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Warning: Be sure to arrange a tour of the men’s room

Submitted by on Monday, 26 April 2010 2 Comments

Here’s a free tip, and one that I’ve never found in any parenting book: When your boys get old enough to branch out on their own, book a familiarization tour of the men’s room. Have someone show them what goes where and give them an explanation of the urinals.

Confusion about the latter caused stifled giggles, but no great harm, when Big Guy first went to the men’s room by himself. He emerged curious about the tiny water fountain, wondering why it didn’t work.

The former apparently has caused both guys to be banned from going to the bathroom alone at an establishment we frequent. I say “apparently,” because the alleged incident wasn’t brought to my attention until this weekend, six months after it happened.

We’d barely arrived at the establishment Saturday when one of the staff greeted me with, “You were my last customer of the year last year.” She said it with such Stepfordesque perkiness that I thought I was eligible for a door prize.

Because we were the “last customers,” she knew that one of the guys had defecated in front of the urinal in the men’s room. From now on, I was to watch the guys in the restroom.

OOOOOOOOOOOOO-K. That seems a little inappropriate for Big Guy, who’s nearing 7, and I look for the next complaint to be about boys too old to be in the women’s room.

I’ll admit that my response was just as inappropriate as her cheerful scolding. I turned and growled at the guys – “which one of you did it?” – which was ridiculous. They can’t be expected to remember what had happened a half-year earlier any more than I can. Anymore than anyone can other than the Stepford staff member. It’s stunning that she could hold onto this for so long but wasn’t capable of letting me know at the time.

Let me be perfectly clear: I am not in favor of bodily fluids being disposed of anywhere but the proper place. Neither do I believe that the guys are entitled to give anyone but me crap. And other than one incident involving the carpet of a friend who insisted that un-potty trained kids need to be diaper free so they can “air out” – she quit insisting after that incident – the guys simply do not go around pooping in the wrong place.

But let’s look back at where Boots was six months ago. His father had been away most of the time since he’d potty-trained, which means he wasn’t aware of the mysteries of the men’s room. He was barely 4 and small for his age, which meant he struggled to reach many full-sized toilets. Big Guy usually, but not always, went with him to the men’s room and acted as tour guide.

Suppose, though, that Boots had to go and decided to go it alone that day. Six months down the road, I really can’t say but I don’t rule it out either. Suppose he didn’t see the toilets and didn’t know what to do with the urinals. If he really had to goooooooooo, I could see him choosing to go on the floor.

I shudder to think how many other establishments were subject to similar deposits, and all because Stepford staff decided to label us bad people who must be punished rather than informing us on the spot so I could make sure Boots knew what to do where the next time he was in the restroom alone.

Meanwhile, let this be a lesson to all of you, particularly to mothers of boys whose dads frequently are away doing their duty: Be sure you ask a surrogate to explain to your sons the proper place to do their doody.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Leslie K said:

    OMG I am sorry but this is hilarious!!!! I LOVE it! I mean, look, the ‘culprit’ obviously knew that the urinal was for SOMETHING and he was probably aiming for it and his bum bum, uh, slipped…..

    What a jerk of a waitress….

    BTW – the latest member of the US Army once got me banned when he went to the restroom by himself for the first time and ‘wrote his name on the wall’ – so to speak.



  • Debra said:

    I’ll admit, Leslie, it IS funny when you look at it from the perspective of a kid who just turned 4 and the confusion that must have been raging through his little brain. Too bad the jerk didn’t get all that and bring it up at the time – it could actually have helped had I known.

    I’m only happy that it doesn’t snow where we live. Big Guy has mentioned hearing that there are certain ways boys can write their names in the snow. Makes me wonder if he’s been talking to the new private first class!