There are many reasons I’ll aim to avoid taking the children to shop with me – I mean, besides the near-meltdowns and all the bribery necessary to sometimes make a single purchase – but I will do ANYTHING to avoid a trip to the public washrooms with the Littles.
Here’s a fact: if said Little is saying he or she has to go to the washroom, usually this means he or she is already completely desperate to go, and you must abandon all shopping immediately, and head for the nearest facilities, before you have a disaster on your hands. Or on your shoes.
But it’s already past lunch, and the Little is tired… if I just take her now, I can get these groceries shopped, and the chances of her wetting herself in the stroller on the way home is slim to none… This is the goal, so just suck it up.
Tip: if you are in the process of potty-training a Little, it is not acceptable to tell the child to just go ahead and wet his or her training pants, because it’s not really fair, and anyway, they just won’t do it. (Don’t ask me how I know.)
Besides the fact that trying to wheel a stroller around inside narrow corridors AND trying to protect your purchases and your purse while you’re using the facilities is an enormous pain in the butt, being in such a nasty environ with a tender, new person often makes my eyes just roll into the back of my head.
It often starts with the smell. Usually right after you push open a stall door, only to get an eyeful of the evidence that the crapper ain’t working. *heaves* Ew.
Venture into the least offensive (if not the largest) cubicle available, and proceed to get your Little to sit down and NOT TOUCH ANYTHING AT ALL.
I’m not a fan of trying to place all kinds of toilet paper all over the seats, to act as a barrier between bum and bacteria, because a) most of the toilet paper just ends up slipping into the toilet or onto the floor before you’ve had a chance to sit, and 2) this is precisely what bathing is for. (Unless you have open wounds on your butt, and in which case, please go back to the hospital and stop spreading your flesh-eating disease. Thanks.)
I try not to kneel in anything wet on the floor, though there are some cracked and weeping tiles, seeping moisture that just doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, I must tell you, about the bleach-factor in this place, but I’m not going to be a freak about germs – I just want my kid to pee, so we can get out of this bacteria ballroom, and get on with our lives.
But in my haste, I’ve set my Michael Kors bag on the floor… the same floor with the urine all over it, so I try to keep my kid balanced with one knee while I try to scoop up my purse (which is also in the perfect position for theft, by the way) but I can’t quite reach it… so I let my tired thumb-sucking kid balance her own self, with her hands ON THE SEAT of the public toilet (the same one with the pee-pee splashes and the curly pubic hair damply stuck to the semi-white porcelain) and in one quick movement, she puts a hand to her MOUTH while she YAWNS, and then proceeds to RUB HER EYE.
Why don’t I just plunge her into a steaming hot vat of gonorreah. Holy crap. *shudders and starts praying*
I try not to panic, and just scoop her up. I keep her hands at arms length away from her face and mine, and head to the sinks. Of course the counter tops are soaking wet, and she’ll be drenched before I’m done washing her plague-covered little hands. She’s terrified of the super-noisy hand-dryers, so she wipes her kinda clean hands on my jeans.
Now I’m chilly. Le sigh.
I abhor using the public facilities. I’m fine on my own, but with the Littles? I’d just rather stay home.
If you want to share your own Mom Moment, you can visit Living Well’s Mom Moments giveaway. For six weeks starting October 12, Living Well, an online resource to connect Canadians to experts and topics to improve their daily life, is inviting Canadian moms to share their own experiences for a chance to win $5,000 or one of six Johnson & Johnson prize packs (valued at $500 each). Stop by each week, check out the new topic, add your own moment, and cross your fingers!