Monday, October 12, 2009
An Inconvenient Poo
Al Gore can yammer all he wants about global warming. The biggest problem in the world — well, my world anyway — is an inconvenient poo.
It never fails — whenever we go, wherever we go, someone has to go. Always No. 2. And, it's usually the youngest, No. 3, who has to do his doo-ty.
Now, I know the Mommy Handbook. I faithfully follow Rule No. 5, and I never, ever leave the house without making them sit on the toilet first. And yet, the minute we go out to the mall, the grocery store, the restaurant — he's gotta go. Interestingly, it's the craft stores that really get his bowels moving.
The automatic doors fly open when we arrive at JoAnn, and I see the look. It's the same uncomfortable, pained expression I see on my husband's face on those rare occasions when I force him into a craft store, his own personal purgatory. Like father, like son.
"Uh, Mom," he'll say. "I have to go to the bathroom."
If we're lucky, we skip the room-clearing gas that's typically a precursor to the Public Restroom Visit.
We'll march to the back of the store and everything needs to come off, for some reason. Shorts, undies, shoes AND socks. All spread over the floor, which does wonders for my germophobia. I'll make him wait until the toilet seat is appropriately swaddled in TP, and then he can sit. Minutes go by...
"JJ, are you done?"
"Are you finished now?"
Of course by this time, he's scooted around enough that TP is all over the floor, leaving his innocent little bum exposed to countless cooties left behind by other asses. This makes me crawl out of my skin. Would it be possible to bathe him in antibacterial hand gel? Is there enough in my purse? In the world? Will he ever be clean again?
This past weekend, he had a soccer game. Afterward, he had to go. The park was crawling with kids, I was sidetracked by my other kid's bake sale, so I didn't have time to quiz him when he said he needed to go. Like there was any question.
Now I've been at correctional facilities — for work. And let me just say that I'm pretty sure that the in-cell toilets
were nicer. Undoubtedly cleaner.
There was my sweet little boy in that nasty, nasty slumpblock "restroom." Of course he was in there awhile. A line started. Then, a little hand pushed open the door from the inside. "Moooooom?" JJ called.
I walk over. Undies and soccer shorts are down around the ankles. At least he wasn't barefoot. A minor miracle.
"Are you done?" I ask.
"I can't flush," he whines. "There's no flusher."
I look at the stainless steel toilet — no toilet paper on the seat, shudder — and the urinal and the standard prison-issue sink. There's a handle jutting straight out of the wall next to the toilet, which I point out to JJ.
"No, I don't need help," he insists. "I don't need help! That makes the man come."
Dear God, he thinks this bathroom is nice enough to have a restroom attendant. I still can't figure out when he would have been in a restroom nice enough to have one. Surely not at Michael's.