Friday, July 11, 2008

Random: Toilets

Today, while lunching at Paesano's, I struck a hidden pleasure: A just-cleaned toilet.

I know, it sounds very bizarre, but I love knowing I'm the first to use a toilet after it's been cleaned. The seat is still up from the brushing under the rim, and I feel like I've scored big. Add bubbles from the cleaner - goodness, I get excited!

But here's the weird thing: If it's a public toilet and the lid is up and it's all gleaming from a fresh cleaning ... I still remove a few squares of paper to put down the seat. I happen to find toilet seats especially disgusting. I have no problem with my bottom touching one (unless it's hideously bad), but I will not touch the seat with my hands for any reason.

Before children, there was hardly ever a reason to touch a seat - aside from the aforementioned fresh cleaning that took place minutes before I came in. But now, I've become a pro at handling the public toilet and all its nuances.

Lately, it never fails that we get to the very back of HEB - about half-way through with our grocery shopping - when Mitchell announces "I need to go potty."

We rush up to the store like contestants on "Supermarket Sweep." They have really nice, clean restrooms in their cafe area now, so we speed over there, park the basket, pull out Noah and the diaper bag and rush into the potty to take full advantage of the handicapped stall.

Mitchell is really good about letting me lift the seat and about not resting his you-know-whats on the rim like he often does at home.

And, thank goodness for the handicapped stall! I personally think it should be labeled "wheelchair/family accessible." Luckily not many shoppers know about the Cafe restroom, so we've always been able to use the handicapped stall.

Even better than that is the family restroom at Nordstrom. Those guys really have thought of it all. The ladies' room features a "nursing mothers" area, complete with big chairs and room for strollers - plus a small table upon which to rest your drink. And, they have a big, cushy changing table - not one of those fold-down Koalas.

I know, it is really odd that I can go on and on about restrooms, but I can!

While on vacay this spring at the Amelia Island Plantation in Florida, I had a very upsetting restroom scenario.

Mitchell was doing very well with his pull ups and letting us know when he had to go pee-pee. Numero Dos was another story. He would tell us after he had done the deed.

Well, we were lunching at the Marche Burette at the Plantation (and by "we," I mean our fam, Paul's parents and his brother) when Mitchell announces that he went potty. That meant Numero Dos.

So, I gathered up the diaper bag and headed inside to search for a changing station. I visited the ladies' room, expecting to find on there, but there was none. So, I headed back out to our table to ask our waitress where I could change him. Her answer? "You could lay him down on the bathroom floor."

EXCUSE ME?! Put my child on a filthy bathroom floor? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!

So, Paul being the trooper he is, gathered up Mitchell and all the changing gear - and enlisted the supervisory help of Grandpa and Uncle Frank - and headed back to our rent-a-Sienna and changed Mitchell there.

In the meantime, I demanded to speak with the restaurant's manager. She, too, was appalled at the waitress's suggestion. The manager even said that she would have lent her own office for me to change him. She also told us that the bathrooms had just been remodeled - and, I agree, that there were very nice - and that the changing stations had not been reinstalled.

We all got free desserts once the guys returned. Mitchell really enjoyed his ice cream.

But, my sweet reward was watching the waitress get chewed out and sent home by the manager.

(One note here: The Amelia Island Plantation prides itself on its guests services and friendliness. Aside from this awful waitress - and the dip who pretended to be a waitress at the Beach Club Grill - the service was really top-notch. They even delivered a bunch of baby gates to our house so we could protect Mitchell from falling down the stairs!)

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