Sunday, November 15, 2009

In the handicapped-accessible stall

It would be obvious that when you have two kids strapped in the extra-long two-kid shopping cart at Target and that cart is laden with purchases-to-be that one of those kids will declare: Mama, I need to use the potty.

So I unstrap and unstrap and we find our way to where we need to go. Let's go in the big one, Mama!

Me: "Okay, love, up on the seat."
E: Okay, Mama! I'm peeing!
L: Mama, I poop.

(L always says she poops.)

Me: "Let me see your tushie!"
L: No! I wanna poop!

She points to where her sister is sitting on the toilet. Whenever E sits on the toilet, L wants to sit on the toilet. I usually try to dissuade her, still, because in my experience she sits, for one second, wastes 30 squares of toilet paper, and smiles triumphantly. But the lovely husband chastised me for this attitude last week, informing me that once when he let her sit on the potty, she actually produced. Oh. The second child, and another thing I've missed. E first peed on the potty on New Year's Day, 2008, just a few weeks before her second birthday. So I guess L would be right on track. I guess I should dissuade no longer.

"E, are you done? L are you sure you want to sit? Okay, but we need to save your diaper. I didn't bring any diapers in here." L jumped up enthusiastically. Many toddlers are deliciously chunky but L is not one of those. So as I stood holding my purse, two kids' puffy vests, a slightly used diaper and trying to help E untangle her unders from her pants, L almost falls in the bowl.

I barely catch her with the third arm I didn't know I have, only to drop everything as E tugs on me: Mama! There's a man in here! "Sweetie, we're in the ladies' room." But that person has really big shoes! Man shoes like Daddy! "Sweetie, I promise you, that's another woman." But how do you know?

L declares herself done. She's done...nothing. I try to rediaper her but she starts squatting, turning her head. I see, to my delight, that she's copying her sister - who is squatting under the wall partition to verify the identity of Man Shoes. Mama! She's sitting! She is a lady! She's not standing! L parrots: She's sitting! She's sitting! I sit on potty!

We had so many belongings to gather and tushies to reharness that Man Shoes washed her hands and left the restroom before we exited the stall. And so we narrowly avoided face-to-face embarrassment of a stranger yet one more time.

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