Parenthood is messy. I realized this the day I was peed on when I was changing my baby's diaper days after I had given birth. I'm reminded of the messiness when I clean vomit from the car or from my bed. Children can be messy.
Two days ago, I found my three year old in the bath-tub, covered in an entire bottle of Zincofax, mixed together with an entire bottle of Johnson's baby lotion. It took a long time to get him clean, and his skin is still softer than it was the day he was born.
Yup. Parenthood is messy. But messes? I can handle. Something I can't handle, though? Something that makes me break out into a cold sweat, gasping for air?
Public bathrooms. See, I suffer from Mysophobia. The fear of germs. (I have a lot of other fears, too.)
Of course, because I have this fear, my children will always, always have to go the bathroom when we're in the mall, at a restaurant, in the grocery store, or on a road trip. Gone are the days when I could walk into Banana Republic to change my baby's diaper in the change room without anyone knowing, because well, my boys aren't in diapers anymore. (I used to breastfeed in change rooms, too, in case you wanted to know.)
You might think I'm crazy to have such a fear, but when my children have to go-go? They do it without their clothes on.
So picture me, hyper-paranoid mom, dealing with my children sitting on a toilet seat, with their clothes off, sometimes using their little hands to position themselves on the seat better. I stand, biting my nails nervously as the toilet paper I used to cover the toilet seat falls into the toilet. I tell them to hurry up, because there is only so much I can take, and we wash our hands, leaving as quicky as possible, as I rummage through my purse for my Purell. Those nights? They stay in the bath an extra, extra long time.
Although there is not much I can do to avoid these types of situations, there is something I do to avoid nervous breakdowns when my boys have to pee.
Instead of watching my children come into contact with a germ infested public toilet seat, I carry a plastic cup or an empty water bottle with me. So when my boys have to do their business? I calmly walk them into the bathroom, and they pee into the bottle or cup. I flush the liquid down the toilet, dispose of the cup or bottle, wash our hands, and we are on our way. This has come in handy so many times. With a three year old, there are a lot of emergency stops made while driving, and now, my little dude doesn't even have to get out of the car when he has to go sometimes.
I just have to add here that since my six year can reach the toilet seat in most establishments, he doesn't pee in a cup. My three year old does, in some public bathrooms if the toilet seat is too high. Or if the bathroom is really, really gross. And? I'm totally fine with this.
Anything that makes my life as a mom easier? I totally support.
Am I a genius or what?