I cannot believe I’m in the Fishbowl! Gosh. It’s much roomier than I thought.
I’m Dave from over at Tomato Transplants. My wife, Erin, and I grew up in Leamington, Ontario — the Tomato Capital of Canada. We’re raising our three kids on Prince Edward Island. Henry is six. Jane is four. Alice turns two this week.
It’s Friday. Erin is still recovering from her surgery. She feels good today. She looks good. We celebrate by taking the kids out for a rare restaurant meal. We choose an Italian place on Victoria Row — a pedestrian mall in Charlottetown.
The kids behave splendidly. Erin’s dark hair and sunglasses shine in the evening sun. She is beautiful. I am so lucky.
We pay, and linger on the street for a few moments. A band plays. The kids start to dance.
Erin: I’m going to run into the Confed Centre to use the bathroom.
Me: OK. Kids, do you have to go?
Kids: (dancing) No!
Me: Are you sure?
They look at me as if I am a moron.
Erin leaves. I’m left with two twirling dresses and a six-year-old boy trying to look cool. The tie helps (he dressed himself).
Alice: (twirling) I’m drunk!
Me: (blushing)Oh — heh — don’t say that, sweetie.
A few faces turn to us. I kick myself for laughing uncontrollably the first time she ever said this line.
Jane: I have to go pee.
Henry: Me, too.
Me: But we just asked -
Alice:Haff to pee.
Me: You wear a diaper!
I think a minute. I can take them to the Confed Centre, but I don’t want to risk Erin missing us when she returns. She’s still awfully tired. I’ve been counting her steps all night, and can imagine her searching far and wide for us if she finds us AWOL.
Me: How bad do you have to go?
We rush into the Confed Centre. We don’t meet Erin on the way in. I assume she is still in the Ladies’ Room. I realize if we go to the Men’s Room, she — again — might miss us on the way out.
Jane’s seems to be the more urgent case, so I let her into the Ladies’ Room. I call into the room as Jane enters.
Me: Erin — It’s us. Jane is coming in.
I wait a minute.
I hear Jane yell something from inside the bathroom.
I crack the door open.
Me: What’s that, Janey?
Jane: I said, I’m pooping.
Me: (panicking slightly) Is Mum in there?
Jane: I don’t know. Mum?
Where is she?
How am I going to deal with Janey? She has wiped herself before, but with mixed results.
Jane: I’m done.
I make a decision.
Me: Janey, you’re going to have to wipe yourself.
Jane: I can’t!
Alice squirms on my hip. Henry does the Little Boy Pee-Pee Dance. A stream of people walk past. I can only imagine what they think of this man yelling into the women’s bathroom.
Woman: (smiling) You’ve got your hands full.
Jane: I CAN’T WIPE MY-SELF.
Alice: I’m drunk.
The woman scoots away.
I convince Jane she can, in fact, wipe herself. “I be-lieve in you!”
We return to the street, and find Erin waiting patiently. She had, as it turns out, gone on from the bathroom to buy tickets at the Confed-Centre Box Office for a show that’s coming to town in a few weeks. That’s why we missed her.
Erin: What happened to you guys?
Henry: Dad made us go in the girls’ bathroom.
Alice: I peed!