There’s a reason why they tell you, you shouldn’t take your kids inside the toilet with you. And it isn’t what you think it might be…..
Kids and me are at the mall. We do our usual cool activities at our usual cool haunts.
Making new friends, hanging out with old friends and a gourmet lunch.
In Mom language, that’s indoor playground, window shopping at the pet shop and gigantic servings at Donut King.
And then we head to the restroom where I have to attend to Nature’s Call.
The queue is medium long and I stand last. Why is this crucial, you ask? You will know in a bit.
I end up getting the family toilet stall closest to the wash basins. It’s huge, and can easily house us all, without anyone squashed against the wall.
Before entering, I deliberate for a few seconds. Should I take them in or leave them out?
Usually they are left outside the door, with instructions/pleas to stand right there, where I can watch their sneakers from the gap under the door. And if I see a missing pair of sneakers (who probably went to examine the dryers), I call out in panic and become that crazy disembodied voice in the restroom.
But today I notice the maniac glint in Steve’s eyes, probably the result of the sugar rush from the doughnuts.
His face says you close that door lady, and I will bolt out so quick like the crazy, reckless kid that I am.
So I hustle them both inside the toilet with me.
“Okay“, I say. “Guys, turn around please.”
“But whyyyyy?“, they ask in unison.
“BECAUSE!!!“, I holler. Then I remember quickly this isn’t the home bathroom where hollering is the norm. “Because I said so! And I have to pee. Now turn! “, I hiss the rest eloquently.
Ryan quite the stickler for rules does as said quickly. Steve turns away for a microsecond and then turns back to look at me and asks loudly “Why do you sit when you pee?”
Pee, pee, pee...the word echoes beautifully in the vast toilet.
Thanks kid. Everyone has heard your question. Didn’t reach the last stall though. You want to shout that aloud a second time?
I ‘gently’ maneuver him so he faces the door. Then I proceed to do that weird dance that all women do on the public restroom toilet seat, where you try not to sit on it.
So here I am at my most vulnerable, relieving myself, when I hear a click sound. And then the sound of a door creaking.
Even before I look up, I know with sickening certainty what has happened. Steve is seen quickly removing his guilty hands off the lock. He looks at me a little petrified. Ryan looks from me to the door and then back at me, his mouth wide open.
Outside I hear the sound of human activity. Water running, dryer blasting.
In my head, the Panicky Parent’s anthem plays on and on. Which goes something like this,
“Faaaaak faaak faaak faaak faaak…”
A few dreadful seconds pass before I come to my senses.
I mentally ship Steve off to a faraway residential military school.
I hiss at Ryan, “Ryan, CLOSE THE DOOR.”
Ryan is quick to the rescue. He fumbles with the lock but manages to secure the door closed again. Phew!
He delivers his own big brother hiss at Steve, and pinches him. Which I quite approve of at the moment. I gather whatever dignity I have left and leave the toilet.
Did anyone see me? No.
Was Steve remorseful? Nope
Did I wipe myself properly in the hurry? Not really
Why do kids become such a bother ? Nobody knows!
I think I’ll go back to being the panic stricken disembodied voice looking for missing sneakers through the gap of the toilet door.