

This has gone beyond the point of coincidence. It’s beginning to feel like a conspiracy.

As soon as I finish making something to eat, one of the boys needs my assistance with a poop event. It doesn’t matter if it’s lunch, dinner, a snack, dessert, whatever. I’ve got my hands all washed up; I’ve got my food, hot and tempting, on the plate; and I’ve got a kid who can’t hold it for 10 minutes.

I use the broad term event because the poop assistance needs of a three-year-old and an infant are very different. The older boy can do most of it by himself, but it really isn’t going to matter until he can do all of it by himself. Until then, a hot lunch will have to always be a dream deferred.

In many ways, the three-year-old’s events are more disruptive to my meal plans. He really only needs me at the very end (unless he forgets his toddler potty seat), which means I’m on call for however long it takes him to speak those three little words that stir every parent’s heart: “Daddy, I’m done!”

Dinner is ready. Now who’s been waiting all day for this moment to go potty?

I really don’t want to start eating, knowing what I am likely to be called away to do halfway through the meal. I could just make him sit there and wait, but that seems like a cruel and unusual form of time out. It’s better to just delay eating, or maybe forget about it altogether.

If Big Brother doesn’t put me on standby, the baby is sure to pick up the slack. He announces his event by starting up his motorcycle. We call it that because it sounds like he’s revving up a Harley when he lets it rip. Big Brother thinks it’s hilarious. I think it means the salad dressing is going to make my lettuce get all soggy before I can taste it.

The baby’s poop events can be dealt with more quickly, unless he decides to enjoy an open-air pee in that free and wild moment between diapers, or he holds something back with which to christen the fresh diaper. Whenever he needs to quake out an aftershock, he always has the courtesy to wait until I’ve washed my hands once more before he hops back onto that motorcycle.

“Uh, excuse me, Daddy. You might want to put your fork down for this one. I’m gonna try to hit the high note here.”

These boys are so reliable in upsetting my meal plans that I begin to think I must be cursed. I’ve tried to comb through my past, searching for any incident that might have resulted in my insulting some sort of boom-boom gypsy. What offensive act might I have committed to inspire the potty time wizard to open up his book and cast spell number two? Did I cut in front of some sorcerer in the line for a porta-potty in my untamed youth? I don’t remember.

If you are out there, offended one who put this hex on me, please accept my humblest apology for whatever my crime, and let me once eat a hot meal with fresh air in my nostrils.