Parenthood should come with warning signs. Flashing ones. Everywhere. They could say things like “STOP! You have a booger on your shirt!” or “Brush your damn hair!”, or maybe a flashing neon one that says “Your kid is going to have a meltdown today, stock up on booze!”
A few days ago, it really would be helpful to at least have one that said “Your kid is gonna pee in every bathroom they see today. Don’t send them into the bathroom alone!”
My 5 year old thinks he’s a grown ass man. He “can’t” wipe his own ass, but he’s a MAN now, and I had better accept that or prepare to feel his wrath. Whatever. I try to encourage some of his independence. I mean, why not? I can’t wipe his ass forever. Well, I COULD, but I WON’T. Oh heeeeeeell no! So, when we walked into school to get his brother and he announced that, yep, he had to pee- I sent him into the boys bathroom alone. I mean, GOD FORBID he goes into the girl’s bathroom, or even the single-stall handicap bathroom with me, HOW DARE I EVEN SUGGEST IT?!
I imagined that one of those big flashing signs appeared and it said “Pick your battles wisely”, so I shrugged and sent him off into the wild yellow yonder to do his business. It’s not like we were at the mall surrounded by crimes of fashion and weirdos. It’s a small school in our neighborhood, and since it was near the end of the day, it was empty. There wouldn’t be any other boys in there for Parker to have some kind of hose battle with, covering himself and the place in pee (WHAT? I DON’T KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN THOSE PLACES!)
“Don’t fall in!” I called after him. Ahhhhhh, man. I’m so funny. Parker didn’t agree. With a huff, he was gone.
While I waited outside the bathroom door, I kicked my feet as one minute went by. Admired my boots as two minutes went by. Remembered I’d forgotten to wear socks under my boots as three minutes went by. Four minutes went by and I’d started to worry that the kid actually HAD fallen in. OH LAWD, WHAT IF HE FELL IN THE PEE TROUGH?! WHY ARE BOYS BATHROOMS SO TERRIFYING? I was tempted to go in after him, but… well… it’s the BOYS bathroom. No mommies allowed! This is why we usually go into the girl’s bathroom. CURSE INDEPENDENCE!
Just as I was about to alert the pee-thorities–
“I need help!” his little voice called from the depths of the bathroom.
“I can’t pull my pants up!”
“Yes you can! They are PANTS. You PULL THEM UP. Just do it!”
His voice started to sound more panicked “NO I CAN’T! THEY WON’T PULL UP! I NEED HELP!”
“Well, I can’t come in there. It’s the BOY’S bathroom! I’m not a boy!”
“MOMMY!” panic turns to terror, “I NEED YOUR HELP!”
That sign telling me to pick my damn battles lied to me. It should have told me to pick this one like an old crusty booger!
People are beginning to stare. The janitors that were waiting for all the kids to get the hell out so they could clean. Kids walking down the hallway. Teachers. Parents. All the while, Parker is still yelling to come and help him from in the bathroom, getting more and more upset with every time I insisted he be the man he claimed to be and just pull the damn things up. It was no use. There was only one thing I could do! I HAD TO! Since I couldn’t go in, he was going to have to come out. I told him to come to the entrance of the bathroom and I’d help him.
I don’t know what I was expecting to see. He’d gone in wearing jeans and a heavy winter coat, so maybe he’d just not been able to finagle his pants back up because of the bulky jacket getting in the way. That’s totally plausible, right? Maybe he’d just gotten so flustered that he was all hot and sweaty, and when you are sweaty or just getting out of the shower, jeans will NOT pull up, and you just lose your damn shit like Ross wearing leather jeans on Friends (who remembers that debacle??)- but as he emerged, I couldn’t contain myself.
He’d nearly something about Mary’d himself, and I’m not talking about Cameron Diaz. I’m talking about Ben Stiller. With the zipper.
Now, before you cringe and scream and run away, there was NO wiener caught in zipper action. It was slightly more pathetic, but dare I say, just as horribly hilarious.
This is the point where it would have been nice had there been a giant sign saying “SCREW THE RULES AND GO IN!”
I am going to try to describe this scene while still keeping a bit of the child’s modesty in tact (even though he gave me complete permission to tell this story in full).
For some reason, kids think that, after using the restroom, the best idea is to pull up both their pants and underwear in one swift move. I mean, I guess in theory it’s faster, but it is NOT more effective. More often than not, I’ll find my kids with their underwear bunched up into some kind of weird bulky thong looking thing poking out of the top of their pants. It’s ridiculous.
That is what Parker attempted to do, without unbuttoning or unzipping, and got stuck. Junk and all. He came waddling out, pants at his thighs, doodle in the wind, and one little tear rolling down his face.
I flipped him around as quickly as I could so that no one else would see his .. well… everything, tried to stifle my laughter, and got all of his stuff in order, zipped, and ready to be seen by the public once more. The kid doesn’t feel the sting of embarrassment just yet, but at that moment, I knew that HE knew I had saved him. And possibly my future grandchildren, too.
There’s a sign that says “Applause” over my head right now. I just know it!
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