Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why you should duct tape your kid's mouth in public restrooms

A friend of mine (thanks, Jen!) emailed me this fun little article:

A 3-year-old tells all from his mother's restroom stall...
By Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we're in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It's always fully cranked. (Gee, sounds a bit like my daughter!) There've been several embarrassing times that I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:

"Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?"

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full . 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued, "Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh ... Mommy! I'm trying to see in dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!"

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming newborn when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting. Trying to divert him, I said, "Why don't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some candy. We'll both h ave some!"

"No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies. Oh! Mommy!" He started to gag at this point. "Uh oh, Mommy. I fink I'm gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!" As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject. I began to reasonwith myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue w ill be long gone.

"Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!" He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door. "Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at, Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?" More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation.

"Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy." He started pounding on the door. "Mommy, don't you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!"I saw that my "wait 'em out" plan was unraveling.

As I sheepishly opened the door, and found an open sink, I thought, Where's the fine print on the 'motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my privacy? But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grinwhile he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little h ands, I thought, I'd sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan , where she no longer uses public restrooms.)

Reading this reminded me of Lily. When she was about 3 years old Dan took her to the movies. During the movie she had to use the bathroom (more than once if I remember the story correctly.) Once inside the bathroom stall, Lily went potty and then proceeded to peek under the stall next to her and in her cute, innocent voice said, "Hi, hi" and waved. Mortified, Dan told her not to do that. She got up and said, "that guy's going poop, Daddy!" Dan rushed to have Lily wash her hands and they made a bee-line out the door before the pooping stall neighbor could identify them.


Becky in Wyo said...

OH..MY..GOSH!!! That is so hilarious!! Now I'm trying to remember by embarrassing restroom moments with my children, and I'm drawing a blank at the moment. It must be because I've suppressed the memories. But make no mistake, I've had embarrassment galore with my children in public, especially in the temper tantrum category. And everytime it happens, I feel like I want to put a neon sign over my head, "Yes, I really, really do discipline my children at home! They're not spoiled brats! NOT! NOT! NOT!"

Brad said...

That is one of the funniest things I have read in a ling time! I can't wait for Jane to start voicing everything I do...

Brad said...

That is one of the funniest things I have read in a ling time! I can't wait for Jane to start voicing everything I do...this is really cam and not brad.

KT2 said...

OH wow! I needed that today! I actually LOL'd completely by myself in my office! Um, thanks for sharing!