It All Eventually Comes Home to Roost

I will admit that I am one of those people who, when in a public restroom, will listen to see if the people leaving stop to wash their hands. Cause really, when they don't (and a good number of them don't)...well, eewww. I think I may have even posted about said phenomenon at work (but am too lazy to search through posts to link it).

Like all moments of judgmentalism (it's a word. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.), this has now come home to roost.

See, now that the kiddo is full time in big boy underpants, anytime we go out and he gets bored, he announces for all to hear that he needs to go potty. If I know he's just gone, I will try to get him to hold it and/or distract him out of it, because really, 99% of the time, he's just bored and that is a surefire way to get mama's undivided attention. However, if he persists and/or starts to indicate with other physical mannerisms that he really does need to go, I will head for the bathroom. (I used to be able to blithely walk into a retail establishment and search only for the items I needed or wanted. Now, the first thing I start looking for is the bathroom. Cause it's good to have them earmarked. I also try to gauge his attention span based on length of shopping trip already under our belt and ability to interact with me (sometimes he's all about chatting with me, other times not so much) so that I can try and be positioned near said restroom when the asking begins. Because there's nothing quite as exciting as running through a store with a toddler echoing at full volume your whispered chant of "Hold on hold on hold on! We're going to hurry hurry hurry!")

Once in the bathroom, he'll do his business - usually, even when it's just boredom speaking, managing to squeeze out a drop or two to the elated approval of mom - all the while touching anything he can get his little fingers on while I'm trying to catch his octopus-like arms before they sneak into the trashcans and so forth, usually unsuccessfully, imploring for him to please not touch anything.

And then, when all is said and done, we flush and we leave. Bypassing the sink.

Because trying to wash the hands of a child who is too short to reach the sink without a step stool while holding him and a purse is a recipe for both of you (and the purse) to get a sink bath. And at the end of the day, he's touched all manner of filthiness with the hand you just finished cleaning while you're trying to clean the other hand. You could seriously be in there all day if you were hoping to leave with clean and sanitized hands.

Today I got the fish eye from another lady in the restroom who was meticulously scrubbing up for surgery as we darted from the stall to the door. And I found myself wanting to brandish the package of antibacterial wipes I keep in my purse and explain that once I got him strapped back in the cart I would in fact be washing his hands because I get that you do need to wash your hands after you go to the restroom and I am trying to teach my son good hygiene, but I was busy trying to keep him from picking up a clump of something that fell off someone's shoe and got ground into the grout of the tile on the floor.

So to all the people out there who I have mentally tsk'd at when hearing them leave without hand washing, I apologize most profusely. I will now allow myself to believe that you were simply choosing to hand sanitize when you got back to your desk or cart or what-have-you. And to those of you who, like me, are self-conscious about it but still can't figure out how to make it work to actually use the public sinks, maybe we should make a t-shirt.


馨儀 said...


Jen said...

Forgive me for laughing - I think the octopus-like arms are just par for the course. Jesse has a way of touching every foul thing in his own bathroom. I can only imagine what he'll discover in a public restroom when we get to that point.

beth said...

Jen -- I laugh too (mostly) cause yeah, it's pretty much par for the course. Today we got to go (with great trepidation) into the men's room at Taco Bell because the ladies' was out of service. He was, as you might imagine, enamored of the urinal. How I managed to keep him from splashing in it I'm still not sure, but I did.

Potty Training Tips said...

yeah I know what you mean about potty training!

All you can do to get through it is stay consistent, persistent and positive! Nice blog and great post