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Feb
26
2010

Recently my 5 year-old daughter told my mother-in-law that I don’t put toilet paper down on a public toilet seats. Thanks, Dylan. I really appreciate you having my back like that.

For the record, it’s not true.

I often do put toilet paper on the seat but by the time I get the girls up onto the seat, half the paper has already fallen into the toilet. It’s not an ideal system. When do girls learn that fantastic skill of squatting over a toilet so their butt cheeks never even skim the seat?

Nothing about public restrooms is ideal.

Take our recent trip to Cape Cod –  we stop at a local coffee shop so I can use the bathroom. I swing open the door to the ladies’ room and there indeed is a lady sitting on the toilet right in front of me. She looks at me. I look at her. That millisecond felt like the length of a James Cameron movie.

I utter “I’m so sorry” and slam the door. And then I go into the mens’ room and lock the door.  I pee and then wait.  I try to allot enough time for her to finish up her business, wash her hands, grab a cup of coffee, leave the establishment, write a full length novel and train a Shetland pony before I exit.

I am not interested in having small talk with this woman about her preference for sitting vs. squatting and whether she puts paper on the seat.

I join Rick and the girls out front. I mention nothing to them. We pick out snacks and then turn to pay the cashier.  And OF COURSE the cashier is the same woman from the bathroom.

As she handles our food, I think, oh I really hope she did wash her hands in there.

And I really wish this had been my only awkward moment of the week but I finally took those boots (the ones that Summer threw-up in) to the shoe cobbler to be cleaned. Are we all still using the word “cobbler” or did I just time travel to 1834? Anyway, I had cleaned them extensively at home (inside and out) but felt they needed the hands of a professional.

When I pick them up (all shiny and buffed), the shoe guy says to me, “What exactly was in those boots?”

And because I believe in total honesty and serving as an example for my children, I look him in the eye and say, “I don’t know.”

Thankfully, my children aren’t with me so I am able to lower the honesty threshold just a hair.

And the shoe guy looks at me with an expression that clearly says – Don’t lie to me, lady. I’ve been cleaning shoes for decades. So just go ahead and tell me the truth.

So I add, “My kids were playing with them. I don’t know what happened.”

Because I think every shoe cobbler knows that’s code for “vomit.”

mama bird notes:

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16 Responses to awkward moments in my life

  • Okay, a little bit of parenting advice – never spend so much money on children’s articles of apparel that you would hesitate to throw out the vomited-upon version of same.

    And cobbler? I didn’t even know shoe-fixer type people still exist. NYC is so quaint!

  • Kelcey says:

    Suburbancorrespondent – Oh, I should have clarified. Those were MY boots that Summer threw up in. Hence, my commitment to cleaning them.

  • Nancy Walton says:

    “Cobbler”. . .just reading that word is like taking a mini-trip on a time machine back to jolly old New England in the late 1800’s, as you mention. Did kids vomit in shoes back then?

  • Gretchen says:

    I’ve always said that one of the best things about Los Angeles is that every single public restroom has those little toilet seat cover things. I don’t know why. I assume that it’s some sort of city ordinance or something. But the upshot of this is that I’m spoiled and am unpracticed in either the “feathering your nest” method of arranging the tp on the seat, or the “hover” method of squatting. And I’m glad that I have a son, who doesn’t have to worry about the problem!

  • soccermom says:

    That was freakin hilarious. Not that I am laughing at your expense. I havent heard the word cobbler used in years. Which just goes to show you that I must be buying the cheaper version of shoes these days.

  • That’s hilarious!! And, I still use the word cobbler, but maybe that’s because I’m from the UK and we’re all so quaint!!

    I have boys so haven’t really had to encounter the whole toilet cover thing so much. Can’t imagine!

  • Jo says:

    Re: the squatting thing. I think I was 7 or 8 when my mom lost all patience with covering the seat with toilet paper and told me to deal. It worked.

    Is it wrong that the boot story make me laugh out loud and then want kids?


kelcey kintner


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