I do not dig germs. I am almost a germophobe – ALMOST. Public bathrooms make me squeamish even under the best possible circumstances (ie: freshly cleaned, no other participants in the communal etc) but the minute you add a toddler into the equation, shit just got real.
I am quite sure that any other visitor to any ladies room where Shorty #2 and I have made a visit would think I am COMPLETELY off my rocker. From the minute we enter until at last we walk out, I throw a non-stop barrage of don’t-touch-thats, don’t-look-in-theres and don’t-sit-anywheres. All of this could simply be avoided by the use of haz-mat suits but since those are not commonplace in the shopping mall/ restaurant/ airport we are visiting we’ll just have to do our best with toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Why is it that bathrooms, especially public bathrooms are such a fascination for a toddler? I know, I know. I get the humour behind poop, bum and fart jokes but honestly, the depository for feminine products is not a cool mailbox. “IT’S GROSS” I scream the minute a finger goes near the lid.
And don’t even get me started on the automatic flush toilets. Why do they insist on flushing when you sit down rather than stand up? For a Shorty, the moment when they, at last are able to sit on the toilet after all the running and rushing across the aforesaid public place to find the bathrooms (which are always conveniently located at the other end of the mall). Imagine:
Shorty #2: “I have to go.”
Me: “Are you sure?” *This is always necessary as many public bathroom visits are merely sightseeing tours into the unknown.
Shorty #2: “I gotta go BADLY.” (She crosses her legs.)
Me: “OK, lets go”
Shorty #2: “I can’t hold it.”
Me: “HOLD IT.”
And then I scoop her up and hightail it to the loo. We get in breathless and dancing, waiting for a stall that is not either occupied, pre-fouled and/ or unflushed. Finally, we make it in. Every centimetre of exposed toilet seat covered with paper (for protection) and the Shorty is raised up to take her place on the throne – just in time for the automatic flusher to let ‘er rip. Shorty shrieks thinking her little bum is about to be sucked down the drain. Tears, turmoil and fear stop the bathroom experience in its tracks! Then you get to dry your hands in the supersonic tornadic hand dryers from hell. The whole mess is terrifying really.
Not to mention the problem of scale. At home we are outfitted with step stools and special toilet seats to help with the necessary *ahem* ergonomics of a two year old using a toilet. In a public potty, all bets are off that the angles are right and you’re lucky to not end up with pee shooting out of the toilet at YOU. No kidding. This happened. In a restaurant. On my designer shoes. It was awesome (in a not very awesome way).
So the morale of the story? Do anything and everything you can to HOLD IT ’til you get home!