Evidently I Have No Shame

Several of you asked about the Furniture Store Tinkling Incident, and there’s a really good reason I didn’t tell you about it right upfront.

Because I, um, didn’t exactly handle it well.

We had taken all four kids with us to the store to look at a sofa and loveseat set for our den.  We had been shopping for these particular pieces for a couple of months, and just earlier that day I had found the ones I wanted.  I thought we could dash in, get Hubs’ okay on them, and he could do his magical negotiating tricks.  This is a GREAT source of pride for him–I swear the man could talk 50 cents off the price of a Big Mac.  In a furniture store or car showroom he is ruthless.

To their credit, the boys were pretty well-behaved (and by "well-behaved", I mean "nobody got airborne in the mattress section".  It’s all relative.)  In fact, they sat rather calmly with their little sister in the electronics section watching Finding Nemo.  We were able to see them from the area where we looked at our stuff, so we thought this was a great set-up.  We measured and debated and Hubs finally agreed with me that these were the ones for us. 

He had just put on his best don’t-try-to-pull-one-over-on-me scowl when I heard that sentence that chills the bones of any mother of a three year old:  "MOMMA!  I JUST GO TINKLE!"  I walked quickly to the sofa where Corrie sat with her brothers (note:  NOT the sofa we were buying.  A totally different one.  A much more expensive one).

The child hadn’t just tinkled; I think her entire lower half had liquefied.  There was an enormous wet spot on the sofa, and it was running over the side and steadily dripping on the rug below. 

I did what any mother full of honesty and integrity would’ve done: I covered the puddle with a pillow.

I didn’t say I was proud of myself.

"Corrie just peed everywhere," I shot back to my bewildered Hubs, as I dashed her out the store in my arms, the boys happily oblivious to the unfolding drama. 

And Hubs, who clearly actually is more full of honesty and integrity than his wife, bought the sofa and loveseat at full-price, and added in an ottoman to boot.

(That above paragraph will only have meaning to those of you who know my Hubs in real life.  HE PAID FULL PRICE FOR SOMETHING, y’all.)

I felt a little better when Hubs got in the car, post-purchase, and told me about the "miraculous" stain-removal package they wanted to sell him (which he declined).  If it’s that magical, then it could surely handle a harmless (albeit large) puddle of tinkle on their showroom floor.

And that’s the story.  Told you it was ugly.  Do you think I’m awful?  What would you have done?

88 thoughts on “Evidently I Have No Shame

  1. Western Warmth says:

    Umm, I probably would have done the same thing, but thank goodness they were already the set you were going to buy. I’m afraid I might have just ran out of the store out of humiliation and never told anyone.

  2. s g says:

    I probably would have been half way in the car before conviction would have turned me around. I hope you at least like the set…

  3. gretchen from lifenut says:

    I would have been mortified.
    I would have wanted to run, run, run.
    I’d like to think I would have found the kindest-looking salesperson, told them the story, offered to clean it, and braced myself. I am sure things like that happen all the time. I know somebody who worked at Home Depot. MORE THAN ONCE little kids pooped in the display toilets.
    So, while I picture myself doing the “right” thing, in that moment of sheer panic and embarrassment…?
    It’s like a Southwest Airlines commercial: “Wanna get away?”

  4. pam says:

    I’d have strategically placed the pillow too and hoped for the best.
    I would like to think I might have tried to do better, but I’ve also been the mama who scooted a broken jar of baby food under the edge of the counter at a certain “we have it all” establishment in order to avoid hearing the voice over the loudspeaker shouting “clean up on aisle # . . . ” while I tried to regain my composure and keep my child from the doorways of the nearest Child Protective Services.
    I am right there with you, friend.

  5. Mamabug says:

    I would have definitely used the pillow or maybe the expensive throw on the back of the sofa. : ) I think I woulda cried right after I melted into the floor. You expect embarassment as a mom but nothing can prepare you for that scenario.

  6. kelli says:

    In thinking about it, you know, you and Corrie could work out a deal …
    I mean, seriously.
    You could take the Hubs to say, a great shoe store, or a car dealer, an appliance place or …
    No. That just wouldn’t be right.

  7. Andi says:

    My 2 year old recently vomited all over the floor of a Walgreens while I was going to their nurse’s clinic to get some drugs for an ear infection (for me, not him). I told someone (who glared at me & my screaming son) & then hid in the toy aisle & wept (with my boy still screaming & crying right along with me).
    I probably would have ran from the store, felt guilty, & confessed on my blog just like you!

  8. cyn says:

    I am pretty certain I would of thrown TWO pillows over the evidence but you can bet a pretty pair of Princess panties that my little squirt (pardon the pun) would of announced it to everyone in the store. No escaping it. And something like this has certainly happened to us!!!

  9. Adventures In Babywearing says:

    OH MY. I am not sure what I would have done, but one time long ago when we had a puppy and no kids, we took him to PetSmart and let him pick out a new doggie bed. A nice big fluffy expensive one was the one he chose to “mark” and we quickly moved on to the next aisle. I felt a little guilty just for a moment… I figured stuff like that happens. Part of having a business? Am I just trying to make myself feel better?

  10. Amanda says:

    I would like to think I would tell someone and then clean it up but, in the heat of the moment, I’d probably have done the same thing. No judgements here!
    Reminds me of an accident my daughter had on my queen size comforter a couple of weeks ago. I took it to the cleaners and told them what it was. I’m thinking they’re the CLEAN-ERS! Surely they’ve dealt with this before, right? You would have thought I told the lady she was going to have to lick it clean herself! She was so mad she threw my claim check at me. Oh well!

  11. Ma says:

    Would not have made any kind of rational decision under those circumstances.
    Probably would have gone to a separate loveseat and did a little tinkling myself.

  12. Jenn says:

    Oh I totally would have left my husband in there too. I think you handled it like most moms would. Because really, what else could you have done?? šŸ™‚
    PS: I laughed out loud when I read that you covered it with a pillow šŸ™‚

  13. Beth_C says:

    I think you handled it the way most people would have. We were at a neighbor’s house yesterday and my 3 year old yelled, “Mommy, I peed.” I looked up and she was not yelling this proudly from the potty she was upstairs on a carpeted floor.
    I got her legs cleaned off and as my neighbor was frantically cleaning the carpet I said, “Well, I hate to pee and run but her dress is soaked and I need to get her home!”
    I felt bad for leaving but only one of us could clean the spot and I was afraid the wet dress would do more damage! Wonder if we will be invited back over?

  14. Jill (CDPJ) says:

    Oh, I think I would have done the same thing… at least your boys didn’t see it. I’m sure they would have made great loud speakers at that very moment!

  15. Georgia Mom says:

    First of all the comment “I think her entire lower half had liquified”, was just sooooo funny! That got the visual image across.
    With that said, I would have told someone. I would have been embarrassed, I would have been mortified and it would have been hard, but I would have told someone and offered to pay to have it cleaned. Hoping, they would have said “no problem, we’ll take care of it”. But, I’m the same person that dropped an apple at Target and picked it up and paid for it instead of putting it back in the bin. And the person that drove back to the store in the freezing cold rain because I realized my oldest daughter had “put” (aka shoplifted), something in her pocket and I went back in and paid for it. And I have several items in my home that fall into the “if you break it you buy it catagory” But, that’s just me. I’m not saying what you did was wrong, I’m just saying I couldn’t have done it. But, based on most of the other comments, you’re in good company!

  16. JP's MOM says:

    A friend of mine’s water broke while sitting on a furniture store couch.
    Some things are just not controllable and good business people will not make you pay for your acdcidents.

  17. Sunshine says:

    I had that happen to me but my little one chose a fluffy arm chair in a model home. You’ll be relieved to find out I did the same thing. Thank God for pillows.

  18. Melissa Markham says:

    I would have wanted to run, but I like to think I would have stayed and fessed up. After all, it’s not like she spilt a soda all over the place.
    Of course, I say that, and I am the person who once backed into one of those cart holder things at a grocery store and left. I have since learned this happens a lot. I am however, also the person who backed into a car once and left a note for the owner with my name and number. (Backing is definitely not my forte!) Especially in a big old Suburban! I am just too short!
    I can imagine your horror! Especially at such a crucial moment in negotiations.

  19. Robin (the pensieve one) says:

    I would’ve told ’em, begrudgingly, and PRAYED they had “provisions” for things like this. Surely, it’s not the first time something like “that” happened.
    The thing is, doesn’t it make you wonder about EVERY SINGLE THING YOU’VE EVER BOUGHT NOW???
    Ai yi yi, I’d rather remain oblivious.
    Funny, Shannon…sorry it happened to y’all, but so thankful it wasn’t US … this time ;).

  20. Tammy says:

    I am laughing so hard.I would have covered it up and ran outWe have had a couple stories like that,once my son threw up in Sears .We were on vacation so we ran out as quickly as we could knowing that we would never see these people again.Another time he threw up in car that we were test driving.We sorta cleaned that up but just left without a car!!
    Enjoy your sofa!

  21. Cousin DV says:

    BOY! Hubs did the right thing but I know paying full price at a furniture store hurt!! Would have hurt me, anyway. Congrats to Hubs on doing the right thing but a shiver just went down my spine when I thought of the same thing happening to us. Ugh!

  22. Jacki says:

    I am with Jill (CDPJ)…I would have apologized up and down and offered to help clean it up. I have found that if you are upfront with people, they are more forgiving. My daughter has never peed on anything in stores, but we have walked out of stores with unpaid merchandise and I’ve turned right around to either pay for it or put it back on the shelves.
    But still a funny story!!

  23. Everyday Mommy says:

    There’s no way I could have hidden the evidence…LoveBug would have announced his deed to the entire store at the top of his lungs, “MOOOOOOOOMMMM! I JUST PEEEEEEEEEEEEED!”

  24. Christine says:

    It’s a showroom sofa. They expect and prepare for … accidents. I’m sure they really, really HOPE that none of them involve pee, but lets get real.

  25. Sarah @ Ordinary Days says:

    Monkey (almost 3) peed in the grocery store the other day. I could tell because he walked up to me like he had just ridden a horse for three days straight. And then there was the puddle right next to the yogurt display, of course. But we weren’t done shopping so I just took the baby out of the cart, strapped Monkey in and went on our merry way. I feel so bad for the next person who got to use that wet cart. Sorry, whoever you are!

  26. biodtl says:

    My daughter peed while we were in Disney World. We were next in line to meet Mickey and Minnie and I looked down to see a trickle moving along the concrete. Lcukicly, no one noticed and nothing was damaged, since it was outside. And after the long wait, there was no way we were missing out on the mice – we took out turn and only then went and got cleaned up.

  27. Jenni says:

    I am completely in agreement with the folks who have said the floor-models are subjected to all that and more…there’s a certain amount of expectation there.
    There is no way in heck a reputable furniture store would have demanded any sort of remuneration (as in even a cleaning fee) for the accident, but I would have probably panicked like you as well!

  28. Erica says:

    Shannon, oh, how I feel for you!
    We recently purchased a new living room set at full price (I never even thought to dicker?) and I remember the worry of ‘set in stains’ and ‘wear patterns’. We spent 6 hours in the showroom before I was finally convinced that our new set would not “wear” like the ones on the display because the floor samples did not have the special coating on the fabric!!!

  29. lisa h. says:

    we’ve been dealing with potty adventures as well…my mom was telling me that my sister was really hard to potty train, she was around 4 or 5 when she finally was….well one day when we were with all the family my mom stood up at dinner and announced to everyone that ashely was potty trained and she never had accidents anymore and that she wore her underwear and always kept them dry (which, of course, wasn’t true)…she said my sister just had her mouth open in surprise and never did have problems going potty anymore after that…
    maybe you can try that on Thanksgiving dinner, just make an announcement to everyone that corrie is all done with potty training and never wets her pants anymore. then maybe you can shop for furniture in peace! maybe you already tried this? can’t rememeber!

  30. hogphan says:

    Are there two Shannon’s living in your house (or two Corries). Your latest post is about her having an accident on a couch in a store, the one before that is about her finally mastering the potty issue. OK, fess up, which is it!!??

  31. Jamie says:

    My son peed in the playplace at McDonald’s! I had my 7 month old with me so I asked another mommy there (that I didn’t know) to hold my daughter as I climbed in the play place and cleaned up the puddle before any of the other kids climbed through it. That was his last accident before being totally potty trained!
    He also peed in a kids clothing store – in the area with the t.v. and little chairs for the kids to sit while mom is shopping. I just put him back in the stroller and quickly left the store. I know I should have said something, but I was too embarrassed. Later I realized that somebody elses child would probably sit in that chair and stand up with a wet behind, then I felt bad. I wonder who will be the next to sit in Corrie’s puddle? I would hate for it to be one of my kids. Eewwww!
    Oh, the joys of parenthood!

  32. Grace says:

    I can say I would have definitely gone and confessed to the store management. I would have asked them what could be done, rather than me having to purchase the sofa, of that could be avoided. But I definitely would have confessed to it. I’m too honest not too – it would have eaten me up inside.

  33. Grace says:

    I am amazed as I read through the comments how many of “us” just leave things like big puddles of pee. The moral here is relearning the value of doing unto others as you’d have them do unto you. How many of “us” are also the ones who gripe about other moms? I’m really shocked.

  34. GiBee says:

    Been there, DONE that … with my niece, while walking through a model home. She sat down on a comfy chair and had a little accident. I turned the whole cushion over and kept walking right out of the model home. Lord forgive me.
    But, imagine how embarrassed the child already is, and maybe a little reluctant to tell their momma … let alone the people that work there. Poor baby! Turn and walk. Turn and walk. As in … turn the pillow and walk out of the store.
    Okay, turn and RUN.

  35. Jan says:

    I would have calmly told them that my kid had an accident on some of their furniture. I’m with the commenters above – this is a furniture store with showroom furniture and they surely have accidents happen all the time. When you have kids, accidents happen. It’s just a fact of life. And they can deal. And I always pay full price for furniture. Apparently, I am an idiot. Who knew???

  36. noodle says:

    I would have ‘fessed up.
    The responsibility thing would have outweighed the embarrassment. Besides, the embarrassment is there anyway, plus there’s always the odd chance that someone might figure out who it was. And realize that you made a purchase. And they’ve got your name, address, and phone number.
    It is a hazard of having demo models, so it’s doubtful that there would have been any demands from the store anyway.

  37. Tricia says:

    Um, yeah, I would have totally headed for the hills!
    And sadly I think my dh would have followed me and we would have never returned to the place of our public shame.
    And I would have had to find the couches elsewhere.
    I’m ethical like that! :o)

  38. Mercy says:

    We’re potty training around here too. And, I have nightmares of this kind of thing. I try to stay home unless I have dh with me. He seems to deal with this stuff much better than I. Which tells you, yes I would have done the same. If I had been alone (without my man) I have no idea what I would have done for this situation. I honestly don’t know…

  39. Randall says:

    I would have added a throw blanket as a base, then two pillows and announced that it was time to go get ice cream and proceed to run out of the store with all children in tow. Deny, deny, deny.

  40. jaisey says:

    Died, right then and there. And hopefully my hubs would have picked up my carcass and dragged me out of there. Or run like hell.
    I’d like to hope that if that situation ever arose that I would do the honest thing like your hubs did and buy it. I know that my hubs would have thrown a pillow over it and ran like the wind. I hope I’m never in that position! Speaking of, when we go bed shopping this weekend, I think I’m going to leave my potty-training-in-process son at home. Because be my luck, he’d pee on something really expensive…

  41. Anonymous says:

    “…and by “well-behaved”, I mean “nobody got airborne in the mattress section”. LOL. I know whatcha’ mean!
    I think I would have said something. They ARE their floor samples, though, come what may. And it came!

  42. Michelle says:

    A few months ago my 3 year old threw up all over a pajama wrack full of lovely satin pajamas in Walmart. The managers were standing right behind us talking about shifting the displays around. They were very nice and told us not worry about it and called for a clean up. I was totally embarressed, we left pronto quick. My little guy was fine after that. (o;

  43. Amy says:

    I WANT to say that I would have looked for a nice saleslady (preferably one who was grandma-aged) and told her what happened. But if my DH was there, there’s a fair chance that I’d have done what you did- fled with the wet child and left him to it. šŸ™‚

  44. Angie says:

    Lookout! Here comes a similar confession. My 3 year old son did the same thing in Target. Except not on a couch (expensive or otherwise). Just right there on the floor in the middle of the aisle with hand-held video game-type toys. Yep. I looked around for witnesses. I saw none. So I did the next thing I could think of. I panicked and bolted. Once out in the car, I remembered that Target has security cameras. I didn’t go back until I cut my hair.
    Yes, I am THAT mature. Ugh!
    Seriously, THANK YOU for sharing your story!!

  45. witchypoo says:

    At least it wasn’t deliberate. Ass Burger Boy was obsessed with toilets. One time in Sears, he found a toilet display and peed in it.
    My sister swore she would never take him to a store again. So glad I wasn’t there.

  46. Andrea says:

    I’m sorry, but that was way too funny! Because I am in the middle of potty training our little guy myself, and I am just so happy it didn’t happen to me!! šŸ™‚

  47. Margo says:

    JUST HILARIOUS! And thanks for your honesty šŸ™‚
    I like to THINK I would have cringingly confessed to a nice salesperson, but I agree: in those situations, you never know what you’d do!!
    And I’m VERY educated by all the comments about public peeing because I’ll be starting the potty training for the first time in the spring. Now I feel forewarned and also, o dear, like embarrassment is inevitable. ah, parenting.

  48. Gego says:

    Oh, how I empathize! Perhaps a call to FaFa would have been in order?
    Shan and other young mothers, haven’t y’all figured out the kids were born to embarrass their parents? Grandchildren’s antics and mishaps are fodder for many tales at the absent family’s table? Grandchildren are able to do lots of things we wouldn’t allow our own children to do. They are perfect, you know!

  49. Sarah says:

    I needed that laugh! Thanks for being willing to air your less-than-perfect moments with the rest of us less-than-perfect mommies. Kudos. Seriously.

  50. Cousin Matt says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this, Shannon–we’ll be putting plastic on every piece of furniture before y’all come over for Thanksgiving:)

  51. Marianne says:

    Oh me oh my! I think I would have been too paralyzed with shock to react — and then I probably would have started laughing.
    What a story to have in your “Most Embarassing Mommy Moments” repertoire!

  52. Samantha says:

    My first-born peed on a chair at the UNPAINTED furniture store. No protection there! I honestly can’t remember how I handled it at the time. I know I was shocked because that was the one and only accident he ever had. That boy took forever to train, but once trained, he was trained. My second-born pooped in her panties at a children’s clothing store. It didn’t get on anything, but you could definitely smell it. I asked to use the restroom and took her in there and cleaned her up as well as I could. Then I went out to the sales person and asked to buy a new pair of panties for her. Once I got her cleaned up and the poop flushed, I threw the panties away. Well the store owner came and told me that the trash bag couldn’t possibly stay in the store smelling like that and told me where the dumpster was located so I could go throw away the bag of trash. I was already embarassed (as was my daughter) but add to that shocked. But I went and threw it away. When I got back to the store to finish paying for the panties. She handed me bathroom cleaner and paper towels and told me that the toilet seat was dirty and asked me to clean it. So now I was humiliated. I almost took the panties off of my daughter and threw them at her, but I couldn’t embarass my daughter any more. So I quickly cleaned the toilet seat, washed my hands, paid for the panties and got us to the car. Then I proceeded to tell every mother I knew just what kind of “lovely” person owned that children’s shop.
    So now I’m about to potty train number 3. After that experience, if my child had an accident, I have no idea what I would do…

  53. Jmom@lotsofscotts says:

    I confessed to a similar incident at a restaurant a few months ago on my blog. One of my children dropped a BM on the floor (out of their pants). I was so mortified. I scooped it up, but did not tell anyone.

  54. Jmom@lotsofscotts says:

    I confessed to a similar incident at a restaurant a few months ago on my blog. One of my children dropped a BM on the floor (out of their pants). I was so mortified. I scooped it up, but did not tell anyone.

  55. Laura says:

    Oi. Hmmm, I’d like to say I would have told the manager. However, each of my children have peed in shopping carts (once for each of them) and I didn’t tell anyone – because I was frazzled trying to clean up the mess and the child. In my defense, I did buy the stuff in the basket that they had peed on – my sister was with me when my daughter did it, and told me not to buy the stuff – that stores are insured against stuff like that. But I felt too guilty to leave that to them… I cleaned up the carts the best I could, once I had taken care of my kid.
    For the record, if we are out and about at a playscape, and I notice someone else’s kid doing this, I tell the parent, then offer to get them help from whoever is in charge – or help them to clean up the mess. We are all moms – we’ve all been there, done that – we need to stick together.

  56. Thea says:

    Don’t feel bad! It’s just a showmodel, and I’m sure they have steam cleaners on hand for that kind of stuff. Besides, you gave them business! And what children’s store was that other story from? I’ll make sure never to go there!

  57. April says:

    While I don’t judge you or any of the mommies with similar stories, I do work for an unnamed large national retailer, so I have a bit of a different perspective. To say, “Those are just floor models, they’re insured against that,” or, “That’s what those people get paid to do,” is inconsiderate at best. Sure, it’s not your fault, and sure, it’s embarassing, but let me tell you, there’s not much worse than rounding a corner and stepping into a puddle of someone else’s pee…or worse. While cleaning up the bodily fluids of others is never a pleasant ordeal, I have never gotten angry at someone who made me aware of the situation. I thanked them for their honesty, and I cleaned it. Just think how you would feel if you were the one to sit down on that couch later, only to find yourself with a wet, smelly bottom. I think the best thing to do, if possible, is to say, “I noticed that there was a puddle of (insert-bodily-fluid) on aisle B. You might want to send someone to clean it.” That way you’re not causing more embarassment for yourself or your child, but you’re not leaving the bodily fluid to continue to stink, and you’re not being dishonest…because let’s face it–you surely did notice it! Just my two cents (plus tax!)

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