A Typical Growing Up Moment?

Happy belated Passover & Happy Easter to those who celebrate these beautiful traditions. I wish you all peace in the world, in your homes and in your hearts!

This isn’t just another post about potty-training, per se. It’s an OMG they’re growing up post about the challenges of being potty-trained-ISH and independent toileting.

Last Thursday, Grandma and I took my 3 children and my friend’s 2 children to the Queens Zoo. It’s a quaint little zoo with one continuous walking path so you don’t have to pick and choose your sights or worry as much about losing your kids… everything is along the way. You just follow the winding path, the crowd, and the displays. Even the restrooms are along the way. With 5 girls and 2 still-in-training boys in our party, the midway bathroom was a natural pit stop. The Boys, apparently, agreed. My Big Little Man ran right up to the bathroom doors, hesitated a moment looking up at the words printed on each door, correctly determined which way to go, and ran into the men’s room! Yay!


I can’t go into the men’s room to help him and we left Daddy at home!

With only one way in or out of that room, I stood vigil at the doorway NOT looking in (because, as a woman, the whole exposed-ish urinal thing sort of scares me in a men’s room) and I called out to my BIG Little Man who decided this day he’d toilet himself. At home, both Boys only sporadically “go” on their own. Mostly they “go” when I say “GO!” and even then often require coaxing or assistance with various parts of the task at hand. Getting the pants down or up,  rolling up sleeves to wash hands, reminding them to wash hands, forcing them to wash hands… you know the drill. 

So there I am, lurking outside that men’s restroom door, calling his name, when a man said with a smirk, “what does he look like? I’ll bring him out.” (I think he just didn’t want to risk me peaking in.)  So I described the Big Man’s grey striped shirt and the man disappeared into the dark abyss. After a few minutes, he came out saying there were 3 little boys in there–2 brothers, apparently, and one lone boy (probably mine), none of whom answered to my little boy’s name (which he got wrong so it’s no wonder he didn’t answer) and none willing to depart with him. I guess that’s a good thing.  A second man strolled up, and chuckling at my plight, made the same offer. In he went. Minutes passed. Finally, he too came out empty handed. Smiling, he said, “He’s not done yet. He’s gone to the bathroom and is washing his hands now.”


Now I’m not sure how he knew my Big Man had toileted ’cause My Guy had been in there sometime before the second rescuer showed up… but he did seem pretty sure! And, while I have NO experience taking The Boys to a urinal–we practice the standard seat-up, stand-up toileting (or the occasional sit-and-go) method at home–but they do have urinals in the boys’ room at school so I guess it’s possible he saw my “baby” step up to the business at hand and ah…. You see! This is why I keep telling the Sarge this should be HIS job! Anyway, my Little Man (littler by 1 lb) was tired of waiting for his brother, and finally ran to the bathroom door, peered in to see what the matter was and was baited inside by the “sink!” After a total of 10 minutes alone in the men’s room, my two Big Little Men exited the bathroom. It was a vision of independence… complete with twisted waistband (you know where the seam goes from the crotch to the hip-bone instead of straight up to the belly button), soaking wet sleeves and dry pants!

I took them both into the ladies’ room with minimal results, if you get my stream of thought. But I now understood why the sink was a big hit… again. The whole hand-washing thing is lots of fun at the zoo because of the embedded-in-the-floor, footpad-operated, circular watering trough sinks in the restroom. 

So, I can’t be really sure because I did not see it with my own two eyes, but it appears that I had a pseudo-typical, growing up and pottying independently moment at the zoo the other day.

How cool is that? I always wondered what a flying-solo Dad does when his young daughter has to “go” (especially considering that whole open floor plan/urinal issue I mentioned above). Now I know the flipside of that coin… and it’s unnerving and liberating all at the same time. How did you/would you handle it?

More from Maggie at Walkonthehappyside.wordpress.com

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