Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Family that Pees Together

I had a play date scheduled with BFF Kathy and her two kids last weekend. Her 5-year-old daughter's soccer game got rained out, so we had unexpected extra time together.

"What should we do?" Kathy asked. We wanted to do something fun, indoors.

"The La Habra Depot Children's Museum?" I suggested.

"Or maybe the Discovery Science Center?" Kathy offered.

Her daughter got to pick. Her first choice: to visit the bathroom with the two toilets in the family lounge, the one in the mall's food court near my home.

Kathy laughed with delight. She thought it was an odd choice, but what the heck, it was free.

Kathy's husband braved the rainy, crowded freeways to bring their family of four to West Covina. We enjoyed a good, healthy lunch of chicken, vegetables, and rice in the food court of our local Shopping Town Plaza.

We got lucky! The family lounge restroom was empty as we entered, on that busy, rainy Saturday afternoon. Kathy and her daughter went in first, to use the restroom with two toilets, side by side, one big one for the parents, and one little one for the kids. The three of us men made ourselves comfortable in the lounge area.

The lounge is set up like a nice, comfortable waiting room, with counters on one side for diaper changing, and a microwave for heating up bottles of milk or packed lunches. There are magazines to read, cartoons playing on a T.V. screen, and a play center in the middle of the area rug, one of those sturdy wooden set ups with several colorful and movable pieces. It's supposed to represent a small school bus, so you can pretend to drive, too.

Kathy's husband and almost-3-year-old son went in next. I didn't need a turn.

We spent the better part of an hour in the family lounge, relaxing quietly. Several other families came in after us, mostly young married couples with babies who needed their diapers changed. It became busy, as we had expected. When the two-toilet restroom was occupied by other families, we helpfully pointed out to others waiting that there were regular restrooms on the other side of the food court, across the way. And, no, the regular restrooms are not as special or as nice as the family lounge, so we understood people's reluctance to leave.

None of us seemed anxious to leave. Our palates still needed some sweet, however, so we were finally lured out by the promise of hot fudge sundaes at the food court's McDonald's.

Sometimes, it's the simple things in life that satisfy the most.


golfwidow said...

I love how you felt it necessary to point out that you didn't need a turn. You remind me of me telling the Mom, "I promise I just went."

Quin said...

i am in envy.

yes, give me one of those seven deadly sins in a sticker i will wear to the mall.


i would balance a baby on my hip whilest (notice the left over st) coaxing (JUST PEE FOR GOD'S SAKE!!) a toddler to do their business, then sit on said toilet myself, with the baby on my knees to change them.


Peter Varvel said...

Sorry, Quin, I can't help laughing, as the evil, childless forty-something that I am.
You need an Uncle Peter who is willing to assist you in these dire situations.

Golfwidow, somehow I didn't feel right using the special family toilet as an unmarried (legally), childless man.

Quin said...

oh, peter, this was long ago, when maternity fashions still were mostly pink or blue or green or beige and tended to have duckies on them... and after husbands did lamaze coaching.. smiling cheerfully...they disappeared.

personally, i feel every father who insists on 'natural' childbirth should push out a frigging kidney stone first, then tell his wife to push a baby out.

but, yes, i could have used you.