My dirty secret

In Kindergarten, I had a rough time.  I cried.  I can remember talking to myself instead of playing with the other kids.  My report card reflected these things via a missing check in the social adjustment column.

There came a cool weather school day that I went to school wearing white tights with little red hearts embroidered on them.  I found we had a substitute teacher, Mrs. Hudinko.  Mrs. Hudinko liked to stretch her arms wide and say, "you guys were THIS good".  I didn't like her.  I didn't like my regular teacher either.

I didn't like Mrs. Hudinko any better when I realized I had to poop in the middle of song time.  I was standing, participating to the best of my five-year-old ability in the Hokey Pokey, when I realized I had to GO.  I raised my hand.

Mrs. Hudinko kept shaking it all about.

I stretched higher, but she clearly thought I was just slow and couldn't figure out what body part we were putting "in".

By the time my classmates were shaking their whole selves, it was too late.  The song ended and Mrs. Hudinko acknowledged my request to go to the restroom.  I headed down the hall to sort things out.

There are things I would just as soon forget, but they are the clearest memories in my poor tortured brain.  The image of myself in the elementary school restroom trying to clean out those white tights is crystal clear.  I was determined to clean myself up and get back to class.

I didn't go to the nurse's office.  I didn't tell dear Mrs. Hudinko.  I did it all on my own and after the whole day was over I rode the bus home and figured my mom wouldn't notice.

Thirteen seconds off of the bus she asked, "Joey, did you poop your pants?"

I think I must have denied it for most of the 1/4 mile walk home.  I got a prompt bath and my tights and underwear were thrown away.  Both parents and my sister gave me a talking to about when it's okay to go potty without permission.

I returned to school and kept the incident to myself.  No one ever let on that they knew.  I was able to move on and even have friends.  I rarely even thought of it.

After graduation I went to a Rusted Root concert.  A boy there had been my schoolmate since kindergarten and quite out of the blue he asked, "didn't you poop your pants in kindergarten?"


"Nope," I said.  "That wasn't me."

Nearly 25 years later, I confess.  I am a pants pooper.  And a liar.

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