Her screams could be heard halfway across the store.
Walking by, I heard her mother say, "No! We are not going BACK to the bathroom! We're not going to spend all our time at the store in the bathroom."
The screaming resumed with even greater intensity.
"But I want to! I have to go! I HAVE TO GO!!!"
I sped up my pace, not wanting my own child to be reminded that Target actually has a restroom.
What IS it with kids and public bathrooms?
Between the ages of 3 and 8, public restrooms are the mecca of their religion or something. Their Holy Land. A place of wonders and beauty indescribable.
For real. I have spent approximately 68 hours waiting on my youngest child to finish up in the bathroom. And that's just this summer.
It typically goes something like this:
1. choose a stall and after several attempts, figure out how the lock works
2. change your mind and struggle with figuring out how to UNLOCK the lock
3. choose another stall
4. choose another stall
5. try to enter yet ANOTHER stall, only to find it's occupied
6. tell your mom you can do it by yourself and you don't need any help
7. after about three minutes, tell your mom you do, in fact, want her help and struggle with the lock AGAIN to let her in
8. try to find a comfortable position and manage to touch every possible square inch of the commode.
It's even better if you can play with the sanitary supplies trashcan.
9. finish your business and fuss when your mom helps put your clothes back in position
10. lay down on the floor when your shorts are slightly twisted
11. act totally and completely caught off guard when mom tells you to wash your hands
12. very reluctantly participate in hand washing, then go back and touch the stall door and commode
You get the picture...
I'm serious. If you have a child under the age of five, I KNOW you have experienced this very scenario many times.
Often, my husband sends in random females to check on our status and make sure we will actually be coming out of the restroom before midnight. It's just so tempting to settle in and people watch in there, you know.
I've resorted to paying my older girls to take their sister to the bathroom for me. It used to be pretty cheap. For 25 cents, they would whisk her away and manage all the undesirable aspects of time in the bathroom with her.
What a bargain!
However, they have recently raised their rates.
Last week my husband and I had to negotiate them down, because their first offer was twenty bucks. Thankfully, our middle child doesn't quite grasp the value of money just yet, so she happily agreed to thirty cents after very little haggling.
Taking this child to the bathroom is a very long, complicated ordeal.
Sometimes I'm just not up to it. This is the reason I had more than one child. It's taken quite a few years, but my plan is now beginning to pay off.
So Moms, when I see you headed for the restroom, I'll give you a high five and say a little prayer. See you in two hours (If you're lucky).