A friend of mine just told me about her irrational fear of sharting, and I had a flashback to that fateful day in 1991.
I remember I was wearing overalls and a floral t-shirt. I think it had those awful worst ruffles on the sleeves. It was some time in the afternoon, I'd been in after-school day care for a while, but it was nearing pickup time. A bunch of us were hanging out, being monkey children.
I was waiting patiently in line for the big metal slide. Standing at the bottom of the slide, one person back from the stairs, I started to get this uneasy feeling in my stomach.
It started to kinda bubble. I felt some pressure. I knew something had to be done - I just wasn't ready for how much.
There was a gasp! I stood there, frozen - eyes darting this way and that scanning for anyone who may have an inkling as to what had just occurred. Everyone appeared occupied, but then reality sank in and I screamed - a high pitched, yet muffled scream.
I quickly weighed the options - pretend everything is fine, climb the steps and slide down the slide and try to hide squishy pants? or run to the restroom and run the risk of being found out?
5 year old me was pretty rational and opted for the latter. I started to run toward the potty but then fear of being found out overtook me and I slowed to a brisk walk.
Whatever you think sharting feels like, it does. warm. squishy. gross.
Sitting in the handicapped stall, the floodgates opened. I cried violently and silently for a good 3 minutes. After that I remember panic. Lots of it.
I could sit here until a teacher came in looking for me- avoiding the issue of having to walk out there and tell someone.
I could try to tell someone who comes into the restroom, maybe ask them to get a teacher - but 5-year-old-me didn't really know anyone well enough - I was new to the area and don't remember having any real friends.
Or I could man-up. 5-year-old-me was resourceful and proud. And not afraid to fly free.
I went commando for the rest of the day, went home, and never spoke a word of this to anyone again. Until now. On the internet. Where it will remain forever.
Don't tell anyone, ok?