44: The Great Toilet Paper Chase

44: The Great Toilet Paper Chase

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide

The Great Toilet Paper Chase

So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter.

~Gordon W. Allport

In the morning, I realized we were out of toilet paper. (I won’t go into why we were out of toilet paper, but it may have to do with my offspring’s habit of dropping whole rolls into the toilet bowl.)

So my two-year-old and I decided to take a walk to the store to buy some more TP.

“Let’s use your stroller,” I said to Hope, grabbing our smallest stroller.

That was Mistake #1.

After our hike to the store, I folded our little umbrella stroller and loaded Hope into a shopping cart.

After some deliberation, we got our toilet paper. I decided to go with the individually wrapped, lint-free toilet tissue.

That was Mistake #2.

We walked out of the store, and as I was reassembling the stroller, it dawned on me that I had a bulky thirty-roll pack of Scott 1000 tissue to lug home along with two boxes of candy!

My first silly thought was: Oh, no! Now people are going to know that we buy toilet paper in bulk!

“Um… Hope baby. How about we push the toilet paper in the stroller (if I can get it to fit)? Wanna push?”


I knew it was going to be a looooong walk home — down busy streets, over the railroad tracks, across a crosswalk. As we trudged home, Hope, who was really too short to reach the stroller handles, would happily “dump” our thirty-pack of TP at the most inconvenient times. At one point she got tired of walking and declared that it was time for her to “sit down.” I knew that she was going to get tired, but I was hoping we would be closer to home at that point.

So I put her in the stroller and tried to hold the TP pack (and the candy) with one hand against my hip while steering the stroller with the other hand. This was not an easy task on a narrow sidewalk.

As we lumbered along, I realized that the flimsy plastic packaging of my thirty rolls of TP was ripping. A moment later, toilet paper started rolling out into the busy street in several directions.

I started chasing rolls while cars were dodging them. Still in her stroller, Hope thought the whole thing was hilarious. She squealed and giggled every time I picked up a roll and it fell out of my arms.

“Mommy, so funnnnyyy!!!”

I managed to collect a few, but I couldn’t carry all the toilet paper and push the stroller. So I finally piled as many rolls as I could on the sidewalk and left them there. When Hope and I made it home, we jumped in the van and drove back to where I had left my toilet paper monument.

Later, when I got home, I noticed the slogan for the toilet tissue:

“Common sense on a roll.”

Yes it was.

~Jeneil Palmer Russell

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