All of my children love going to Grandma and Grandpa Ledoux’s house, a place where new memories are created and old memories are cherished. The home is so rich in family history, that if it were a dessert it would be absolutely sinful. It was built on property once owned by my children’s great-great grandmother. It was the only home that Ryan and most of the first-generation Ledoux children ever knew as children and the one they all love to return to with their own children and grandchildren as adults.
It is the “place to be” on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve. But it is not just the people who gather around the table that make this quaint home on Inver Grove Trail so special, but also the family artifacts and heirlooms it contains.
There is the Model T in the garage where grandchildren and great grandchildren file into on a warm summer’s day and Grandpa drives them around the yard, bumping up and down through the field, careening around corners. Whenever babies are present, which is often, Grandma pulls her 55-year-old high chair from the closet. As she sets the wide eyed little munchkin inside for their first bites of Grandpa’s turkey or Grandma’s Wild Rice Casserole, she whispers to them, “Your daddy (or mommy, grandma or grandpa) and all of your cousins have eaten in this chair!” It is their heritage as they grow to discover that they are a part of something so much larger than they ever could have dreamed.
But of all of the tangible pieces of history on this property, my children’s hands down favorite, the piece de resistance, is the potty chair. Don’t get me wrong, I guess it is pretty cool as far as commodes go but to my children, it is amazing! To them, it is a marvel of the wonders manufactured in an era that has long since passed. The saying, “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to,” definitely rings true in this case.
I am not sure which feature my children find most wonderful – Is it the lid that opens and closes? Or maybe it is the cushioned seat? Perhaps it is the tiny handles that chubby little fingers can grip for support. I am not entirely sure what the appeal is, but once when I told Luke to “go potty” before getting in the car to drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s, he actually said, “No thanks. I will hold it so I can use their potty chair.”
This past weekend Ryan and I brought Luke, Cruz and Princess Leya (our grand daughter, Luke and Cruz’s little niece) to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a Sunday afternoon romp in the snow. Grandpa grilled burgers outside in the balmy warmth that 27 degrees brings to a December day in Minnesota. Grandma set the table for us to eat. As we all sat around the table for an afternoon meal, Grandma placed Leya in the highchair and whispered in her ear, “Your daddy and your grandpa used to eat in this chair.”
As the food was being eaten and the second round began, I noticed that one person had been missing for quite some time. I excused myself and explained, “I am just gonna go check on Cruz.”
I walked through the living room and saw no sign of my youngest son. When I peered down the hallway, however, I noticed that the bathroom door was closed, a sure sign that it was occupied. At our house, when Ryan or I have gone into the bathroom to check on him, he has scolded us, “Go away. Leave me alone!” Understandingly, I approached this door with caution.
As the door slowly creaked open, I peeked inside and saw Cruz sobbing and soaking a small piece of tissue paper with his tears. “What’s the matter?” I gasped with concern, wondering what could have possibly happened to render my dear, sweet boy to tears in the bathroom.
Still hysterical and hyperventilating, the story began to unravel like a roll of toilet paper. It seems as if Cruz may have packed on a few pounds over the holidays (I feel your pain Cruz, I feel ya!). Like so many of us, perhaps much of this weight had settled into his derriere area because when he sat on the potty chair his tushy became trapped. I began to understand that this once beloved throne had embraced his bootie so tightly that it worked like a suction and would not let go! His cheeks “flushed” with tears, he was a “puddle” on the bathroom floor (puns intended). Through his tears, Cruz “plunged” deeper into the story (yeah, that one was intended, too).
“I yelled, ‘Mommy, daddy! Help me,’ but you did not come so I cried so hard. I was so scared mommy.” My heart began to “sink” as I realized the extent of his sheer terror. This once beloved potty chair had tried to consume him and getting out of the situation was no “smooth move.” Poor Cruz!! He became a victim of this cheek checking, rump roasting, heinie holding toilet trainer thief!
Cruz had managed to extract himself from the horrifying keister keeping contraption so I praised him for his accomplishments and consoled him for his trauma. After a long hug from mom, the hands were washed, the tears were dried and he was ready to rejoin the family at the table.
A few hours later, when nature called again, I noticed that Cruz avoided the potty chair and had graduated to the big peoples’ toilet. Grandma and Grandpa’s potty chair was fun for awhile but, like this tale of “tails,” eventually all good things must come to an “end!” (I know that the excessive punning is a bit “ass”inine, and it is unfair to use my four year old as the “butt” of so many awful jokes, but I just couldn’t “hold it” any longer!)