From August until the first week in November, and then again from February through April is soccer season at my house. Between the two kids, we have three practices and two games a week. On Thursday nights, both my kids practice at separate locations with their start and stop times offset by a mere fifteen minutes. This is affectionately known as “double soccer” night. However, on Monday’s it is just my son who practices, so for an hour my daughter and I have some girl time. This usually consists of a trip through the dry cleaner’s drive-thru and a stop at Kohl’s department store where my daughter will model every piece of jewelry they have in stock. While in Kohl’s we always make a trip to the bathroom. It’s a nice bathroom with about ten stalls and it even has soap in the dispensers and paper towels available. In short, it’s the kind of public restroom I’m “ok” with.
However, this past Monday night we varied from our usual girl routine to buy groceries. My husband and I (and therefore the kids) had spent the weekend volunteering at our church’s annual pumpkin patch. It was loads of fun, but it didn’t leave any time for the weekly trip to Kroger. By the time we arrived at Kroger, I only had forty-five minutes until my son’s practice was over, so we blew through Kroger like we were on our way to a fire. I’m just pulling my stylish and much coveted minivan out onto the road when my daughter says, “I have to go to the bathroom.” I look at the clock—7:22. I have eight minutes and a five minute drive. I know from experience not to question or try to talk her out of this. If she says it, she means it and I ignore it at my own peril. So I say, “OK, I’m going to pull into 7-11 and we have EXACTLY two minutes to get in and out so we are not late. Can you go quickly?” The fact that I’m willing to utilize the bathroom in 7-11 should communicate to you that I really was under some time pressure. She says, “yes” and I pull in. We get out and both enter the bathroom that does not have stalls OR soap OR paper towels. We’re talking a square room with a toilet in the corner, a sink on the wall and a drain in the floor. Now, I’m socially aware and understand that probably two-thirds of the world’s populations don’t even have this to work with. It’s just that everything is so relative and this bathroom creeps me out. She goes quickly as promised and the minute she flushes, I realize I’m going to have to go ahead and go too. As much as I would like to wait until we get home, I can’t. So I proceed to also go very quickly and am just zipping my pants when it happens...
Her (watching me): “Will I have hair on my privates when I’m a teenager?”
Me (because I’m in a hurry, choosing to ignore the fact that she’s not using the proper name that I’ve taught her for her “privates”): “Yes.”
Her (wrinkling up her nose as if she’s just seen something that is the equivalent of squashed bug): “I guess that’s why most bathrooms have stalls.”
Me: “I guess so.”