Bathroom Breaks Are Not Spectator Sports

There’s this stereotype that women always have to go to the bathroom in groups.  And since I am a woman and go out with my friends, I can say that it is at least partly true.  But personally, I don’t get it.  I prefer to pee in private.  Thanks.  But then, I’m not your average woman (according to my husband), since I also only own two cheap purses and despise shoe shopping.  So maybe I don’t have the right perspective.

My daughters do, though.  Insist on peeing in packs, I mean.  They don’t like to go alone.  They usually have to go WITH someone.  Preferably me.  I don’t know why I need to observe them pee.  They can’t explain it.

I have told them many times that they do not need my permission.  This is not Shawshank prison.  Just GO PEE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.  Especially when Mommy is, oh, I don’t know, up to her elbows in dishwater?  In the middle of cooking dinner?  Etc?

But yesterday, my friends, brought a whole new perspective to this.

To totally get this story, you have to somewhat get the layout of my house.  Not enough to break in and take my shit, just enough to know what I’m talking about.  Because a lot of our rooms branch off this weird hallway/annex type thingy, I give to you this highly technical drawing:

Crappy paint wouldn’t let me put crappy text boxes in so I had to label it in crappy writing.

Yes, our children sleep downstairs and we sleep upstairs.  Yes, we have a security system so they do not get carried away in the night.  And yes, I read an article that said that burglars never look in kids’ rooms.  Since my children have taken over every room our house, and turned them into kids’ rooms, we’re safe. Also-yes we have a kitchen (not pictured.)

Anyways.  Sunday morning, Ashlynn comes to wake me up for the day and tells me she has to go potty.  I mutter something unintelligible and told her to go down and go, I was getting up.  Five seconds later I hear her crying.  She peed on the floor at the top of the steps.  Do you understand?!  She had to walk directly past the bathroom to get upstairs to tell me she had to pee. Helpful diagram #2:

Those black things are her footprints. Or something. Also I added the pee.

Seriously.  A detour of about five seconds could have solved this problem.  But.  But! But wait.  I am not even done yet.

Sunday evening rolls around and the children are in bed sleeping and the Food Network is trucking along on our TV when Corinne comes flying out of her room and yells “Can I go potty?!”  We chorus “YES!!”

And she peed on the floor.  In the annex/hall thingy.  Five steps from the bathroom.  I don’t even begin to understand.  Helpful Diagram #3:

Not pictured: clean carpet.


The Northeastern Ohio Bathroom Inspection Committee

I have a two-year-old and a five-year-old.  They are both potty trained.  I have no idea how to potty train children.

Both my daughters woke up one day at about age two and a half and were like “Diapers?  Meh.  SO yesterday.” 

Whenever I explain that to someone, I picture this in my head for some reason.

And that was that.

When people are like “Hey, do you have any advice on potty training?”  The best I can come up with is “If you wait long enough and don’t pressure, it’ll happen.”  Which I guess is technically true.  But not very helpful.

Sorry if you hate me now.

What has happened since then is that I have become part of the Northeastern Ohio Bathroom Inspection Committee.  Our goal is to visit every bathroom, everywhere, even if we do not have to pee.  Corinne is the founding member.  Ashlynn is the vice president.  Kirk and I are reluctant facilitators.

We have tried the whole “Go now so you do not have to go when we get there tactic.”  Nope.

I have resorted to lying about whether or not a store has a bathroom.  That worked until Corinne figured out the “women” symbol on the door.

Look! That sign means mommy's a liar.

So now, everywhere we go, we have to check out the bathroom.  Sometimes twice.  Sometimes the woman’s AND the men’s room.  Because they are different, you know.  Here is what my daughters picture a department store or restaurant’s bathroom to look like:

Probably Target’s. That one’s their “favorite.”
And this is what Mommy sees:

Also? Don't ever type "disgusting bathroom" into Google Image Search. You're welcome.

They also like to gang up on us-one parent has to take both kids into the bathroom at once.  I do not know why we allow this-possibly because we are preparing for when we are outnumbered with child #3, or possibly because the other parent can grab five minutes of awesome “quiet time.”  Either way-it’s gotten a little crazy.

Plus?  Corinne has decided she needs her own stall and she needs to lock the door.

Which brings me to tonight at Cici’s pizza.  Ashlynn wanted to go in a regular stall and Corinne insisted on the big handicapped stall, complete with tall toilet and locked door.  So I’m helping Ashlynn when I hear this:

“Hey, Mom?” (When did I stop being Mommy?)  “I can’t reach the toilet paper.  Come in and get me some.”

“I can’t.  You had to lock the door.”

“So crawl underneath it.  You might fit.”

“Absolutely not!!”

So instead of getting down and getting toilet paper, she climbs down off the toilet, waddles the five feet to the door with her underwear around her ankles, unlocks it and says “You can come in now.”

Then she waddles back to the toilet, sits back down, and points imperiously to the toilet paper dispenser….six inches from the toilet.



Any other potty-obsessed children out there??