Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why My Husband Won't Take Our Kids into Public Bathrooms

------- Warning! Today's story story is gross. Really gross. --------

A couple of years ago, I told you guys the story of when I threw up in a Five Guys bathroom while pregnant and in the presence of my two little kids. There's a part of the story I left out, though. The part where the entire thing is clearly my husband's fault. (If you haven't read the Five Guys story, it's right here.)

You see, it is OBVIOUS that if my husband had not refused to take our son into the men's room with him, like a coward who is afraid of a little wiping, then I never would have projectile vomited all over a restaurant bathroom like a possessed person from a 70's horror movie.

But my husband, the handsome and stalwart Cap'n Coupon, claims that he has a perfectly good reason for still, to this day, refusing to take our kids into public restrooms. For that matter, he won't even walk them to the door and then wait outside until they're finished. He claims he was permanently scarred by an experience that occurred a few weeks before the Five Guys incident. I think his story is a convenient excuse to get out of a parenting duty he finds tedious and gross. You be the judge, my friends.

He insists at this point that I be fair and accurate and mention that during this timeframe, he willingly volunteered to wipe, diaper change, etc., provided it was at the homeplace. I agree that he did this. I also think it's important to note that he worked 60 hours a week and I was a stay at home mom, and we know what that means. Just we can be fair and accurate.

Here's his story:

It's 2008 and I was pregnant with Mini. Our little boy Hawk was a few weeks shy of his 3rd birthday and we were fully immersed in unsuccessfully potty training him. Our daughter Thumbelina was almost 5 and had requested that we all go out to lunch on a Saturday. A few minutes after arriving, the boy informed us that he had to pee.

The Cap'n and I immediately made eye contact across the table. We started glaring at each other. Silently, we engaged in the ancient art of silent marital warfare whereby no words were spoken. There ensued a Rock/Paper/Scissors battle back and forth like a tennis match to see who would win and who would take the kid to the potty. The entire battle took ten seconds and took place only with our eyes and facial expressions. We may have possibly both looked deranged to someone observing us.

I managed to convey to him (with my eyes only), that if he didn't take his son to the restroom that I would make him change the kid's pull-up for the next two days. If you have an enormous 3 year old who is still in pull-ups, that threat is not made lightly. Those things can be horrific. Truly, after a big meal that kid's pull up was the stuff of nightmares. My husband's eyes told me my message had been received. He nodded curtly, stood up, and asked Hawk to come along.

Here's where the story moves into bizarro slow motion. The whole incident only took three minutes, and yet my husband needs about twenty to describe the horror of what happened next.

They walked into the bathroom and the Cap'n began the process of selecting the cleanest stall/urinal for the boy to pee in. He glanced at all the choices, chose one and turned around. Hawk was bent over the first urinal, gently cupping the urinal cake in his pudgy hands. He was carefully lifting it towards his face. He may have been trying to smell it, or eat it. We can't know. He looked up at his dad and said: "Oh wow! Daddy, look isn't dis GWEAT and SHINY?"

This was the exact moment that Cap'n Coupon nearly lost his schmidt and said: "DROP THE URINAL CAKE RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW!"

The boy dropped it in surprise and it made a soft plop!splish! as it hit the bottom of the urinal. Some of it may have splashed onto the boy, as he was still kneeling on the floor. In shorts. Right in front of the urinal.


The boy just stared at his father in shock, blinking. Quickly, the Cap'n took him by the little shoulders and led him over to the sink. He turned on the water and tried to find the soap dispenser.

"Daddy. Can't weach. Can't weach da wooder."

The Cap'n picked up the boy and did the thing where you gently wedge them on the sink so they can reach the water. The boy wiggled one hand under the faucet, then proudly pronounced: "Cwean hands!"

Cap'n Coupon squished a blob of soap onto the boy's hand while saying: "No, no buddy. We wash our hands with soap." The blob of soap hit the boy's hand. The boy moved his hand and the soap made a soft plop!splish! as it slid right off and hit the bottom of the sink. The boy looked up and said "More soap, pwease!"

The cap'n tried again. Again the boy moved his hand and the soap slid off. They tried again with the same result. His other hand was waggling around and had still not even been rinsed off. The Cap'n paused and told him: "You have to do this - roll your hands together. Make bubbles with the soap. If you keep moving your one hand, the soap will just fall off. Roll your hands like this or you'll never get the bad germs off them."

He then demonstrated the the classic hand washing technique for the kid (who knew perfectly well how it all worked).

It was at this point that Hawk did what he always does (and still does) when something is on his hands: he shook them really, really hard. Flecks of water and moisture and soap and urinal cake went flying everywhere just as Cap'n Coupon started slow motion screaming: "NOOOOOOOO!!! STOOOPPPP!!!"

A microbial cocktail of bathroom liquid and golden specks of urinal cake found their way into my husband's screaming yaw.  He then proceeded to gag, mouth open, wiping off his tongue on his shirt. He described catching site of himself in the mirror and looking like a cross between a dog who had just eaten peanut butter and a cat who was producing a hairball.

Meanwhile, Hawk proceeded to wash his hands with soap in the appropriate manner. He wiggled himself back down to the floor and stood there looking at his father. It took the Cap'n a moment to collect himself. Even then, he was still twitching with the grossness of what had just happened to him. He looked at his precious, adorable son and said: "Let's get out of here, buddy. OK?"

And his precious, adorable son looked back at him and said: "I still didn't go to da bafwoom."

His father just stood there blinking.

"Daddy. I haffa pee still."

At that point, the Cap'n claims things got a little woozy and the last thing he remembers is watching the boy wander back over to investigate the urinal cake.

After being gone about three minutes total, they returned to the table. Hawk let me know that he still needed to pee and that I had to take him. His father informed me, using only his haunted expression and grey pallor, that something very bad had happened and he didn't want to discuss it.

And there you have Cap'n Coupon's justification for never again taking one of our children to the restroom in public. It's been five years and he hasn't budged. So I guess he wins.

The End.
A Quick PS:
Just read some of the comments. Some of you are giving the old Cap'n the business because he won't take our kids to do their business in public restrooms. A large part of me is giggling because yes, obviously. But another part of me wants to state for the record that in every other respect he is the best dad I know. He also has an awesome sense of humor and is clearly a very cool guy for encouraging me to write this story and share it with you, knowing some of you would give him the business for it. Just needed to say all that, to be fair and accurate.

(c)Herding Turtles 2009 - 2013

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