For the most part, our family is pretty good about cooking dinner at home. Every now and then, though, we enjoy going out to a restaurant so we can enjoy eating food others have cooked for us. The girls are normally pretty well behaved when we do go out, occupying themselves with crayons and papers, small conversation, and eating, of course. There’s usually just this one thing that has the potential to disrupt our lovely meal.
Lately—I’d say over the past couple of months or so—our oldest has been really into pooping while dining out. It seems like she rarely goes at home, but get her to a restaurant, and a few bites into a meal, and she’s raring to go. I find this mildly annoying and stressful for several reasons. The first being that it’s never a fast go and return kind of a thing, like when I have to use the facilities.
When we head into the restroom together I can count on being away from the table, and my meal, for at least five to eight minutes, sometimes longer. This can be problematic when you are in a single stall restroom. In these instances I find myself acting like a pooping coach, encouraging swift pushing and fast production. This forced rushing rarely bodes well for our slowpoke child. She’s much more concerned about asking why we need to hurry in the first place (there could be other people waiting just outside the door for us to finish!) and chatting idly with me through grunts about every topic under the sun.
Which brings us to another awkward, yet funny, side of these antics. Should we find ourselves in a multi-stall restroom, our neighboring potty-goers are sure to get an earful.
“Mommy. Why—ugh—do we have to hurry?”
“Because I’m hungry and I want to go back to the table.”
“But my poopy’s taking a long time to come out.”
“Yes. I can see that.”
“Mommy? You know what picture is stuck in my head right now?”
“No. What picture?”
“Ariel with clothes on. Isn’t that silly?”
“It sure is. Are you done yet? Do you think you can finish when we get home?”
“Ugh. I just need—ugh—just a little more time.”
Oh, for Pete’s sake!
I don’t know what it is. Is it the novelty of being out someplace other than home? Does she really just want to check out the interior decorating schemes of as many public restrooms as she can ? Can restaurant food really have that much of a laxative effect on her little body? Whatever it is, she’s like a little world traveler collecting stamps in her passport book of restaurant potties.
This past week Liam had the day off with the girls on Nora’s birthday. Nora wanted French toast for breakfast, and even though she insisted that Liam makes better French toast than any restaurant—sweet, huh?—he thought it would be fun to take them out on a little adventure.
Before I left for work that morning, I asked Liam to send me photos throughout the day to keep me posted on the things they did together so I wouldn’t feel left out. The first picture I got from him through text was one of Nora sitting on a public toilet, in some restaurant, with the caption: Restaurant poop to start the day.
My reply back: Oh geez. Of course, to be expected. LOL!
I’ll refrain from posting the photo here as the content of this post is embarrassing enough. But take my word that the image of Nora on the potty working hard and Frances looking on, not to mention imagining Liam behind the phone’s camera, in the men’s room (usually I am the one to escort Nora on restaurant potty duty), was enough to send me into hysterical laughter for just a moment.
Not twenty minutes later, another text photo arrived. The setting was eerily similar to the first. Perhaps they were in the third stall this time, as opposed to the first. The caption of this text read simply: Deuce #2.
Too much, this girl.
Several more photos arrived of the girls later in the morning playing happily at the park. Thankfully for Liam, there were no more public restroom pooping incidents.
When I came home after a busy and tiring day at work, we decided to make a trip to the local English pub to continue the day’s festivities. It should be noted here that it is very rare indeed for us to go out to eat more than one time in a day, hence setting up the opportunity for record-breaking possibilities.
Halfway through dinner Nora told me she needed to go potty. Since I already knew about her two earlier restaurant poops, I assumed we were in the clear, and that she just needed to pee. The two of us got into the stall where she sat for a minute. After chatting about the color of the paint on the wall and wondering aloud about what she thought her sister was doing back at the table, she looked up at me blankly. I took this as a sign she had finished her business.
“All done?” I asked her, silently begging her to say yes. “Ready to go out and wash hands?”
“All done?” she repeated, with a raised voice, clearly offended by my question. “I just got started. I have to go poopy, silly Mommy.”
Oh geez. Here we go, I thought. Of. Course. Silly Mommy, indeed. What was I thinking? Three times in one day. Surely a record.