Kid Karma

September 28, 2021

I knew this day was coming, but I didn't expect it to come this early, or in this way.

I recently got home from a trip, and my kids ran out to my car to meet me, skipping and jumping with "Granny is here with presents" energy.


Vaughn (girl, age 5) "Daddy, are you a Lobby Pooper?!?"

Deacon (boy, age 2) "Poopy Daddy! Poopy Daddy!"

I wasn't even mad, just genuinely confused—they can't really read, how did they know this?

Veronica "I told them about the Embassy Suites kind of came out...organically."

Apparently, my daughter had a potty accident, was upset with herself, and as proof it wasn't a big deal, my wife casually mentioned that "even Daddy pooped in a hotel lobby once."

They had endless questions about this new fact, and my wife answered the way we answer every question from our kids: she told them the truth.

They believed her, but—they still had to hear it from me.

Bishop "Daddy did you really poop in a hotel lobby? For real life?"

All three stared at me intensely, totally focused on my answer.

Tucker "Yes...Daddy pooped in a hotel lobby...for real life."

You ever hear belly laughter from children? Not "silly SpongeBob" laughter, or "getting tickled" laughter, but true, honest to god, belly laughter?

It's kinda of amazing. You can't be upset when your kids laugh that hard.

Then the questions came flooding in, like being in a police interrogation, led by preschoolers.

Vaughn "Why didn't you poop in the potty?"

Tucker "Because I locked myself out of my hotel room."

Bishop "Why didn't you poop outside?"

My kids know pooping outside is fine when we're hiking or in emergencies.

Tucker "I was trying to get to the lobby bathroom, and the poop came out before I got there."

Vaughn "Why didn't you hold it?"

Tucker "I was drunk."

Bishop "You got DRUNK???"

Tucker "Yes. You've never seen Daddy drunk, but I used to get drunk sometimes when I was younger."

Bishop "How much did you drink when you pooped in the lobby?"

Tucker "A lot. Enough to make me poop in a hotel lobby."

More little kid belly laughter.

Vaughn "Was it a lot of poop?"

Tucker "Yeah. There was poop everywhere. It was bad."

Deacon (boy, age 2) "Poopy Daddy! Poopy Daddy!"

Bishop "Was it hard to clean up?"

Sigh. I know where this is going. But I promised I would never lie to them, so I won't.

Tucker "I didn't clean it up."

All three got wide eyed.

Vaughn "Daddy, I thought in this family we clean up our own messes?"

My own words, from the mouth of my daughter.

Tucker "Yes, we do Vaughn."

Vaughn "Well, why didn't you clean it up?"

Tucker "You know how we say everyone makes mistakes, even Daddy? Well, not cleaning up that poop was a mistake."

Bishop "Pooping in the lobby was an even bigger mistake!"

Tucker "That's right, it was. Though pooping that lobby was part of how daddy enough money to afford our nice house."

Vaughn looked confused, but Bishop understood enough to explain to her.

Bishop "Daddy made a book about pooping in the lobby, thats how he got money."

She seemed satisfied with that explanation, even though it was HIGHLY offensive to me.

Vaughn "Did your Mommy clean the poop up?"

Tucker "No. I think the hotel maid cleaned it up."

Vaughn "Did you tell her sorry?"

Tucker "Yes, I did."

Bishop "You should have helped her clean it."

It's a strange experience to be cut by the double-edged sword of my 7 year old exhibiting a better moral compass than I had at 25.

Tucker "You're right Bishop, I should have."

Deacon "Poopy Daddy! Poopy Daddy!"

Every interaction for weeks involved that story. Some examples:

Tucker "Bishop, pick up your clothes and put them in the laundry."

Bishop "You pooped in the lobby, and didn't pick that up."


Vaughn "Daddy, I had an accident, but I didn't poop in the lobby, so it's OK."


Tucker "Vaughn, we are inside, why are you yelling so loud?"

Vaughn "Why did you poop in the lobby?"

Tucker "Because kids were yelling to loudly!"

Bishop "No, it's because you were DRUNK!"


Tucker "Bed time kids, gimme a goodnight kiss."

Vaughn "Goodnight Lobby Pooper!"

Deacon "Poopy Daddy! Poopy Daddy!"

Bishop "I love you Poopy Daddy!"


You might assume this ended after a few weeks. If you think that, you don't have little kids!

My daughter loves to make up songs, and quickly created one the other two picked it up immediately. This is her singing it:

[As a side note, yes, she INSISTED on a Ramona Quimby bowlcut. I'd never do that to my child unless she very emphatically wanted it.]

You ever been around young kids when they get a lyric caught in their mind? You know how they can sing it basically for hours on end?

Welcome to my life.

"Daddy, Daddy! Pooped in the Lobby, Lobby!"

Over and over...and over...and over.

So, if you're wondering how fatherhood is going for me, just sing that song to yourself—in a funny high pitched voice, for a few hours on repeat—and you'll get a pretty accurate experience of it.

Tucker Max

Tucker Max is the co-founder of Scribe Media, a company that helps you write, publish, and market your book.  

He's written four New York Times Best Sellers (three hit #1), which have sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide. He's credited with being the originator of the literary genre, “fratire,” and is only the fourth writer (including Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis and Brene Brown) to ever have three books on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List at one time. He was nominated to the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential List in 2009.

He received his BA from the University of Chicago in 1998, and his JD from Duke Law School in 2001. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Veronica and three children.

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