What Do You Do When Your Kid Poops in the Play Place?


For AskYourDad’s John Kinnear, it’s not about the nutrition on the menu but other health hazards emanating from one’s (not his!) own child

Sometimes I worry about putting embarrassing stories about my kids on the internet. That’s part of the reason I use pseudonyms. I don’t want Captain’s High School buddies to Google his name some day and find out that I poled the internet on whether or not to circumcise him. With that reasoning in mind, I am going to come right out and say that the story I am about to tell you definitely, absolutely, did not happen. I am making it all up. This definitely did not happen last night at the McDonald’s by our house. 

So the wife and I took the kids to go grocery shopping last night. We stopped by McDonald’s on the way home because it was too late to cook dinner and we figured we could let Duchess get rid of some energy in the play place before we started the 45-minute process of begging her to please, for the love of God, go to bed. I’m going to transition to present tense now because I feel like it will better relay a sense of urgency as the story progresses.

Anyway, Duchess de-shoes and goes bounding off into the PlayPlace which, if you haven’t seen one, looks like a bunch of rainbow snakes twisting themselves together while trying to eat each other’s butt-holes. Once your kid goes in there, there is no knowing where she is or if she is the one screaming in pain. It’s terrifying – but it lets me eat my cheeseburger in peace so I allow her to participate in whatever Lord of the Flies shit is taking place inside that technicolor tunnel nightmare. She’s tough. She’ll be fine.

Soon enough, Stevie and I finish up our meal and it’s time to go home; Captain is getting fussy and wants to nurse. Yeah, he’s there too. He’s quiet most of the time (in the daylight) so I don’t bring him up as much as I should. After packing up, Stevie and I begin the embarrassing ritual of trying to locate our kid in the PlayPlace. We both begin circling the structure, peering in the different colored windows, and calling our daughter’s name.

Suddenly, out of the heart of darkness, my daughter’s face appears at a red tinted window in one of the tubes. I run up to it smiling. Quickly my smile fades. Something is different, yet recognizable about her face. She looks like she’s thinking really hard about something. She gives me a look, and suddenly I know. And she knows I know. She needs to shit. She needs to shit, and she is lost in this f’ing rainbow cavern, minutes from the door – and she’s not going to make it. I know she’s not going to make it. She knows she’s not going to make it.

She puts her hand up on the red plastic window. I place mine in the same spot. I mouth the words “I’m sorry.” She is Spock and I am Kirk in Wrath of Kahn. She is Bruce Willis and I am Liv Tyler in Armageddon. She is shitting her pants, and there is nothing I can do. This is happening.

Not only am I going to have to get her out of there, I have to do it without any of the other parents in the room finding out why. I go back to the table, tell Stevie to get ready to leave quickly, and mentally prepare to go into the shit piss labyrinth and retrieve my shitty pissy daughter. Shit!

Stevie kisses me on the cheek, wishes me luck, and I turn to go. And there she is. Somehow she has waddled her way to the exit! My heart leaps! It is a stinky, piss covered miracle!

There’s no time to celebrate. I sprint to the green tube she is emerging from. “Daddy! I poo…” I clasp my hand over her mouth and run for the door. I am that dad. I am a horrible human being. My kid pooped her pants in the McDonald’s PlayPlace… and I ran.

On the way home I call the McDonald’s and let them know what’s happened. As far as I can tell, the poo was contained – but there may be some piss dribbles inside the maze. Stevie and I agree to never discuss the incident again, we get home, and I start writing.

A few notes that Stevie would like me to add before hesitantly allowing me to publishing this:

  • All poop was contained within the confines of our kid’s DC Comic Wonder Woman Panties. No poop was left in the PlayPlace.
  • When I first compared the window scenario to the scene from Armageddon where Bruce Willis and Liv Tyler are looking at each other on the monitors right before Bruce blows up with the Asteroid, I may have started singing “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
  • All poop was contained, and probably… most likely… most of the pee too.
  • Duchess was not reprimanded in the slightest. She was bathed, changed, and got a Popsicle when we got home.
  • No poop was left in the PlayPlace.

Love Dad (John)


—this story originally appeared on Ask Your Dad. John has since published a heartwarming and poop free update to the story.

About John Kinnear

John Kinnear is a father of two and author of Ask Your Dad. He has written for his mom, his high school literary magazine, and the Huffington Post. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. Alexander says:

    And that’s why I don’t want kids or why I’ll send them to a Swiss boarding school at age 7.

  2. Hilarious story! I am really glad that the poop was contained. It probably still reeked in that rainbow labyrinth though! Haha.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    Stow this memory away and bring it out publicly on special occasions, preferably at the most embarrassing moment possible. Great story to tell her prom date, for example….

  4. wellokaythen says:

    Don’t let your kid feel self-conscious. Just go poop yourself in the PlayPlace so she’s not alone. So she know it can happen to anyone…. : – )

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