While many parents' stories of road trips with kids are just plain horrifying, one dad's recent story is so horrifyingly embarrassing that we can't stop cry-laughing.
Two hours into a 12-hour road trip to a family funeral last week, Clint Edwards stopped at a gas station in Oregon. His wife, Mel, and two older kids stayed in the van while the dad and his 4-year-old daughter, Aspen, went to get some cornflakes.
That's when, well, diarrhea hit for the dad, who wasn't sure if he had eaten something bad or if it was from the stress of traveling with children. With no time to spare, he had no choice but to make a beeline for the restroom and take his daughter into the stall with him.
Edwards, who's known for recording his hilarious parenting mishaps and stories in No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog and the book "I'm Sorry ... Love, Your Husband" posted his daughter's amazing response on Facebook.
"Aspen watched as I struggled, Moana light-up Crocs on the wrong feet, blue eyes wide and supportive, hands clapping. 'Good job, Daddy! Good job! You make two poops! Now three poops! I'm 4!'" he recounted.
Good job, Daddy! Good job!
Positive reinforcement is a huge thing in the potty-training world, with parents praising their children for each successful potty trip and refraining from scolding them for accidents. That means that sometimes, even the smallest achievements are made into a big deal.
Because Aspen has had a lot of experience with this technique from her parents, she essentially became the "Richard Simmons of pooping" when she thought her dad most needed the positivity.
"'Wow!' she said. She commented on my work ethic. 'You’re trying so hard!' At one point, I had to actually push her face away from the business end of things as she clapped and cried, 'You’re doing it, Daddy! You’re doing it!'" he wrote.
The thing is though, Edwards noted, it seems normal when he's cheering her on in their family restroom. But when the roles are reversed? Talk about awkward.
If there's anything you can count on children to do, it's to make situations even more awkward. In Aspen's case, she had called her dad a "pooping-farting robot" when the man in the stall next door—who was "obviously holding back tears of laughter" until that point—burst out laughing.
After that escapade was over (Edwards making sure to grab anti-diarrhea pills), they returned to the car, where his wife asked what took so long.
Aspen, not missing her cue, recounted the entire story to her mom, "clapping the whole time."
Hey, at least she didn't start singing a special potty song.