So then…the server sets down the second round of drinks. As we toast Girls’ Night Out as carefree ladies for a whole evening, unencumbered by husbands and kids, it’s only natural that the conversation turns to…
our children’s poo patterns.
“My God, it takes Emily forever to poo. She takes a book in there and it seems like hours before she comes out again!” exclaims Patty.
“She’s 8 and she’s bringing a book to the bathroom? She’s like an old man!” says Brenda. “Trevor doesn’t bring anything in the bathroom, but I can hear him talking in there – no phone – nobody else in there — just him talking.” We laugh and encourage her to set up a recording device.
Julie confides, “Well, Conrad is 5 but he still does the same thing he’s done since he was 2. If he has to poo, he strips completely naked and sits on the pot, singing at the top of his lungs! He says it’s the only way he can go number two!”
We all laugh. “Well, let’s hope he out-grows that before adulthood. That could be awkward around the office,” I say.
“What about your kids, Claire?” asks Julie.
“Well, I don’t mean to brag—“
(Don’t you, Claire? Don’t you, really?)
“—but Allie and Max are pretty regular. They’re 12 and 8 and they just go in every morning and evacuate their bowels,” says Claire.
“EVERY morning?!” we exclaim.
“Well, yes, doctors say it should happen daily — and morning evacuation is the best. I feed the kids plenty of fiber, salads, and—“
“Oh, shut up, Claire. We hate you,” says Julie good-naturedly.
“Yeah, Claire, we hate you and your perfect bowel-evacuating children,” says Brenda with a mock scowl.
Claire laughs, and tries to look humble, but secretly she’s beaming inside.
Patty mutters into her sangria, “Good Lord, Emily doesn’t poo every day. I’m not even sure if she poos every week.”
Patty waves her wine glass in my direction. “OK, Darcy, fess up. What’s the evacuation situation at your house?”
“Well, Chloe’s 9 and she’s pretty regular, I guess. But Tucker’s 12 and always takes a long time to poo. But lately, he’s been taking his computer in there and it seems to take even longer.”
Everyone’s eyes widen.
“Oh my God – well, he IS 12. That’s around the age, right?” asks Patty.
“Oh no, do you think he’s…you know?” asks Brenda, somewhat mortified.
“He must be! That’s what the computer’s for – he’s looking at porn!” says Julie.
Claire is speechless.
“Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to know,” I said. “Every time I asked him what’s taking so long or what are you doing on the computer, he was really evasive. So I thought, oh my God, what if he’s in there…looking at sexy pictures and…doing what teenage boys — you know.”
I lower my voice and they lean in a little closer.
“So yesterday after he was in the bathroom forever, he went downstairs. I snuck up there, grabbed his computer and checked the browser history. And there it was – Club Penguin!”
Everyone laughs and looks reassured. All our kids have been to the Club Penguin website to play the computer games there. It’s harmless — but addictive, since the kids want to check on their penguins all the time, so we discourage playing it on school nights.
“Here I thought my little angel was using the computer to find inappropriate websites for arousal and self-pleasuring – and the whole time he’s just been playing Club Penguin! I was so relieved!” I say, taking a sip of my Lemon Drop.
“Unless…” whispers Julie.
“Well, unless he’s aroused by…you know…penguins,” says Julie.
I gulp. Julie laughs.
“Oh, I’m just kidding,” she says. “I’m sure he doesn’t have a penguin fetish.”
She grins. “Or does he?”
— Darcy Perdu