It may please you to know that the public toilet situation for (Gran)ma and (grand)boys has improved some over the past thirty plus years. There is now this awesome invention: family restrooms. Where were they when I was agonizing over how old is too old to bring a man-child (accent on child) into the women's restroom? Alas, though, they are still not universally available.
And so it was that last week when grandboy #4 (who coincidentally turned 4 the same week), announced that he had to go to the bathroom - the one located in the bookstore we were frequenting - the bookstore without a family restroom. We were exactly 12 minutes into our adventure - and 15 minutes since Josiah last used the restroom, at least by his account. Sigh...
But I know better than to ignore the bathroom request of a four-year-old. I was also acutely aware that we should avoid the isles with toys and children's book while en route to our destination. Apparently, the bookstore is well aware of the power of the gauntlet. Those things that grandboy #4 missed in his ogling were pointed out by grandboy #3. It was tough to keep them on task - a task of the utmost importance and urgency, or so I was led to believe.
When we finally arrived at the correct corridor, with empty hands (score one for Granma), Josiah headed into the first door - the one marked "MEN." Aidan, thank you child, pointed out that Josiah was a boy, not a man and he couldn't go in that door. Fortunately, he didn't apply the same logic when the three of us went in the door marked "WOMEN." I take my wins were I can find them.
There was a slight delay in choosing the optimal stall - all three being empty and therefore subject to inspection. Door number two it was. While Josiah announced his every move, Aidan went straight to the sink. "Look, Granma, a snowman!" Indeed, a little melting pile of fluff rested in the palm of his hand. Aren't automatic soap dispensers a marvelous invention? Might be up for debate... Next came the magic water dispensers that operate that the wave of a hand. Followed by the similarly responding giver of paper towels - one for Aidan, one for Granma (who wasn't quite yet in need of Aidan's considerable consideration).
About this time, Josiah emerged from door number two, with Lightening McQueen encircling his slim hips, while his shorts, who would otherwise cloak the shy McQueen, circled his ankles. "Josiah, you should pull your shorts up before coming out." Back to the sink for another round of snowmen, magical waterfalls and Aidan's help with paper towels, this time both for Josiah and for the next person who happened into this enchanted room. How kind...
In the end, it appears our side adventure was quite the success. If you don't count the slight over spray from the sink, all liquids ended up in their appropriate vessels, as did the paper towels, with the exception of the one left hanging from the dispenser for convenience of the next guest. We continued on with our quest to find the perfect books for birthday boy and his brothers.
Note to self: never believe a four year old who insists he "just went" before leaving on a quest. "Just" is a relative term - but it's no relative of mine! Next time, he will have to prove it!