Apr 28, 2008

The Potty Stop

We took a fun road trip this weekend. And as with all road trips, the inevitable always happens...the potty stop. This is never something I look forward to. I get grossed out way too easily. Borrowing your random truck stop, gas station or local fast food restaurant's (normally) dirty restroom always sends shivers down my spine. Just one glance at an exceptionally dirty rest room can literally make me sick to my stomach the rest of the day.

So there we are driving peacefully until Chloe blurts out her need for the dreaded potty stop. We engage 'Eagle Eye for Clean Restroom' mode and scan our restroom possibilities while in the middle of no-where. Since I also had to join this little rendezvous, I was hopeful that the place we chose would not leave me gagging the rest of the drive home.

Normally, Chloe and I share the restroom since she has 'flushing issues'. She's scared of the types of pottys that flush automatically - and I can't say I blame her. I have to hold her hands whenever she's on one of those in case it automatically flushes while she's still on it so that she doesn't get sucked into 'potty oblivion'. Thankfully, this gas station was too high tech and I go to my own stall so we could kill two birds with one stone, if you will.

Why do I ever try to be efficient when it comes to Chloe? I should know better. So there we are, each in our own big girl stall when I hear her say, "Uh-oh Mommy, I have yucky poopies again (meaning diarrhea)." Oh great - this is never a good thing on a road trip and especially if I'm not in her stall to make sure she is totally clean before we proceed any further, if you know what I mean. She asks, "Mommy, can you please wipe my botton (bottom)?"

Uh, slight problem here...I'm not in there. I'm in the adjoining stall. Wouldn't you have loved to be in this restroom on this particular day listening to this random conversation? "Honey, Mommy can't come in there. Remember, you locked the door. You're going to have to do this yourself now, Honey. You're big now, remember?"

"But Mommy, I can't. You can just crawl under the door." I laugh out loud. "Honey, Mommy can't do that, the space is too small. Why don't you just do the best you can, slide off your seat and unlock the door for Mommy and then I can come in and help you." Can't do that. She has major issues with being dirty and can't stand it. Stubbornness is one of her strongest suits. If she has decided for or against something...there is no changing her mind. "Mommy, I can't do that. Can you please climb under here?"

I am now standing outside her stall cursing myself for thinking I could also use the bathroom the same time as her in my own stall - how could I have been so selfish or lacked the foresight to see this as a possible future scenario. Now what am I going to do? I'm frantically searching for a keyhole to her bathroom door. This is no ordinary bathroom. Each stall has a real door attached to cinderblock walls that separate each 'unit'. There is maybe 18 inches of space between the floor and the bottom of the door. Way too narrow for me to try to squeeze under. Too tall of sides for me to try to climb over. This is a real, full-fledged problem now.

Thankfully, Chloe has the patience of a saint today. She's also decided to practice her encouragement skills on me and is saying, "Mommy, I know you can do it. Just look under the door. Please." Okay. That's the least I can do so that she knows she's not alone in this ordeal. I figure I can get down on my knees and look under her stall. If strangers come in and give me odd looks, I can explain myself - I'll cross that bridge when we come to it. But for now, my daughter needs me.

I am now on all fours in a truck stop restroom looking under the door. I never, in my wildest dreams, ever pictured myself in this position in my life. So, there I am now with the vantage point of seeing Chloe and trying to encourage her in my earlier pep talk, "Okay honey, just do your best to wipe yourself, you can do it." Did I mention that there is someone in the stall next to her? Can you imagine her fear as I'm on my hands and knees peeking under the adjoining stall? I'd be high-tailing it out of there if there was a crazy lady like me around. I guess she wanted to stick around for the show to see what was going to happen.

Then Chloe continues on in her relentless encouragement of me, "Come on Mommy, you can do it. See...all you have to do is scoot under here now." At this point I'm laughing my head off in utter disbelief. I guess I figured why not go all the way. I'm already on the floor, how much worse can it be? So I proceed to squeeze my entire self between 18 inches of the floor and door. My face is only inches away from the potty (which is rather odorous). There's probably only another 18 inches of space in which to crawl into without crawling onto Chloe's lap. It's one of those surreal moments. I couldn't believe I was doing this, yet I was...and I was laughing hysterically the entire time. I guess it was either that, or crying and I knew if I started crying, the puking would accompany it because my stomach is so weak and my sense of smell so heightened.

Miraculously, I make it inside and Chloe gleefully says, "See Mommy, I knew you could do it. Good job!" We finish taking care of business and walk out of there like we were perfectly normal. Except for I needed an entire can of Lysol to disinfect my whole body. A simple hand washing was not about to cure my sense of the he-be-je-bees.

I guess parents truly will do anything for their children when it comes down to it.


Katrina said...

I was laughing so hard reading this! I, too, have gotten more intimate with a bathroom floor than I care to think about. The things we do for our kids! They should come with a coupon for an 18 year supply of Lysol! (Do they make that in purse-sized cans?) You're such a good mom. :)

Jennifer said...

I was laughing too, and trying to get a mental picture of what the lady in the next stall might have seen under her walls :) I wish I had been her...I would have laughed out loud, I'm sure! I'm happy to report that I've never had to get intimate with a bathroom floor that wasn't my own, and will now make a mental note to never go potty in my own stall if Morgann is in-tow.

Jennboree said...

Awwww...you are Chloe's hero all over again!

We carry a potty in the back of the car for trips cuz when Bella has to to go, she has to GO. Forget dangling her over the grass to do it.

You get the Awesome Mommy award this week!

Kate said...

Wow, that is true love. Crawling on the floor of a public restroom. It sounds like Chloe is as stubborn as Esther.

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