I Have No Idea How Am I Going To Wrangle a Third Child

by Katie Cloyd
Originally Published: 
Erik Plomp/FreeImages

I am pregnant with my third child, which means my bladder is not what it once was. Since the stick turned pink, I pee approximately three times per hour. Last week, as I do every week, I made a trip to Target to pick up a few necessities and some crap I didn’t need. I knew that in the course of my daily errands, I’d probably end up in a family restroom with my sons at least once. I knew it, but for some inexplicable reason, I decided it was a good day to wear a romper.

You know, those one-piece outfits that you have to completely take off in any restroom situation?

Well, I wore one. That will matter later. Keep it in mind.

We were about halfway through the store when my six-year-old declared that he had to pee RIGHT NOW, or he would pee his pants. Since that is basically my state-of-being lately, too, I was glad to hear it. We made our way to the family restroom. I usually bring the cart inside to keep the toddler contained, but we had unpaid merchandise, and taking it into the restroom wasn’t an option. I grabbed my purse, parked the cart outside the door, and took my kids to pee. The boy with the pee-mergency went first, followed by the recently potty-trained toddler, and then, mercifully, it was my turn.


Did I mention I was wearing a romper?

I instructed my 6-year-old to stand with his back to me in front of the door, simultaneously preserving a shred of my privacy, and ensuring that the toddler couldn’t open the door.

I unbuttoned my one-piece poor decision of an outfit, slipped it off my shoulders, and sat down. There I sat, butt naked but for my bra, romper around my knees, on a commode, when my six-year-old dropped the tiny blue bouncy ball he had smuggled into the store in his pocket.

It was like I saw the whole thing in slow motion, and I just couldn’t react in time. Before I could even shout, “LEAVE IT ALONE, AND DO NOT MOVE AWAY FROM THAT DOOR!” he had abandoned his post. He left the door unattended while he chased the ball, which was my three-year-old’s cue to throw the door wide open and bolt. The boy took off down the supplement aisle like he had seen his chance to ditch the confines of our family structure and live his best life in total freedom.

So, I did what any good mother would do.

I shrieked for my 6-year-old to go catch his brother, obviously. I also may have screamed, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SHUT THE DOOR BEHIND YOU!” but whatever.

They came back about three seconds later, just in time to throw the door open a second time while I was standing in front of the toilet, hoisting my mother effing outfit back up over my shoulders.

The poor elderly man just trying to locate his Centrum Silvers didn’t know what hit him.

Around the time that I found myself heaving my breathless, elated toddler, still celebrating his taste of liberty, into the shopping cart, it occurred to me.

In a few months, I am going to have to pee in public with THREE KIDS.

What the hell am I going to do?

I mean, we always wanted a third child. My first son came via classical c-section, so my doctor believes that three is my limit for safe deliveries. My husband and our bank account are in enthusiastic agreement with him.

Three is our magic number, and we couldn’t be more excited to meet our third child. In a few months, we will meet our daughter, and our family will be complete. I feel really, completely sure that I am going to handle the challenges of a third child impeccably.

Except that, no. I don’t.

Like, at all.

What in the world am I going to do when I have to leave my house with three little humans all at once?

The monkeys are already running the circus around here, and there are only two of them. I know some moms make their life work with 5 or 6 kids, and they’re probably thinking, “Oh bless her heart. How is she overwhelmed with just two little bitty kids? She’s panicking about a third child? Going out with three children is like a day off!”

Well, excuse me, but we can’t all have the eerie patience of Michelle Duggar, and I am just not that kind of mellow or organized. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of mom. I’m winging it 100% of the time. I have exactly zero plans in place for wrangling that many children in a public place.

Plus, MY KIDS EXPOSED MY NAKED BODY TO AN ELDERLY MAN JUST ONE WEEK AGO. You’ll have to forgive me if the wound is not yet a scar. I am working on my healing, but that shit was traumatic.

If I’m being honest, the oldest one could probably keep the toddler occupied on his own for a few hours (as long as he didn’t let him escape,) but the law says I can’t let a 6-year-old babysit. They’d also be totally fine sitting in the AC in my van watching a movie while I shopped. The law isn’t cool with that, either.

Looks like they all have to come with me.

Lucky for me, the third child will be a newborn for a while, and she won’t be able to participate in the mischief right away. Life has a way of easing us into the chaos. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.

My husband has total confidence in me. The night of the Great Target Pharmacy Debacle, he fed me a very encouraging pep talk about how I’m such an excellent mother. He reminded me that I never know how I’m going to handle one more thing, but somehow, I always do.

Well, this isn’t like the time I managed to adjust our schedule to squeeze in one more speech therapy session a week, Hubster.


I have a feeling making this work might be an entirely unprecedented situation, but ya know, thanks for trying. Honestly, I do love you for having this completely unrealistic level of faith in me.

I hope you turn out to be right.

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