Monday, November 22, 2010

Restroom Adventures

The end of October, when the girls and I accompanied Eric on a business trip to Burr Ridge, I decided to take the kiddos to the Chicago Children’s Museum one day while Eric was working. Eric questioned my judgment on driving into downtown Chicago and hauling a 1 month old and 18 month old around Navy Pier alone. I had taken them both out for an uneventful girls lunch at Olive Garden and stroll around the mall the previous day though, so I assured him I was up to the challenge and we’d do just fine.

After we parked at Navy Pier and made our way to the museum (with Lilian in the Baby K'Tan sling and carrying Gabriela on my hip), we had to stand in a short line to buy our entry tickets. It was time for Lilian to eat, but I had pumped a bottle to give her once we got inside and found somewhere to keep Gabriela busy for a few minutes.

No sooner than we get in line, Lilian fills her diaper. In a major way. Which is always a little extra discerning when you are "wearing" your baby. Having an accessory leak poop all over is never good, but it's a risk you get to take regularly when you're a mother. (You young girls have no idea how easy you have it . . . when was the last time a cute scarf or fabulous necklace ruined your outfit?) And while she never is very tolerant of a poopy butt, Lilian is even less forgiving of a dirty diaper when she's hungry. So my 1-month old child began to scream at the top of her lungs and refused to be comforted.

Meanwhile I need to get my wallet out of the diaper bag so I can pay. I tried putting Gabriela down, but she was lured by the fun things inside and kept trying to run away. So I am wrestling a toddler who wants down to go play, attempting to shush a hungry, poopy newborn, and dig out my credit card. I got more than one "what the heck does she think she's doing here by herself?" looks from onlookers, including the woman behind the counter. I debated turning around and returning to the hotel. But I had already paid $20 to park. We were going to the museum, dadgumit. Once inside, we immediately found the family restroom so I could get Lilian changed.

Of course, someone was occupying the family restroom and I didn’t dare try to contain Gabs inside the large normal restroom with the propped open door. So we sat down on a bench and I pulled out Lilian’s bottle hoping to distract Gabriela by letting her help me give the baby a bottle and get Lilian to quit crying by getting some milk in her belly and hoping she would forget about the mess in her pants.

Eventually, the family restroom door opened and a lady exited. A very able-bodied lady. Alone. Let’s take a moment to discuss one of my biggest pet peeves since becoming a mother: family restrooms are generally intended for those of us with, oh I don’t know, a “family” en tow (or those who need assistance in the restroom). It’s not just some giant luxury stall for those whom deem a regular restroom insufficient for their pottying needs.

Anyhoo, I take the two kiddos into the now vacant family restroom and start changing Lilian. I was pleased to discover that the diaper had contained the entire poop and, despite the grandeur of the bowel movement she had just experienced, none of it leaked out onto her clothes nor mine. And that’s how I knew the rest of the day was going to be just fine.

After getting the baby cleaned up and put back into the sling and telling Gabriela 142 times to please stop touching the toilet and not play in the trash and to stop licking the wall, Gabriela and I each used the potty (since we were already there and all). I washed Gabs hands very well and then applied some hand sanitizer, since she found the toilet and the trash way too enticing to leave alone. I opened the door to exit the facility and was half way out the door when Gabriela turned back around and darted to the toilet. Before I could stop her, she plunged both hands into the water, turned around, held both toilet-water-covered hands up in the air, and, with a disgusted look on her face, said “ssshhhhh, ssshhhhh” (which would be sujo: dirty in Portuguese.)

The rest of the visit to the Chicago Children’s Museum was great. Lilian spent most of the visit asleep against my chest. Gabs had a blast and didn’t want to leave even after three hours! And, so far, it seems she didn’t contract any fatal diseases from her bathroom antics.

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