Saturday, July 15, 2006

Adventures in Bathroom-Sitting

**Warning: The following post contains references to certain bodily functions and may not be for the faint of heart, unless of course your last name is Smith, in which case the subject of poo comes up at the end of every dinner table conversation ever.

By some cruel twist of fate, my children possess the rare need to "relieve" themselves a)at the same time, b)in THE most public restrooms possible, and c)for the duration of fifteen minutes or more.

In the past few weeks, they have exercised this "talent" in the following places:

-A gas station bathroom somewhere in between Cedar City and Provo. (We lost half an hour at that particular stop)

-A Thanksgiving Point Gardens restroom (both wearing wet swimsuits, mind you)

-A Tucano's restaurant (I'm so glad I had already finished eating)

-A Wal-Mart Supercenter

The last pit stop was especially harrowing, and I feel the need to give you further details so as to not deprive you of any of the finer points of my personal trip to hell.

Well, there we were, just pulling away from the checkout stand, having survived four traffic jams, three cart crashes, two tantrums, one tidbit of unwanted parenting advice from a Wal-Mart employee, and an on-the-go Wal-Mart McDonald's lunch. I had never been so excited to burst out into the 100 degree daylight in my life. We were almost in the clear when Ethan, freshly toilet-trained, yelled out the dreaded words, "I need to go potty!" I could not believe it. I had a sudden sense of foreboding as we made our way to the bathroom. Then I saw the writing on the wall: "This is a RESTRICTED area," it said, followed by "Please leave all carts and packages outside" or something like that. I looked from my overflowing cart to my two wiggling children. I made a desperate decision. "Mila, can you please take your brother in to go potty?" I figured I would just pop in there every 30 seconds and make sure everything was a-ok and I hoped and prayed that the number 1 would prove to be my lucky number.

It was not my lucky day. Not half a minute had passed when Mila yelled, "Mom, come in here! Ethan won't let me have my turn!" I dashed in there to find the door wide open and Mila dancing around like a crazy person. As I approached Ethan, he screamed, "No, Mom, no! Don't come any closer!" and so my worst fears were confirmed. I quickly instructed Mila to take the next stall, (at this point the bathroom was empty) and ran back out to check my cart. More yelling came from inside as Ethan had his first wiping "false alarm," as I like to call them. And so I left him once more to his business. After repeating this process three times, I gave up and had one of my "bite me" moments, for lack of nicer words. I am, as a rule, an upright, law-abiding, considerate citizen. However, since the sign did not say "Thou shalt not take your cart in" and I had two less than stellar wipers in there, I figured I had no choice. I pushed my whole dang cart in, daring anyone to challenge me. No sooner had I done that, of course, then everyone in Wal-Mart had to pee or something. All of a sudden, there was a line out the door and my children were noisily occupying two of the four stalls. I went from stall to stall with words of encouragement, always aware of the ever-growing line of people staring at me. It's just about the most awkward moment you could ever have. Because it's not like anyone can volunteer to help you. "Excuse me, ma'am, I see you've wiped his bum nine times now--I'll get the next one!"

We did, in fact, survive to see the light of day again. And believe me, I do not plan on returning again any time soon, unless both children have already taken care of things at home. And if you ever see a crazy, sweaty pregnant lady with her cart and two kids in a Wal-Mart bathroom, please do not judge her for breaking the rules. What she is enduring is punishment enough.


April Fossen said...

As always, I saw "Amen" to your words, my friend. It's been the summer of potty incidents for us. I recently said (or, rather, growled) to my husband, "Next time we have children, they will be boys, so YOU can take them in filthy public restrooms 12 times a day!" Not one of my better moments.

Kristen said...

Poor Hailey. Potty training is next on my list of dreaded parenting obligations, and your stories do not encourage me.
And please, like anyone can tell you are pregnant yet.

erin said...

You're a trooper! Our walmart bathroom is SO gross! Haha.. is the guy in the x picture jumping in the toilet or standing on it?

Ken Craig said...

Oh, Hailey. Been there, done that, got poop on the t-shirt. Here are some of the sound bytes from my visits to public bathrooms with my children:

- "Dad! You gotta see this!"
- "Well, look at you, Dad! You STAND UP when you go?!?"
- "What does that word spell that somebody wrote right there?"
- "I already got some in my underwear, but I'll finish in the toilet."

The horror. The horror.

Jenni said...

Oh my gosh--I'm sitting here trying to picture this...hilarious! I can just see this happening to me in a few years--I'm sure I won't be laughing at the moment, but it makes for a good mental picture right now! You're super mom!

Eve said...

Ahh, WalMart. It brings out the best in all of us, eh!

You are a very cute pregnant lady. Don't wory.

Shawn said...

Great story, good times...

And to think that I've been wiping bottoms for about 27 years...and counting...(I expect Aydan to start doing his own this year...)