("Scrumptious diaper, Paulie," notes Caroline.)
My parental humiliation has been well documented here in the Pointy Universe. Last week, Paulie told the cashier at Whole Foods that she had yellow teeth. A few months ago, Caroline walked up to a complete stranger at Hannaford’s and said, without warning, “My daddy farts in the grass." Both kids swear sometimes -- almost exclusively in crowded public places.
It's hard to predict the verbal outbursts but there are other times when I'm spaced out or sleep deprived and appear trailer trashy. Like the time Paulie’s pants fell down around his ankles in the parking lot at Marsh's and I had no idea until two dudes in a pick up truck started laughing their heads off. Then there was the time when I didn't realize that Caroline had taken off her shoes in the car. A passerby pointed out that my daughter was walking on the snow-covered sidewalk in her socks. Caroline thought it was hilarious. I was riddled with guilt.
The scene of the latest incident takes place at – you guessed it – the Assinippi General Store, where Paulie already has two priors. James and I dressed both kids in their pajamas for the night before I headed down the road to the Dell'Olios and he to a hockey game. This is important to note.: I dressed Carrie, James dressed Paulie. We swung into Assinippi to pick up some Cavit and a six-pack of O’Doul’s for Mama LPD.
Just as we thought we were going to escape without incident, Dee -- the store manager who always seems to be there when things go awry -- came over to us while we were checking out.
“Um, I don’t know if it’s one of your kids but there is like a HUGE puddle over there,” said Dee, pointing to a South America-shaped pool of urine in the wine aisle. For a moment, I stood dumbstruck -- no doubt looking like an Olsen twin with my storm trooper boots, enormous sunglasses and armload of booze. Then I went in for the bum check.
Caroline: Dry Tinkerbell undies. Paulie: Completely soaked. The worst part – it was neither a leaky diaper nor a deluged Pull-Up. There was no diaper there at all. Paulie was freeballing in his jammies. Either James forgot to put one on him or Paulie took it off himself (which he tends to do but usually announces it). Doesn't really matter. I was the one left holding the walnuts.
Dee swabbed the aisle and we fled to the Dell’Olios where I cleaned up Paulie and hung my head in shame.