Watch Out For That Zebra!

Do you have zebras in your Home Depot?

Yesterday Carter and I went in search of the perfect flower pots.  It is never easy to find something when you have an exact image of what you want in your head.  I wanted ceramic pots with the bottom having a circumference not much bigger than the palm of my hand.  They must have a drain hole because when I remember to water the soil is usually hard and dry.  I then over water to compensate for my lack of watering and this leads to plant drownings.  The pots needed to be festive but in solid colors.  And I wanted two of each for a total of six pots.

After an extensive search we ended up at Home Depot.  I prefer to shop at the smaller, local nurseries but I was on a quest for the perfect pots and they did not have them.  Luck for us Home Depot had almost exactly want I wanted (I say almost because in my mind the colors were more vibrant and less pastel.)  Carter helped me pick out the colors and I gritted my teeth at the thought of paying almost three dollars each for the saucers but they matched the pots and I could not resist.

With our lovely pots and expensive saucers placed just so in the shopping cart we headed out to look at their flower selection.  Carter kept picking out ground cover flowers and plants that were much too large for our small pots.  We both kept getting drawn back to the oranges and yellows of the simple marigolds.  After much hemming and hawing, we chose the taller African marigolds over the two tone dwarf ones.  I was not one hundred percent happy with our flower selection so we were perusing the flowers one last time when it happened.

carter:  Momma, I have to go pee.  I have to go peeee, now, Now, NOW!

We were, of course, at the furthest spot in the store from the bathrooms (technically we weren’t even in the store being at the edge of the outdoor garden area.)

me: Ok sweetheart, lets just leave the cart here and go find the bathroom.

I kept looking over my shoulder at our cart of perfect pots and the flowers it had taken so long to pick out but I knew if I tried to take it with us we would never make it.  I had to trust it would be there when we got back.  I directed Carter through the doors and in between the two check stands.  It was very busy for a Wednesday afternoon, the sun bringing out the gardener in folks.  As we passed between the two lines of people waiting to check out, Carter makes a loud announcement, voice filled with panic.

carter:  Momma, I squeezing my penis SO tight!  He starts dance-walking and whimpering.  Things are not looking good.  People are staring.

me:  Hold on Carter, we are almost there.  We are getting closer, you can make it. 

We are getting closer but I am starting to think we will not make it.  I consider picking him up and running but if we don’t make it then I will just be wearing his pee along with him.  We round the corner and go through the automatic doors past the gardening area into the actual store.  His whimpering is getting louder and more intense.  Then it comes to me.  A brilliant idea that has been used by parents and dog owners alike – distraction.

me:  Whoa, Carter!  Watch out for that zebra!  It was the first thing that popped into my head.

We are still holding hands and running/speed walking.  Carter looks at me like I am crazy, his almost bursting bladder momentarily forgotten.

carter:  What zebra?  I don’t see any zebras.

me:  What?  You didn’t see that zebra?  He was standing right there behind the forklift.  I am pretty sure there was a giraffe with him.

I see the restroom sign.  There is only about 100 feet between us and the bathroom.  I pick him up and run.

Crisis averted, we return to where we left our cart.  It is still there with its perfect pots and marigolds.  We go home, pick up Cody from the bus and plant our flowers – the zebras at Home Depot long forgotten.

Boys and Flowers Collage

Stairs before flowers


Stairs after flowers


So let this be a warning to you, next time you end up at Home Depot, watch out it’s a jungle in there.

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
This entry was posted in Little Feet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Watch Out For That Zebra!

  1. So funny! Brilliant distraction – I may have to steal it and use it on my 16-year-old when he’s being obnoxious and I want him to stop.

    • shoes says:

      Thanks! A 16 year old boy might not be so easily distracted by a mere zebra sighting – you may have to bump it up to a whole stampeding herd of them to get his attention. Just my guess though…

  2. AWWW I would’ve brought the zebra home lol. Great distraction!

    • shoes says:

      Thank you, it turned out to be a rather cute story but it could have gone an entirely different direction had the distraction technique not worked.

  3. love your perfect pots and your wonderful story

    • shoes says:

      They are pretty perfect, aren’t they? I am happy with my pots and it was quite an unexpected bonus to get a funny story out of it as well.

  4. Jodi Stone says:

    You’re brilliant. I don’t know if I would have thought of that. 🙂 I love how he says he’s squeezing his penis. Once my sister tried to cover her mouth to keep from vomiting. I’ll leave that to your imagination! LOL

    • shoes says:

      Well now I know that in a moment of desperation, I think about zebras. I don’t know what this says about me but rolling with it worked out well this time.

      I really didn’t need that image of your sister – it is early and I just started my second cup of coffee! Awful! I hope you guys were not in a public place.

  5. mommysaidaswearword says:

    I have nearly the exact flower pots. And I killed the plants inside each and every one of them last yeasr. I hope I am more attentive this time around.

    • shoes says:

      I suspect my flowers will go the way of your plants sooner rather than later but I don’t think it is because we share the same taste (and a quite good taste it is, I might say) in flower pots! My backup plan for the pots is to plant herbs in them so they are pretty and useful all at the same time.

  6. Mona Lisa says:

    I absolutely loves this! You seem to be one heck of a great Mommy 🙂

    • shoes says:

      Ah, thank you! Not to ruin your image of me being a great mom and all but I was just trying really hard not to have a display of public urination on my hands. Zebras to the rescue! 🙂

  7. mimijk says:

    Perfect pots and a perfect distraction – what to go mommy!!

  8. Hetterbell says:

    Glad the crisis was averted. 🙂 The pots and saucers and marigolds look lovely!

    • shoes says:

      Me too, that would have been rather unpleasant for the all of us! I am pretty pleased with my pots and marigolds. Right now I have each pot resting in their corresponding saucer but when I feel wild and crazy I just may mix and match the pots with the saucers for a different look. 🙂

  9. CJ says:

    Oh boy, it’s stories like this that make me dread the inevitable potty training. I’m putting it off for as long as possible out of sheer laziness. Thanks for the great distraction tips for when I do eventually get round to it. Oh,and beautiful pots. Long may they live and be glorious.

  10. That is brilliant! I will have to remember that once I enter potty training stage!

    • shoes says:

      Thanks! It is a great technique that also works (most of the time) if you need to change the subject or break up a sibling fight.

  11. momshieb says:

    Great Mommy moment!! AND your perfect pots are just that. Lovely!

    • shoes says:

      Thank you! Never a dull moment when you have kids around. 🙂 I love my new flowerpots they are just what the backyard steps needed.

  12. Nancy says:

    Great post! Hilarious! Next time I’m in that situation, I’ll remember the zebra (and may pee myself from laughing so hard as I remember this post) 😉

  13. Pingback: Creating a Tiered Living Miniature Garden With A Pot Stacker – Part 1 | Create!

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