The Glamorous Life.

This is a little peek into what’s happening, daily, in my glamorous mommy world.  [Aaron – turn away- You can’t handle the truth!]

Here’s the thing.  Poop duty is mine.  My son is half potty trained.  He successfully goes pee on his own.  The other half?  Not so much.  And it isn’t the actual cleaning that bothers me.  It’s the smells.  My son and I are polar opposites.  I can smell something ten miles away.  My son has no reaction to any foul smell.  Did the dog poop on the carpet?  No reaction as he stands directly above it.  Going by the dumpster for the worst restaurant in town in 100 degree heat?  My son might want to stop there and ponder his existence for a while, completely oblivious to the smell.

At the office, when the need arises, my son demands to go into the men’s room.  So, I must traipse in there with him.  Usually, one of the guys in the office has stunk it up right before I have to go in.

While we are in there, and I am cleaning the toxic 4 year old butt, his sense of balance is, shall we say, less than stellar?  He grabs me to steady himself when I strip the offending garments from his body, in the manner least likely to compound my problems.  He does not hold onto my shoulder.  He likes to put his weight on my head with his hands.  My hair is tussled so much that I look like I have just teased it through an electrical socket.  Sometimes, for added pleasure, he’s stuck his hands in his pants before I get to him so – there you have it.

Other times, we are out in public and he suddenly decides that he needs to take a dump.  These are the great moments where he actually makes it to a toilet.  The dreaded words are, “Does your tummy hurt?”  Usually, this takes place when we are in the car between places or nowhere near a human population.  Last time, I was closest to Toys R Us.

I don’t know what you think, but the worst, most foul smelling women’s restroom I’ve been in is the Toys R Us women’s room.  Not that I’m a connoisseur of public restrooms, but I do know this one.  This one has the stench of never having been cleaned since the building was built.  There is the smell of dirty, rotting diapers because no one dumped the garbage since last week.  To “disguise” it all, they spray a hideous sweet scent that simply makes the whole thing smell like musky death.  I usually dry heave a bit as soon as I go in.

On top of that dark embedded dirt look, the tile which could have been white at one time, is now a distinct dirty gray.  On the floor, there is pee, along with other assorted fluids.  To mix it up a bit, the patrons of the fine restroom, leave the brown paper towels they use on the floor all around the actual trash can.  The trash can could not be a hole where you simply dump the item.  It is one of those old fashioned white metal cans with the swinging closure that never works right.  Brown paper is hanging out of that can which no one wants to touch for fear of cooties.  To help matters, you can only wash off the grossness with water, as the soap dispensers are almost always empty.

There are three stalls.  Two regular and one handicapped.  I try to avoid the handicapped for obvious reasons but at this particular Toys R Us the stalls are not made for humans.  They are made for Barbie.  Just trying to get into one of these stalls without touching something offensive and keeping your child from touching something offensive is impossible.  I can squeeze us both in there but it’s very tight.  So, when it’s available, we head for the handicapped.  Usually someone else has beat us to it.

I’m always hauling my ten pound purse and I, foolishly, think the stall door will have a hook to hold it or one of those metal trays will come down so I can set it on there.  No hook.  No metal door.  Okay.  So now, I need to keep the 10 pound back attached to my shoulder but it wants to slide off.  The slide wins, and as I get the kid’s pants down for his deposit, my purse falls to the floor to absorb some unknown fluid gunk there.

I can’t really tell what is on the floor because, inevitably, at least two out of three light bulbs are out.  The dank, dim lighting is likely for the very purpose of blinding customers to what is on the floor.

I, long ago, gave up on the tissue toilet seat covers because the little guy thinks they are toilet toys.  They make him touch the toilet seat even more.  It’s bad enough that he thinks the flushers are fun.

He finally has his butt in place for his project to commence and he is scripting because, well, who wouldn’t in this tiny, claustrophobic, dark, stinky place?  On top of that, on almost all occasions we are in any public restroom and someone is nearby, he will want to stick his head down under the stall to see who is next to us.  I have to scoop him back to an upright position and tell him this is not appropriate behavior.

Hooray for the grand finish!  If we find toilet paper (questionable at best) and get that part accomplished, we then wash our hands.  In water.  No soap. This is followed by the paper towel dispenser dance in which my son pushes the button for the 1/4 inch of brown paper that is dispensed from one push, dances around it, looks up the slit where the paper comes out and asks what it is 15 times.  I answer “paper towel dispenser”, ten times and then ignore the rest.

Clearly, 1/4 inch is never enough paper to dry one’s hands, so he must punch the button, several times more.  Due to a lack of coordination, he always dispenses about 4 feet of brown paper with which to dry his hands, part of which touches the garbage which is directly under the dispenser.  So much for paper conservation.

I help him pull off the paper while he tries again to dispense more.  When he is told no, he yells “no” back at me, loudly.  I give him “the look”.  Clearly reading this nonverbal cue, he begins a five minute repetition of “I’m sorry mommy!” so others can, naturally, believe I am regularly beating him to elicit such a response.

I tell him to dry his hands.  He basically makes brief contact with the brown paper, tosses it and runs for the door.  He then flicks the door handle with his still wet hands, 10 times before me, my tussled hair, and my contaminated purse catch up with a “knock it off”!

Yes, be jealous all of you out there!  My life is just that glamorous.  Every day.


About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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37 Responses to The Glamorous Life.

  1. Oh. My. God. I ***hate*** public restrooms with Little Miss! It’s one of he few reasons that I’m glad she is *not* potty trained — at least I don’t have to figure out how to hold her still long enough to do her business on one of those awful toilets!

    You post pretty much nails one of the worst points of parenting — special needs or no. There is just no way to get a kid in and out of a public restroom without them touching something horrible!

    Ugh. Ugh. Ugh… going to shower (again) now!

  2. Awesome…and exactly right:) I love your humor…:)

  3. Meg says:

    Karen – you have found your voice…your creativity as been unleashed upon the world, and, I LOVE it.
    I want more!!

  4. Tootleslady says:

    Hilarious!!!! But I started dry heaving a bit there, still hilarious!!!!!

  5. Kelly says:

    Wow. You nailed it, Karen. This is the experience for us, too. Everything from the peeking under doors, touching the toilet seats, paper towel issues. I can only add the two things that make me want to die (remember, my degree is in microbiology): both boys are FASCINATED, fascinated I say, with the rag-bag bins. It is always a race to see which of us can get to the bin first – me to block, or them to dive in. Aaack!

    And item numero dos: AJ trying to mouth the metal doors and walls.

    Seriously, I do not know how those boys haven’t contacted TB or some freakish STD.

  6. Lizbeth says:

    As soon as I say Toys R Us, I went all slow mo and was like, “Oooooohhhhhh Nooooo!!!! That place is fowl. On a good day. You should be Cannonized.

  7. Well now, this was quite the post for me to read my first time here! You have your hands full I see! 😉

    That Toys R Us bathroom sounds like something the board of health should get interested in! Also that you should document and post on your blog, with the address and phone number, and name of the manager. If more people start speaking up, the company will have to do something about it – seriously. I’ve been to the ones here in the Toronto area, and I’ve never experienced anything like that fortunately.

    Thanks for dropping by my place for Broot’s guest post – so nice to “meet you”!

    I need to go and have a shower now…

    • solodialogue says:

      Jenn, this is my attempt at humor. I wish you could’ve read back a few… I kind of owed people who trudge with me day after day, a lighter post. Ask Broot! She’ll tell you. I’m not always this gross! Really…

  8. Deb Mangum says:

    My response is D) All of the Above.
    Sterling has the inability to perceive strong odors, too. I have been thinking it was allergies, but your post has me wondering. Now that he is 13, I have to let him use the men’s bathroom alone. (I fear inappropriate “social” contact in the bathroom most.) How long did I think I could keep him in the women’s with me? In actuality, he would rather squirm and hurt for two hours, or even an entire school day than use a public bathroom. Ah, yes, the tender, gently rewarding moments of being a mommy.

    • solodialogue says:

      There are family bathrooms in some places – you have to hunt them out. Nordstroms has one… Then you don’t have to worry so much if you can map them out! I’m pretty sure the lack of ability to smell strong odors is a sensory thing.

  9. Big Daddy says:

    I can smell this post all the way in Florida.

  10. Tam says:

    One of the many reasons I’m glad I’ve found a way to manage without ever having to carry a purse.

    • solodialogue says:

      What a great idea! Harder to do when you have to carry all the little kid paraphernalia – like extra clothes for when we don’t make it in time!

      • Tam says:

        lol I still carry a backpack when I need more than my wallet/keychain can hold… I can throw it on my back or the back of my chair when needed… I’ve never figured out why backpacks are relegated to school children, they’re so useful lol

  11. You DO have a glamorous life!

    I think I’m going to go wash my hands after reading this.

  12. Deanne says:

    Awesome post! Made me laugh so hard – I can just imagine you. Oliver is just the same as your DS – pees like a pro but when it comes to BMs… let’s say he’s a work in progress. Owen’s still in diapers. *sigh*

  13. danidawn says:

    OMGosh!! I think I may have been in the same restroom YUCK!! I FEAR public restrooms… Although I had to laugh out loud to the whole poop thing. I don’t have the problem like that (actually glad I don’t in ways). PA has always had major issues when it comes to pooping. She doesn’t poop… However I dread going into public restrooms with her because there is nowhere left to change her. She is to big now for the changing tables and she is not yet potty trained. I feel for you 😦
    Funny stuff today. You have a great sense of humor 🙂

  14. Teresa says:

    Your plight can only be worse if you are traveling on an airplane with a little larger child. Two people in a bathroom meant for a half person. The challenges…

  15. Fi -From the Madhouse- says:

    Omgosh!!! I felt your pain all the way through that!

  16. eof737 says:

    I’ve never been a fan of those bathrooms and avoid them like the plague… Sometimes we gotta go. The glamorous life indeed. You deserve a medal! 🙂

  17. Rachel says:

    I’m such a failure. I’ve never had glamorous times like this. Never. Well, okay, not for a long while, anyway.

    Is it because you’re a lawyer? I’d never thought of it as a glamor profession, but maybe I was living in a world of illusion? Damn.

    I guess it’s too late for me to become a lawyer. Maybe I could get a job at Toys R Us and bask in the reflected glory. *dreaming*

  18. Grace says:

    OMG, hilarious. I was in my Toys R Us yesterday getting Ryan’s Easter presents. Morbid curiosity made me want to check out the ladies room (and possibly send you a picture of it), but after reading this I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

  19. Jen says:

    Lol…right there with ya! Toys r us has pretty nasty bathrooms here in Chicago’s suburbia too.

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