I have decided that too much of my time is spent in bathrooms with small children. I think it is frightening when the funniest moments in your life (or the most embarrassing for that matter) occur in bathrooms across the United States. And...well, if I am totally honest with myself, I can easily admit that my life could often be described as frightening!
On our trip this weekend, we had to make a stop for the boys, and Brian and I decided to divide an conquer since we were on a pretty tight schedule. Brian took David into the Men's bathroom, and I took Nathan into the Women's bathroom. Now, Nathan is getting to the age where he will ask, "Is this the boy's bathroom?" Before, I always used to say, "Nathan, this is the girl's bathroom, and it is okay for little boy's to go into the girl's bathroom with their mommies...and on and on." Now I just say, "Yep, it is the boy's bathroom and the mommies' bathroom." It sure does save a lot of tears and arguing!
Nathan's "thing" that has to occur EVERY time I take him to the bathroom is what I call the "Little Potty" discussion. He has noticed that handicapped stalls generally have bigger toilets than the other stalls, and he does not like to use the bigger toilets. So every (and I do mean EVERY) bathroom trip, we have this exchange (with an occasional variation but the same general questions each time):
Nathan: Is this a little potty?
Me: Yes, this is a little potty.
Nathan: Is this a very little potty?
Me: Yes, this is a very little potty.
Nathan: Is this a very, very little potty?
Me: Yes, this is a very, very little potty.
Nathan: Is this a very, very, very little potty?
Me: Nathan, yes, this is a very, very, very little potty. NOW FINISH GOING THE BATHROOM!
Nathan: Are there five little potties?
Me: No, there are 3 little potties and 1 big potty (or whatever applies).
Nathan: Oh! Are there circles in here?
This leads us to counting every last bolt that holds the stall together, as well as any other circles. This very quickly leads me to say,
Me: Okay Nathan, JUST FINISH GOING TO THE BATHROOM NOW!!!
He eventually finishes and then he picks the exact sink and soap dispenser that he thinks he needs to use, and we wash his hands. He does not ask Brian these questions if Brian takes him into the Men's bathroom, but I think the whole urinal thing totally throws off his concentration and he forgets about the size of the toilets! (Lucky Brian!)
Brian's experience with David was pretty funny too. David talks the entire time he is in the bathroom, and I mean the ENTIRE time. Heaven help you if you take David to the bathroom, and he needs to do more than just go potty. On our stop, this was the case, and Brian came out of the bathroom frazzled and shaking his head. From what I understand, here is a short excerpt from their bathroom experience:
David: Daddy, people have written all over this door.
David: Here are the letters they wrote. F...U...
Brian cuts in: DAVID! STOP NOW!!!
All I can say is "OH MY!" People have written all these books on raising kids and child development, but I have NEVER read one that has a chapter called "Taking your Child in a Public Restroom." Isn't it only fair to warn us what is going to happen to our lives?! If I ever decide to write a book, I think I am going to title it that. I sure have enough examples of what you don't want to happen to fill a book!