Don’t judge me…

Today I committed a cardinal sin of parenting. What’s worse is I got caught.

My son was getting ready for his weekly gym class, which given the weather the last month, is sort of like releasing previously caged animals back into the wild. At first, they’re timid, like they’ve forgotten how to use their legs. They stretch and check that their feet can still bear weight. They look around at the other children, blinking in the bright lights, to see what they are supposed to do next. Of course within a few minutes they’re tearing through the gym, shrieking like banshees, and bouncing off the walls and each other. It’s chaos, but in a safe environment with padding on the walls and floors, like a little toddler insane asylum.

Of course, two minutes before his class is supposed to start my three year old informs me that he needs to pee. Story of my life. So I scoop up the baby, who is currently dragging himself across the floor on his elbows trying in vain to sneak up on another child to steal her sippy cup, and head for the bathroom. With both kids.

About five minutes later we all emerge, the baby upside down in my arms, the three year old with his pants half on and me looking about 15 years older. However, we were all alive, dry, and no one had been peed on. It was a walk of triumph for me. Until I heard the instructor asking my son whether he had washed his hands after using the toilet.

Lie, you little fool! I think to myself. But no. my honest little man looks his teacher straight in the eye and says “No.” in his most nonchalant, why-would-you-even-ask-me-that voice.

Suddenly the entire room was looking at me like he’d just admitted to snorting a line of cocaine in the bathroom…and then not washing his hands.

They wanted some sort of explanation for this egregious and disgusting act of negligence. I turned red, but said nothing. I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. I walked slowly over to the industrial sized vat of hand sanitizer on a nearby shelf and applied it liberally to both my hands and his. We were shamed. No one gave my son any high fives today day during class.

Now, I’m as gung-ho about personal hygiene as the next mom, but I also think we need to take a step back and gain a little perspective. Yes of course, in an ideal world my child would wash his hands everytime he used to the restroom and before every meal. He would also say please and thank you at every opportunity, brush his teeth twice a day, and chew with his mouth closed. In that same ideal world I would have showered more frequently than once this week, worn a bra with an underwire and pants without an elastic waistband, and eaten breakfast. But none of these things happened, now did they?

Before you judge me, let me describe to you the scene that occurred in that bathroom.

The three of us ventured into the bathroom together, the three year old being dragged by his hand and the baby trying to climb onto my head as I carried him. Once I locked the door I realized I might have taken on more than I could handle. Obviously, I couldn’t put the baby down on the bathroom floor. Even we, non-hand-washers, have standards. So I swung him back securely onto my hip and turned to the three year old.

My child can form planets out of Play Doh, trace his letters with a marker, pick through his dinner with surgical precision to find anything he doesn’t want to eat, but in that moment he insisted he was incapable of pulling down his pants. Right. So down I went, into a squat I wasn’t convinced I’d be able to recover from, with the baby on my knee, and pulled down his pants with one hand.

“Mommy, you need to take my shoes off too.”

How could I forget? My son has to be completely naked from the waist down before his bladder can function properly. Even socks throw off his entire game. My legs started to go numb, but somehow I managed to get his shoes, socks, pants and underwear off without tipping over. Even more amazingly, I manage to stand back up.

Hard part over, right? Wrong. Next, my observant little man noticed that there was no toilet seat insert in the room. Sitting on the cold, cavernous, toilet al fresco was out of the question.

“Mommy, you sit down first and I’ll sit in your lap.”

I can’t tell you how sorry I am I ever offered that up as an option. Fine. I straddled the toilet, still holding the baby, and motioned for him to come over. He looked at me like I had potatoes growing out of my ears.

“No, Mommy. You have to pull down your pants first.”

I didn’t even have the energy to argue at this point. I pulled down my pants, feeling very grateful for stretchy yoga pants, and waddled backwards until there was enough room in front of me for him to sit on the toilet and not pee all over the floor. My backside was pressed delightfully against the cold tank as I hovered over the toilet bowl, still balancing the baby on my knee, with one arm around the three year old’s waist so he felt secure enough to pee.

It felt like hours passed. My legs were shaking. The baby was pulling the three year old’s hair and trying to turn himself upside down so he could lick the toilet bowl. Finally, he peed. About three drops.

“All done!” He announced proudly and jumped off the toilet.

I was able to pull up the front of his pants, but not the back, by the time he launched himself at the door, opened it, and ran out to join his class. Shakily, I stood up, pulled up my pants, and followed him out.

So, did I wash his hands after he peed, you ask? No, I did not. Am I proud of that fact? No, not really. Is he going to be responsible for spreading the next great plague because of it? Doubtful.

But he did pee in a public restroom, without getting urine on the floor, himself, the baby, me or his clothes, and almost got his pants back on before reentering the public eye. I know plenty of grown men who can’t boast as much. They probably don’t wash their hands either.

Remember, a little perspective goes a long way. So does a little hand sanitizer.

20140226-165350.jpg

 

Comments

  1. Angela Keck says

    OH MY GOSH, I have never even thought of squatting over the toilet so my child could sit his naked tushy on my lap! LOL I do the hand sanitizer thing all the time in the bathroom and let’s be honest, using the hand sanitizer AFTER you touch the bathroom door is far more hygienic than washing your hands in the public restroom sink, touching the (disgusting) towel dispenser, and then opening the door to leave. Judge you? Hell, I applaud your fortitude and genius!

  2. taylorgraceauthor says

    Oh, I loved this one. “How important is it?” is such a great saying to keep in mind. Wow. To single out your little boy in front of the entire class in a negative way? That’s really, really harsh. And did that instructor bother to celebrate the things he did do right that day? That’s as important if not more!

  3. Susan Maccarelli says

    Oh my gosh, I can so relate to this! Mine are 2.5 and 3.5 and I DREAD public restrooms with both kids. Luckily the older one is the only one potty trained because there is no way I could handle both. My son told me he had to go potty at an art class the other day and he has never said anything about the potty before. I took him while my daughter stayed in class with my mom. When I got in there, I realized I have no idea how little boys pee. I sat him on the potty and realized his little legs are too fat to point his equipment down in between his legs to properly pee. I called it a day and I think it was a false alarm. Same class, same bathroom a few weeks later my daughter needs to go. I am letting her hold onto me so she won’t fall in and I look at the floor under the stall and see a barefooted toddler with completely bare feet (no socks) standing on the nasty tile. I think ‘eww – who would let their kid go barefoot in the public restroom!??’. Then I looked at my daughter’s feet and saw that she had only socks on. Apparently she had taken her shoes off in class. No judging. Too funny. Daughter washed hands, son did not. I let them use wipes at home a lot because they can’t reach the sink even with a bench, so that will come back and bite me some day.

  4. Perfection Pending says

    WOW! You have some serious skills woman! I can’t believe that scene you described, and kudos to you for making your child’s every wish come true in there. I would not have obliged so easily especially if it meant my backside was going to be up against a public toilet! :) You’re a good mom. Even if you don’t wash your kids hands. And, what’s up with that instructor?? I mean, I may ask the question of kids when they are in my home visiting, but I would never call a kid out in a public place like that. Rude!!

  5. Eric S. says

    I think everyone in the truck stop is looking at me wondering what exactly I’m guffawing about. If the floor was a little cleaner, I’d be rolling on it.

  6. Karla says

    Ahhh Love it! You know, Gavyn was supposed to pee before class, but both bathrooms were in use and then before I knew it, he was running off to grab the egg shakers. The whole class I was hoping he wouldn’t pee in his pants because I have no idea if he would tell the teachers he had to go! I’ve taken Alli in the bathroom too and holy cow, what an adventure. Now I just assume they will be watched when I leave them out in the play area, haha. Next time you can totally leave the babe with me :). Again, I probably could have written this because I’ve had so many of these thoughts!

  7. Rachel S. says

    Mary, you are amazing. Your blog truly depicts every aspect of motherhood in a realistic and humorous way. I love readying your posts and can’t get enough! No judgment here. Only understanding and camaraderie :)

  8. British Chick says

    ha ha! yet another relate-able post. My son is a little OCD about washing his hands – god knows why or how as I’m not…maybe THAT’S why he is lol but oh how I haat public bathrooms…and that’s just with one child. Well done you ;)

  9. Damien says

    In your honor, today I shall go into a public restroom, ask a young lady to pull down her pants and press her butt again the sink, while I strip from the waist down and pee. Then we won’t wash our hands. Sounds like a national holiday to me.

  10. Damien says

    In your honor, today I shall go into a public restroom, ask a young lady to pull down her pants and press her butt again the sink, while I strip from the waist down and pee. Then we won’t wash our hands. Sounds like a national holiday to me.

  11. Kim and Bjørn says

    Oh man. Having done the multiple-children-in-the-bathroom thing myself, I am high-fiving your right now…even withOUT the sanitizer. Also trying to laugh, but as this hit a bit too close to home it’s a laugh tinged with hysteria. ;) — from another outmanned mama

  12. Kim and Bjørn says

    Oh man. Having done the multiple-children-in-the-bathroom thing myself, I am high-fiving your right now…even withOUT the sanitizer. Also trying to laugh, but as this hit a bit too close to home it’s a laugh tinged with hysteria. ;) — from another outmanned mama

  13. whativelearnedfornow says

    Your son might be the most high-maintenance pee-er I’ve ever met! You poor thing…what a process!! I agree though. Our society is getting ridiculous about stuff like that. I once saw Dr. Oz on Oprah lick a dumpster to show people to relax just a bit about germs.

  14. whativelearnedfornow says

    Your son might be the most high-maintenance pee-er I’ve ever met! You poor thing…what a process!! I agree though. Our society is getting ridiculous about stuff like that. I once saw Dr. Oz on Oprah lick a dumpster to show people to relax just a bit about germs.

  15. Iain says

    That was great you had me rotfl but seriously in 50 years were all going to die from the common cold because we have no immunity your just doing your part to save society

  16. Iain says

    That was great you had me rotfl but seriously in 50 years were all going to die from the common cold because we have no immunity your just doing your part to save society

  17. ProteanMom says

    I thought about serving as a potty seat for my son. That thought lasted about 2 seconds. You are far, far braver than I. And no judgement on hand washing here. I’m lucky if I can get the boy to wash his hands when they’re covered in visible filth. One step at a time, right?

  18. Shari says

    Hahaha… I have also left the bathroom with 2 boys & 0 washed hands. The one time my mom asked my 3 yr old if he washed his hands, & he said, “nah… I only got pee on one finger.” Boys…

  19. Shari says

    Hahaha… I have also left the bathroom with 2 boys & 0 washed hands. The one time my mom asked my 3 yr old if he washed his hands, & he said, “nah… I only got pee on one finger.” Boys…

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *