You don't have to be a boy mom, or even a mom at all for this blog post- you don't have to have children, plan to have children or want children. If you ever use a public restroom, then you qualify. Read on.
Way back, we had an "experience" with the toilet and germs, if you will, that has haunted me since-- but recently things took a turn for the worst. And I must admit that part of it is most definitely my fault-- remember my lesson on privates, and not knowing to talk about it in advance? Well this is another that falls into this category.... let me explain:
So we started potty training Max shortly after his second birthday in August- we did a 3 day method that I really liked and he did great. Until he didn't. He started peeing on everything, just because, and I started spanking him, because the peeing was deliberate, and then I had a close call with a mental breakdown because I felt like I was abusing my child and so the diapers went back on and we were all better for it. The house was cleaner, the smell of pee left us, and I began liking my husband. my children, and my life again. WELL, at the end of January, Max was basically using the potty out of his own ambition, while still wearing diapers, so after we returned home from Indy, I dove head first into the big boy undies thing again. It's been great. I'm talking NO poop accidents and only one pee accident-- he was ready, he knew what to do, I was ready, and had very low expectations, and this second time around has been heavenly.
But there was something I didn't really know or discover the first time around, more than my singular visit to my local (CLEAN-ish) Publix but now that he's been doing this thing like a pro, I'm appalled. Herein lies the PSA....
1) If you have a child, even if he/she is 2 days old, begin telling them over and over again about the nastiness and horrid germs that inhabit the public restroom-- frighten them, give them nightmares, pound it into them-- use phrases like "NEVER TOUCH ANYTHING IN A PUBLIC POTTY EVER, UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET SO SICK THAT YOUR EYE BALLS FALL OUT AND YOUR SKIN TURNS GREEN" repeatedly, in a Darth Vader-like voice, so that this knowledge is embedded in their souls. Don't count on them "picking it up" from watching you- don't count on having a folded-up travel potty seat in your purse, and don't count on them obeying your every command during their second year of life.
Seriously. I'm not kidding. Because apparently, I've had my head in the sand for the past 2 and half years, mainly because I've never taken Max into a pubic restroom without first strapping him into a stroller-- so that of course, he can't touch anything. I've never mentioned a word to him about the festering amebas that live in those public restroom-- the bacteria that is just waiting to be deposited onto his skin. So now that he's a big boy, who loves running errands with me, we've found ourselves in many, Many, MANY public restrooms over the past week--- and EVERY time this child has to take his shoe off so that he can take one leg of his pants and one leg of his undies off, then he has to sit totally spread eagle ON the potty (oh no, Mom can't hold him up, that just won't do! And TP for protection? Well, that isn't right and this child just won't stand for it.) and he puts his hands on the potty as well-- like on the back part of the seat to prop himself up while he pees even though I screech that he should place his hands on his own thighs... then he gets back off the potty-- one socked foot on the bathroom floor AND HOLDS the potty while I help him step back into his undies and his pants, slide his shoe on and re-tie it. Then while I try to stand back up, while gagging, and gathering myself, he reaches for the flusher WITH his hands, and then touches his face in amusement as he watches his pee pee go on down to toilet.
Are you disgusted yet? Do you see the importance of scaring the heck out of your children in regards to the public restroom-- they're never too young to understand the importance of "the hover" position, the layer of TP protection method, and the foot-to-flush move, that is guaranteed to protect you from at least 1,346 different specimen of germs. Please take my word for it and make this discussion a part of your daily lives immediately. This is the 2nd most important thing you will ever teach your children. (Naturally, the first is the love that God, their Heavnely Father, has for them and the saving grace that is Jesus.)
2) This is the one for ANYONE who uses a public bathroom.... this may seem like common knowledge (it wasn't to me, until today) or you may die from disgust and shock-- be forewarned.
When little boys pee, especially when they're young and just learning the skill and are too short to stand like their Daddies, they have to be reminded constantly to "point it down" but when they're in public restrooms their mommies are having HEART ATTACKS and are trying not to throw up and dry heave, all while trying to watch every inch of their child's body in order to know exactly which parts need sanitized when the restroom visit is over, so they sometimes forget to remind them about the pointing in time and then LITTLE BOYS SPRAY THEIR PEE ALL OVER THE LITTLE TINY BATHROOM STALL. I'm talking potty, floor, walls, and door. And their mother is left with a choice-- does she use that horrid, 1-ply low grade toilet paper to clean it all up, risking getting the pee, among other things on her own hands, or does she snatch up her child as quickly as possible and re-dress him in order to escape before they are both overtaken by the repulsive and sickening parasites that inhabit said place?
Every mother for herself- and I'm not even sure what the right choice is- but be guaranteed that some mothers make the second choice, leaving the pee EVERYWHERE for the next unsuspecting visitor to encounter. I'd rethink long pants- high waters might need to be "in style" for our own good. And I'd re-think those TOMS-- this stuff can soak RIGHT through that canvas. You know, maybe we should all just skip the whole using the restroom in a public place- just find a nice bush, or even ask your doc for a catheter. I guarantee you that it's more sanitary.
You think I'm kidding, but consider yourself warned. Honestly, I'm sorry it's come to this. I'm sorry it has taken me 28 years to learn this-- but better late than never. May the (anti-bacterial sanitation) force be with you.