Santa Claus and Poopgate

December 21, 2018

Christmas joy filled the air. Ornaments glistened, smiles radiated, and lights twinkled. Santa awaited … well would await (WAIT emphasized) in a matter of several hours. My daughter Sydney eagerly anticipated this year’s visit while our two year old Jenson hesitantly checked out the man in the red coat from a distance and shook his head no.

We put in our name (and cell phone number). They would text us once our spot to see Santa opened up.

With our name in the cue, we headed to PF Chang’s for our annual family dinner to celebrate my brother’s birthday. Visions of fried green beans and spicy Kung Pao Chicken danced in our heads.

We got everyone settled, placed our order, and enjoyed a lovely “no-drama” meal. After eating, I excused myself to the restroom. Sydney and Jenson excitedly declared they wanted to come too like travelers going on some great adventure. Such is a mom’s life with kids four and under.

I lifted Jenson from the high chair and walked with the kids towards the restroom.

Being a party of three, we opted for the larger handicap stall. Inside the stall, I noticed the changing table pulled open. No biggie, easy fix. I pushed it up and watched as it folded to a flat surface back on the wall. I sat down to go to the bathroom. And that’s when I saw it…

“Don’t move. Stay right where you are,” I adamantly declared in my stern mom voice.

A huge piece of poop sat under the changing table. It must have dropped from the changing table when I pushed it up.

Completely grossed out, I willed myself to keep it together and keep the kids away from it. What kind of disgusting person leaves a chunk of poop in the bathroom at PF Chang’s?

I stood up from the toilet only to discover it wasn’t contained. A big piece somehow made its way on my sweater too. I carefully peeled off my sweater only to see another layer on my shirt. Could this get any grosser?

I did my best to wash it off in the sink to no avail. I was up a creek with no clean shirt and Santa’s text coming at any moment.

I needed help (as did the handicap stall we emerged from), so I headed to see the manager of the restaurant.

“So… there’s a huge issue in the restroom. It needs to be cleaned. Some disgusting person left poop in the stall. It must have been on the changing table when I closed it. It’s on the floor and everywhere. It even got on my sweater and shirt. I can’t believe someone would do that!”.

The gracious store manager apologized. She even gave me a card to dry-clean my clothes which she offered to reimburse at their expense.

“I just can’t believe someone would leave poop like that,” I shook my head in absolute disgust.

“You’d be surprised at the type of stuff we see,” she shared.

“I have one other problem. We are about to get texted for our place in line to meet Santa. I can’t wear this,” I pointed to my brown stained shirt. “Do you happen to have a t-shirt or anything I could use and return?”

The manager headed towards the kitchen. She emerged with a PF Chang’s server shirt. “Keep it,” she offered.

I thanked her, took the kids back to the table, and headed back into a clean stall in the restroom to change. Once back at the table, I shared the whole crazy story as we settled up the bill. My phone pinged with the Santa text letting us know we had a few minutes to get there or lose our spot.

As we prepared to leave, I lifted Jenson again from his highchair. He walked with my mom towards the door. Then, I looked down at the sleeve of my new PF Chang’s server shirt and saw it. More poop. You have got to be kidding me…am I being punk’d?

My dad had a light bulb moment. He hurriedly sped after Jenson who was making his way out of the restaurant, grabbed the back of Jenson’s pants to peek inside his diaper, and let’s just say dad got a little more than he bargained for. As we walked down the steps of PF Chang’s racing to meet Santa, I realized … I am the disgusting person who leaves poop all over the bathroom stall.

Life is full of surprises. Sometimes entirely different storylines are happening that we can’t see on the surface. Things aren’t always as they seem. We all could use a little less judgment and a lot more grace.

After all, the gift of grace is what Christmas is all about. A free gift we can all receive.

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  – Ephesians 4:7

May your Christmas be filled with grace and love.

PS: Pray for me as I swallow my pride and head to PF Chang’s on Dec 23 and re-live the annual story of Poopgate 🙂

PSS: Click here to never miss a post. Feel free to share this post with anyone in need of a good laugh or a little grace.



Categories: Faith Family grace holidays Humor
Tags: grace, humor, poopgate, santa claus,

One Response to “Santa Claus and Poopgate”

  1. Mo Alameida says:

    Happy Holidays to you and the family!!!!!!!!

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