Monday, October 11, 2010

Not In Public

I have a family history of people who don't like to use public restrooms.  Mostly my grandmother, myself and as it seems to be now, Lana.  My grandmother, who was Noni to us, would not use a public restroom unless it was an emergency situation.  I only remember Noni asking ONCE to use a bathroom when we were out. The only reason she did it then was because she was coming down with a stomach virus. We've all been there a time or two. I will use a public restroom if I have to pee, no problem.  Pooping in peace in public is a big no go for me, however.  I will avoid it all all costs.  Although, now that I think about it, I would more likely get to poop in peace if I did use a public toilet than I would at home.  Sonya does not seem to have a problem with this.  If she's gotta go, she'll go, anywhere anytime.  Little Lana, however, is really starting to develop an aversion to pottying in pulic.

Well, first here's some background info.  Lana wants to go to the bathroom almost every place we go.  My youngest sister, Megan, used to be the same way when she was a kid.  My mom said she wanted to "check out" the bathrooms wherever we went.  Lana does this too.  Grocery store, Target, out to eat.  She could have peed five minutes before and will still ask to go to the bathroom when we get someplace new.  The problem is she won't always actually GO to the potty.  

It started not to long after I potty trained her.  We went to a public restroom somewhere, and they had one of those toilets that flushes itself.  I have now developed a serious dislike for these toilets for a couple of reasons.  Oh sure, when they first came out they were all cool.  "Look!  I don't have to touch a gross handle to flush anymore!  It flushes itself!  How high tech!" I loved it.  Then I realize that much of the time it flushes itself BEFORE you're even done going, which is a HUGE waste of water, since it will flush again when you are actually done.  And who doesn't like wasting??  Lana? "The Earth". Right.

Not only is it a waste of water, but the sensor that figures out if your there then not there to flush, does not sense three year olds very well.  Or at all.  So inevitably, it ends up flushing at least once, sometimes twice when the girls go.  The first time it happened, Lana FREAKED out.  Now every time we go to a public bathroom her first question is, 

"Does dis one fush by itself?"

If the answer is yes, she will not go to the bathroom.  I know some moms who have told me they use post it notes to block the sensor, but at this point, Lana just doesn't trust the toilets, period.  I can't say I blame her.  It's not like they have  a gentle flush.  No, it's a flush that sounds like you're going to get sucked down into the bowels of hell along with your bowel movement.   So that's why Lana is not so found of going in public, although she still likes to check out the bathroom.  

Friday afternoon we went to visit my friend Ann and her new baby at the hospital.  There is a bathroom in the hospital room, and I knew it wasn't a flush by itself one, so I thought we were good when Lana said she had to go.  Then we got in there and she noticed a small shower looking thing attached to the back of the toilet.  I suppose it's there to help people clean themsleves up when they can't do to much after having a baby or surgery or both.  It only works if you make it work, which I was not going to do, but she took one look and it and immediately decided she didn't have to pee that badly.  Great.  Even though both her sister and I went on that same potty with no problems.  She wasn't chancing it that the little shower was going to come after her anyway.

 Fast forward an hour later.  We pick up Andy from work and go to a little hamburger place to get the kids something for dinner before driving back home from Beverly Hills.  On a Friday.  During rushhour.  Yay.  I digress.  We get to the hamburger joint and Lana tells me she has to pee.  I look to Andy with a "is there a bathroom in here?" kinda look.  He gives me the "I doubt it and would you really want to go here?" kinda look.  It wasn't the best of restaurants but they do have really good burgers.  Then I look across the street at the bar/restaurant but mostly bar.  I figured I could just take her over there.  Nobody would care.  

At this point she's telling me she's going to pee-pee in her pants if we don't find her a bathroom, RIGHT NOW.  I guess so since you've been holding it for almost two hours!  So I run her across the street.  The bar was in full Friday happy hour mode and it happened to be a gay bar, so there were nothing but hot gay guys drinking martinis.  I sorta stood out with the three year old attatched to my hip, but when you gotta go... I found the bathroom and we ran in.  As soon as we entered she was hesitant.  She asked me her ususal question about the flushing toilets, but it was clear as soon as we got in there that this wasn't a high tech bathroom.  I told her no.  There were two stalls and neither looked like they'd been cleaned since the night before.  There was toilet paper and toilet seat covers everywhere.  Lana took one look in the toilet and stall and announced, 

"I don't have to go anymore."

"Oh yes you do!"  I said.  "You have to go Lana, you've been holding it a while."

"Nooooo, I don't want toooo!!" She protested.  

I was at a loss.  I didn't know what to do.  She was whining and freaking out about the bathroom, but I knew if she didn't go there, it would be at least another hour and a half before we got home.  That would mean an accident somewhere along the way.  From someone who's been there, I knew.  Trust me.  

We stood in the stall arguing back and forth for about five minutes about it.  I promised her chocolate from my backpack (which I didn't have) or a pony perhaps (which we can't afford anyway).  I just wanted her to go.  She stood strong saying she didn't have to and just wanted to leave.  Then all of a sudden she got a surprised look on her face and grabbed at her crotch.  

"You just peed a little didn't you?" I asked.

She nodded her head yes and started to cry.  

"That's it!"  As gently, but as firmly as I could, I picked her up pulled down her pants and placed her on the toilet, which I had already put a toilet seat cover on.  She whimpered and whined, but she couldn't deny that she had to pee anymore, so she let it go.  Afterward, she felt so much better.  We washed our hands and went back across the street where her grilled cheese was waiting for her.  Her mood was so much better after that and she even ate her whole sandwhich.  I guess it had room to go somewhere since all the pee was gone. 

I'm not sure how long this phase will last for her, or if she will ever get over it.  I can't really fault her for it though since she comes by it naturally.  I can completely empathize with her.  But the bottom line is when you gotta go, you gotta go and it's coming one way or another at some point.  Even if it is in a gross hole in the ground that drops into the side of a mountain with more YUCK that you have ever seen in your entire life.  Trust me, you don't want to know. 


Megan said...

So, those shower looking things on the back of the hospital toilet is actually to help wash out a bed pan - they shower down into the toilet only when the shower arm is put down in a horizontal position.

Kristi said...

Thank you nurse Megan! I knew I saw them in action with one of the girls. Probably after the C-section...