Suburban Snapshots

Adventures in Potty Training

Monday, June 28, 2010

Since I last posted on the topic, (and here's where I jinx the whole thing) Anna has become a fully potty-trained toddler. We've only had a few accidents, like the time I forgot all about the child safety doorknob cover thing and yelled down the hall "Just open the door and go in!" only to find her crying in wet undies, frantically spinning the knob cover outside the bathroom. You can go ahead and send that Mom of the Year award to my p.o. box.

While I'm delighted and amazed by this development, it does come with its drawbacks. Namely, the kid loves public toilets — you know, those germ-infested echo chambers of filth?

Now, I don't want to give her any sort of complex about the facilities available in places like Wal-Mart, the playground, or the beach, so I make every effort to not contort my face when she tells me, smack in the middle of some hot, overcrowded festival, that she needs to use the potty. I spy the blue porta-johns straight ahead, swearing I can actually see those cartoon stink lines wafting from their roofs. We march bravely onward. Things will not go well.

First I cram myself and, because we're at the beach, my shoeless toddler into the porta-pot which is just smaller than the trunk of a Pinto but with less ventilation. We play a live action game of Operation as I try desperately not to bump the edges of anything, with the added bonus of my now intimate knowledge of the bowel contents of fellow festival-goers.

I perch Anna next to the gaping waste hole, tug her bottoms down and bend her hovering over the crap stew. Business accomplished, a quick wipe, and as I bend to yank her pants back up and escape, looking forward to taking my first breath in 3 full minutes, a terrible sound — it's the plunk! of my favorite, only, PRESCRIPTION sunglasses falling into the moat. No. Fucking. Way. I'd fall to my knees and scream if the floor wasn't awash in overflow.

I am helpless. I really, really can't see. I need the glasses. You know what happened next. But it gets worse.

Now functionally blind and not being all that familiar with porta-johns, I didn't know that the little bowl to the side of the toilet is not, in fact, a sink, and the pink lump therein is not soap, until I found myself grasping this "soap," my glasses, and then realizing there was no faucet.

People, there is not enough bleach in the entire world.

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