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Public Restrooms Make Me Regret Potty Training My Kid

One fear I’ve been forced to face since Anders became a potty-trained big kid is my fear of public restrooms. Gone are the days of shopping with a throat as dry as the Sahara because I’ve sacrificed quenching my thirst in order to avoid the bathroom of the mall. Now I chug beverages with reckless abandon because no matter how short our trip out is, it is an absolute certainty that Anders will have to use the restroom.

Sometimes he doesn’t even go once we are in there. I’m convinced he’s just interested in the thrill of the automatic gadgets — sinks that run water like magic, toilets that flush on their own, paper towels that appear with the wave of a hand. All these modern conveniences developed to make our bathroom visit as hands off as possible are grand. If only he would make use of them.

Anders treats the public restroom like a touch and feel book come to life.

“This paper towel I found on the floor is wet, mom! Oh! The floors are sticky feel them!  This toilet seat is kind of slimy!”

All of this is exclaimed with great intrigue and not an ounce of disgust. Meanwhile, I pause in my dry heaving just in time to reach out and grab his hand before he slides it into the feminine waste receptacle.

“But, mom, there’s a little bag in there! Don’t you want to see what’s inside?”

“Anders, please just don’t touch anything else. Stand with your hands at your sides and don’t move until I get done using the bathroom.”

“Ha, mom! You’re peeing the loudest of anyone in here. You win, mom!”

I hear giggles coming from the next stall over and I consider myself lucky that he hasn’t laid down on the floor to crawl into the stall with me.

Next comes the hand washing, which should bring an enormous sigh of relief, but somehow we both end up covered in old, standing sink water and I leave feeling dirtier than ever. Sometimes I miss the days when he’d just pee in his diaper.

Anyone else have PTSD from a trip to the public restroom with your kid?

Photo credit: Flickr

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