Big Girl Panties
I say the phrase “big girl panties” far more than I am comfortable with but my modicum of machismo is a small sacrifice in this rite of passage known as potty training. We’ve traded in Minnie Mouse pull ups for Hello Kitty underwear and so far so good.
I shudder at the risk of writing some mundane blog post that reads like so many all too graphic status updates we have endured on Facebook about the trials and tribulations of dumping the diaper. I refuse to chronicle the occasional set-back and focus on the fact that we are no longer forking over hard-earned cash for it to get peed on.
I think that we, as parents, are usually so happy to be passed the diaper changing stage that it doesn’t dawn on us for a while that it really is the conclusion of the baby stage. There is no stopping them from growing up so we may as well appreciate that their maturation can provide a bit of a break for us as well. As a dad of daughters I could live without the daily 3 minute decision process of is she in more of a My Little Pony mood or a Tinker Bell mood to gird her fanny with but getting your kid potty trained is totally sweet.
I need to go
Here is the deal, 74% of the time you hear a child utter the phrase, ‘I need to go to the bathroom” what it really means is, “I want to see the bathroom.” I won’t discredit my sentiments from above that your child being potty trained is a good thing but ugh, can we go one place in public without visiting the loo? Since that is obviously not an option could we please limit our public wanderings to places that have a family restroom? I don’t mind navigating the potential minefield of taking my daughter into the men’s room but I think we can all agree that the family restroom is pretty clutch.
We have been to the restroom in every store, restaurant,
post office (haha, it isn’t 1987, we don’t go to the post office), park, doctor’s office, and gas station in at least a 8 mile radius of our home. I don’t shy away from taking my girls to the restroom out in public but it ain’t all roses and sunshine people. Here is just a sampling of some of the thoughts that have gone through my head while fake potty dancing our way to use the water closet:
- Please don’t ask about the urinals, please don’t ask about the urinals.
- Oh good, an automatic paper towel dispenser, guess we are coming back here 14 times in the next hour.
- Good thing we don’t need a special license plate to use the handicapped stall.
- LOOK AWAY!!!
- Sure, I will hold you above the sink so you can get soap and wash your hands and splash water because it is important to form a healthy habit even though we both know you just sat there with your hands clasped while I did all of the dirty work.
- Honey, unless you are ready for her to start watching rated R movies, it looks like its your turn and let’s hope the lady’s room is more G rated.
- It’s a good thing this kid can’t read (this is mostly on a road trip emergency stop at a highway gas station)
- I think I put that paper seat cover thing on backwards.
- NOPE, too many dudes in here = too many potential questions.
- I already know that this is a false alarm but this is not the type of thing you risk.
So, we visit them all and hope for the best. At some point they will surely realize that none of them are really that special but I think I know what their angle is. It is the nemesis of parent’s taking their kid’s to the bathroom and the crown jewel of children’s restroom adventures. The water fountain. Man I hate public water fountains. Just as you finish the whole restroom experience and think you are free, you exit the door and your child’s eyes light up with the desire for cool, bacteria laced, free, public refreshment. Not only does that water fountain present one last obstacle / opportunity for you to be a meanie head, they remember that water fountain and you can bet your life the next time you visit the location, they will want to visit. No one wants their child to be in diapers forever but that doesn’t mean that taking your kid into a public restroom isn’t completely weak.