How I learned to stop worrying and start getting kicked out of the McDonalds restroom for being a drug lord

December 6, 2013

We got off easy, potty-training-wise, so you won't find any ever-whinging horror stories here. About a year ago we had a pretty painless transition into full-human toilet-using status. Ten million gold stars for you, child! Huzzah! (If you're looking for an ultimate diaper horror story though, I've got you covered/uncovered.)

Having a kid that can use the toilet is awesome! Having a kid that can use the toilet IS awesome– except for the part where they wait until you're in the worst possible location to decide now is the moment that they must use the worst possible toilet. If you have yet to experience this particular preschool-age phenomenon, it goes something like this:

Less than five minutes from home/Just turned in to a bad neighborhood full of thorn bushes and rabid stray dogs/Fifteen-thousand blocks from the nearest facilities:

Stops suddenly and shouts at the top of the lungs: "I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!"

"....Now??? Really? Can you just wait tw—"

"NOW. NOW. THE POOP IS COMING. RUN."

Annnnnnd, scene. This is how I have become more intimately acquainted with the dim, rusty back hallway toilet of every Lowe's in the Tri-State area than I ever wanted to become in my lifetime. I'm also pretty good at navigating port-o-potties full of spiders and truck stop sheds. What can I say, it's natural talent.

While I have to give the kid credit for having the balls-to-the-wall ability to crown the duke in absolutely any location—an act many full-grown adults struggle to complete—I am beginning to suspect he is secretly participating in an Awful Bathrooms Across 'Murica foursquare check-in contest. Can't you urgently have to poop while we're casually strolling past Von Maur, or, you know, just poop at our regular house where things are regular cleaned with bleach? Either one of those would be good options for the future.

Completely typical of this new song and dance routine, we were driving along one Saturday morning when Jude suddenly declared with gusto from the back seat, "I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM." Knowing from past experience that he was not to be deterred from this all-important mission, we immediately pulled into a nearby McDonalds, unbuckled, and Jude and I hustled it into the ladies' room while Jon went up to the counter to get some coffee.

There were two stalls, one already occupied, and I ushered us inside the other and closed the door. After I hurriedly helped Jude get settled, I prepared for my least favorite part of every time this happens– waiting awkwardly while someone else makes poop right in front of you.

"MoooOOOOOOM! Turn AROUND! I need privacy!!!" he demanded, and I knew better than to argue. This is serious business, guys, the seriousest. I sighed, turned my back, shuffled towards the door, and stood with my face in the corner and thought deeply about the strange trajectory of human existence. Here I am, world.

Now I don't know how YOU poop in public, but if you aren't shouting, "I'M STILL POOPING!" at the top of your lungs every 30 seconds you're definitely doing it wrong according to Jude. It's a great technique because there's absolutely no possible mystery about what you're STILL DOING in the bathroom. You know everyone was wondering, and now they won't. You're really doing them a favor. It's thoughtful, and your mother should be very proud.

At some point the person in the other stall left, and Jude and I hung out and did our thing for another minute or three, in no particular hurry other than the issue at hand punctuated with occasional chatter. We were still talking amongst ourselves when the bathroom door opened and someone came in, to which I paid no attention until suddenly there was a SLAM SLAM SLAM on the outside of our stall door, mere inches from my face.

SLAM SLAM SLAM!

I paused. God, do I really have to tell you there's someone in here? Because I'm pretty sure it could not be more clear someone is in here. Can you just—

SLAM SLAM SLAM!

"...There's someone in here?" I ventured reluctantly.

"ONLY ONE PERSON PER STALL!" SLAM SLAM SLAM!

"...Uh, what??"

"ONLY. ONE. PERSON. PER. STALL." SLAM SLAM SLAM.

"But I'm—"

"YOU CAN'T DO THAT IN HERE!"

"—What?" I reached for the handle to crack open the door.

"MOM, I MADE A POOP!" I turned back towards Jude.

"YOU CAN'T DO DRUGS IN HERE! ONEPERSONPERSTALL." SLAM SLAM SLAM!

"Wait, what?" I turned back towards the door.

"MOM, WIPE ME!" I turned back towards Jude.

"I— Wait—"

" GET OUT. GET OUT." SLAM SLAM SLAM! I turned back towards the door.

"MOOOOOooOOOOOM!"

And then Jude and I were forcibly escorted from the McDonalds, whose employees, despite opening the door to find a 30 year-old woman and her toddler mid-wipe, apparently still very seriously considered me a high-level threat drug user — at 10:30 in the morning — with my four year oldwhose giant poop broke their toilet — because I don't know if you've heard but ONLY ONE PERSON IS ALLOWED PER STALL.

Achievement unlocked.

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