Monday, November 4, 2013

The Thing About Public Bathrooms

When I go to a public place with my children, I always dread the possibility of us having to use the store's bathroom.  And because I have a 3-year old newly potty trained child--we visit a lot of bathrooms.  Mainly because she is still in the excitement phase of needing to see what every toilet, every soap dispenser, every paper towel holder, and how every sink works.  So odds are we going to visit the public bathroom at some point while in the store.  So this leads to a complete mental battle for me, especially if I have to go too.

My mind conversations go something like this,
"I hope the handicapped stall is available."
"Maybe I could push the whole cart into the bathroom stall?"
"I could leave Blake and Leah outside the bathroom door in the cart, surely they won't kill each other in the short time we are in the bathroom...well, that depends on if Autum has to poop or not, that could take awhile...and how many paper towels she needs--I'll need time to roll all those back up in the dispenser..."
"Wonder if the locks on the doors are high enough for the kids to reach and escape.."

Obviously I have to give in make the journey to the back of the store, where all bathrooms are inconveniently located.  Usually dragging Autum by one hand and sprinting with Blake in the cart, while Leah lollygags behind trying to point out something I cannot see or hear as we breeze by in a blurred hurry. 

Once we get there, we have to establish who has to go the worst..Autum usually wins this argument.  Then we all cram into a tiny stall--or at least Blake and Autum and I do...and THIS requires very strategic planning.  I have to place Blake in a spot where he isn't tempted to dip his hands into the toilet water...or wave his hands in Autum's mid-stream potty.  AND, I also have to place him where he can't crawl out from under the stall wall and peep in on the elderly lady using the restroom next to us who is struggling with her panty hose.  I seriously have considered hanging him by his jeans on the coat hook, because that is the best option in such a small space. 

Next I have to answer all Autum's questions that seem to come to mind while sitting on the pot.  "Mommy, you poopy?"  "I think old lady toot, mommy!"  "She poopy too?"  "Why Bobby bottom look diffwent than mine?" "Old lady has ugweee shoes."  "I get sucker for going poopy?"

Then... we all have to shift around while I attempt to unroll enough toilet paper to wipe Autum with, that tears off in 1/2" increments from the dispenser--then shift back around for me to wipe her...without my hair falling into the water.  Or my phone or purse or wallet...Then we shift back around while I try to get Autum's pants back up as she screams "I do it!"  And fights against the problem of pulling her pants up but not her panties and getting confused why her efforts are not producing results. 

Then we all shift again so Mommy can use the potty.  This, my friends, is where the bargaining begins...
"DON'T stick your hands into the trash can! I said DON'T...Blake, mommy will spank your hand if you stick your hand in there...  I said STOP! (this time meaning business as I reenact what could happen to him by slapping my own hand and pointing to him)

When he is bored with the turns into and foot wrestling meet.  My squeezing him between my feet so he doesn't lie down on the nasty wet tile floor to attempt to crawl out...or hooking my toe in his hood on his coat to prevent his escape or laying in disgusting bathroom floor gunk.  And is followed up with, "Mommy will get you a sucker if you stand up"--because usually he is just out of arms reach...Or "Mommy will let you ride in the car shopping cart..."  And finally, "Autum get Blake off the floor, now!"

And the worst is when Autum is all done wrestling her pants and decides she is done with being in the stall, while I'm still seated with my pants around my ankles..."I done, mommy! Bye! Bye!" 

And me, "No....No....No, Autum.  Wait for Mommy!"

She replies, "No!" As she wiggles the door lock loose...

"No, Wait! Autum, Mommy will get you chocolate...please, leave that door shut.  My pants are still down, Mommy is still going potty...

"Why??? Mommy poopy?  Eeeeewwwww."
(usually by this point someone lady is chuckling in the stall down from us)

"No, Mommy no poopy....but you need to wait for Mommy."

Click! Door swings open and they all escape like rushing water through a flood gate...and I shift into full on sprint get my pants up and caught up with the rest of the escapees...
I get them all wrangled up and walk out the exit doing a final check...
Are my pants zipped? Toilet paper on my shoe? Dress tucked in my panties?

Okay, let's go.

So if you see us sprinting past you to the back of the store...get out of the way!

1 comment:

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