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Public Potty Training Nightmare!

Ready for another story from the front lines of motherhood.... read to the end at the risk of hysterical laughter....These clothes got washed and dried TWICE yesterday!

We are nearing the end of potty training so we are at the not wearing diapers in public stage...

It didn’t go so well yesterday...

So it was daddy’s turn to watch the baby in the nursery at church yesterday and he didn’t realize Ezelle needed to be reminded to go to the bathroom so accident 1 happened no bother I’ve got the spare set of clothes like any pro mom of 3 venturing in public with a potty training toddler.

Washed and dried at grandmas and grandpas house then off to the birthday party for our cousin in the park!

Lots of fun, successful bathroom run once. Second time well let’s say this is where the story takes a turn....

Both girls with me this time and we happen to choose the bathroom with no toilet paper ok not that big of deal. (Please note this was not a stall it was an individual bathroom with a locking door, sink and hand dryer).

Joelle out of habit goes first while complaining there’s no toilet paper and Ezelle waits but starts to cry. Pee is trickling down into her socks as she stands mere inches from the toilet creating a puddle on the already dirty public park bathroom floor!!!!


My usually quick problem solving brain must be deteriorating because I’m not sure really what to do now?

Call husband to bring new clothes? Nope I didn’t bring my phone.

Carry or walk the poor soaked in pee wet 2 year old all the way back to the tables to get new clothes? Ummm social shame? Yep nope not doing that. (Please note the bathrooms were a bit of a walk from the party site for the littles, it was a big park).

Take off the wet pants and rinse them out and carry toddler half naked back to the tables and then back again to dress her? Maybe I can wrap my see-through lace duster around her bottom half? In hind sight this probably was the best option but I was thinking about efficiency.... we are not coming back to this bathroom. So nope.

Tell Joelle to run back and get dad’s help? Ummm irresponsible parenting. Pedophiles? Strangers? Sex trafficking? Could the 4 year old even know how to find her way back? (Remember it’s a big park) So ya. Um not happening.

Wait a minute Joelle is wearing shorts under her dress!!!!

Thank you Jesus! We’ve got a workable idea!

"Joelle take your shorts off!"

“Why?! I don’t want too!”

(Meanwhile Please note someone has tried to open the locked bathroom door. People are waiting!)

I convince the 4 year old it’s ok to not have shorts because she has a long enough dress and now off we go attempting to not step in the pee puddle (remember no toilet paper so no way to clean it up) while removing the wet clothes and Ezelle’s shoes have to come off but I don’t want her to stand on the gross public pee splattered bathroom floor which was already gross before we added toddler urine to it. So I figure out how to squat down, sit the half naked 2 year old on one leg, and keep her feet off the floor while maneuvering on Joelle’s removed shorts which by the way upon removal had caused one of Joelle’s sandals to come off.

“No don’t step on the floor with your bare foot Joelle!”

So she sits on the floor instead.......

“NOOOOO don’t sit on the floor!”

The now crying 4 year old just trying to get her shoe back on complies and somehow gets her shoe on balancing on one foot while mom helps the 2 year old now put her tennis shoes back on so she can stand.

One tennis shoe on.

“Flush the toilet Joelle” (anything that doesn’t require mom’s help so I can get this task accomplished and you don’t expose yourself to more gross bathroom germs)

Someone tries to open the door again.

“But I CAN’T flush the toilet” she proceeds to cry again, and I don’t have the mental capacity to explain to her there’s a button above the toilet you push. Nor do I have the physical capability to turn around and point it out while squatting with the 2 year old (with only one shoe on) balancing on my left thigh.

“Don’t worry about it Joelle just wash your hands.”

Second tennis shoe getting worked on.

“BUT I CANT WASH MY HANDS” proceeds to cry again....

And again I don’t have the mental capacity or physical movement available to point out the fancy modern faucet that has no handles needs to be pushed to start.

Ok shoes on!!! Everybody stand up!

Phew. Ok everyone’s clothed, let's tuck the shirt in the shorts that are two sizes too big and get out of here.

“It’s ok Joelle look here’s the toilet flush button and faucet button. “

Everything’s ok. Alright let’s wash our hands.


“Yes I know Joelle it’s fine.”

I grab the pee soaked clothes off the floor of the bathroom and proceed to rinse them out in the faucet. I got this!

“What’s this mom? How does it work?”

“That’s the hand dryer I’ll show you when I’m done.”

Now this next part must be a testament on my 4 year old's ability to learn from observation and reason. Honest to God I am not making this up...

She could not figure out or notice the buttons that flushed the toilet and turned on the faucet but the button to start the LOUDEST hand dryer you’ve ever heard in your life (which on our previous bathroom trip that day hand startled Ezelle and I had hoped to avoid) well that button she figures out.......


And like clock work the 4 year old goes into a full on panic extended scream with the 2 year old copying suit just 2 seconds later and there’s nothing I can do to turn it off or comfort the girls without soaking them in the wet clothes I have in my hands.

DEAR GOD ALMIGHTY PLEASE DON’T let anyone call CPS on me!

Just stay calm, just stay calm...They’ll see you’re calm and they’ll calm down right???

Ok hurried up the clothes rinsing and the hand dryer stops in sync with the screams and we march out of that bathroom with the 2 year old on my hip (because she couldn’t walk without the shorts falling down) 4 year old clinging to my skirt as if I was her lifeline out of HELL and a bundle of wet rinsed clothes in the other.

We are greeted by a patient person in line around the corner asking “is there a bathroom around there?” And I’m so relieved to be out of it that I completely forget to mention to her there’s no toilet paper.

I wish that was the end of the story but to just add a little icing on this cake of an unplugged motherhood narrative....

We get back to the party, tell Dad the story, and there’s kids dancing to music so of course Joelle goes to join them and within minutes Dad is trying to get her attention over the music and I turn around to see her pulling her dress up over her back flashing Minnie Mouse underwear to everyone completely innocently (remember Ezelle has her shorts on)......

Well I guess it could’ve been worse.

If you made it to the end of this story I applaud you and hope you got a good laugh out of it and an appreciation for what goes on in the throes of mothering adventures.

Memories to last a lifetime and hopefully no trauma therapy for them when they are older.

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