Ancient History

Follow Me?


Potty Talk

Is it the Niagara-Falls-force-flushing? Is it the rough-hewn but flimsy toilet paper? Is it the skin-cracking soap, the wet countertops, the stalls that hide the unflushable? What is it about public bathrooms that is so alluring to small children?

Particularly, my small children…

Today, right when the pot of mac n’ cheese was halfway through its rollicking boil, the phone rang. It was “Sally”, the school nurse, calling to report that Aidan’s eyes were watery and red and would I like to pick her up? I knew that it was her allergies acting up, reacting to the clouds of pollen in the air. The brunt of her allergies hits her eyes, giving her that “I’ve been playing saxophone in a smoky bar after school” look. I told the nurse no, but I would be right over to administer drops and give a Claritin to her. The nurse thought that was fair enough, so after the boys were fed, we left home to help Aidan.

We got to school, she was paged, and we went to the clinic for privacy. The clinic has its own private bathroom. Sammy was the first to notice.

“I need to go to the bathroom!” he announced. Before I could remind him that he went to the bathroom at home after lunch, the door was shut.

A minute later he emerged and Ryley took his turn. A minute later Ryley opened the door for Tommy, who declared “now it’s MY turn to go peeps!” The nurse was very nice, offering up the clinic bathroom to the inspection and usage of my boys so graciously.

They washed their hands like pros, which is always a good thing for a school nurse to witness. Thankfully Joel did not announce he needed to go peeps. Instead, he kept trying to invade the teacher’s lounge across the hall, no doubt to flirt for some bites of their Lean Cuisines.

As I herded the empty bladdered boys out of the school I began to reminisce about other bathroom invasions launched by the kids over the years…

The most memorable occured last summer. A group of my mommy friends and I arranged for us to tour a local firehouse. After much thought, we decided to bring the kids too. As we were shown around the living quarters I realized that four of my children were missing from the tour. Joel was in the stroller. I left him with a friend and began to search the rooms. One of the firefighters came along to help me. After a few minutes I found all four of them in the bathroom of the dormitory area. There were three stalls and two urinals. Tommy and Sammy were in one stall, Aidan in another, and Ryley rounded out the potty-goers. The firefighter said “are they all yours?” and I had to nod yes.

Yes, they are my children with matching blue eyes and matching empty bladders. Take them along on your next call—they can help you put the fire out.

We know where the family restroom is located in every mall in the Denver area. We know which department stores have scary “smart” potties that flush automatically and which have the straight handled flusher that you press with your foot. Foaming soap is cool, “pink soap is for girls”, the water is too hot, the water is too cold. We know that automated hand dryers are loads of fun, but they mess up your hair.

We know that it is rude to bend over and look inside another stall, especially when it is occupied. We know that running commentaries and questions on mommy’s potty progress are not welcome and will warrant a glare in their direction.

I can’t wait until they outgrow the obsession to visit every bathroom they walk by. Bathrooms aren’t known for being great picnic spots for a reason. It has nothing to do with a lack of sunshine and everything to do with the fact that they are the dirtiest places on the planet. The sooner my kids abandon their need to mark their territory, the better.

3 comments to Potty Talk

  • Stacey

    This same exact thing was why my sister had the nickname of “Bathroom Inspector” when she was little! LOL!! Too funny!

  • Jennifer

    Here here! Tyler and I were just talking the other day about how it’s getting to be the time for us to re-learn where all of the bathrooms in the metro area are. 😀

  • bro-de-mopsy

    I don’t think it’s limited to public bathrooms – Liz comments every week during your visits of the parade of boys to our basement bathroom.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>