Monday, April 05, 2010

so much for dignity

Funny how parenthood strips away one's dignity, bit by bit. I thought it couldn't get worse than lying naked, panting and sweaty in the delivery room while a half dozen people calmly looked on, watching my very most private parts and waiting for the baby to appear. I was wrong.

The other morning, Daniel was complaining a bit about some pain and discomfort in a certain region of his body. I'll spare y'all the details, but we talked with him about the benefits of eating lots of fiber and drinking lots of water and how these things can alleviate such discomfort. Our discussion included some rather graphic details of certain bodily functions, and the whole thing occurred while I was cooking up some breakfast.

I admit I was just a tad worried about this. Despite being a terribly picky eater who resists eating most fruits and vegetables as a matter of course, Daniel's never had, you know, problems staying regular. So his complaints that morning reminded me that we should step up the encouragement to eat enough veggies and fruits and whole grains.

Later that day, the problem resolved itself. We had gone to Menards to look for a new screen door (a particularly strong gust of wind ripped apart the old one). After playing peekaboo in the display of fancy outside doors for a while, Daniel announced he needed to use the bathroom. I sent him in the nearby Men's room. When he had been in there a couple minutes longer than necessary, I hollered in the doorway:

"Daniel, is everything okay in there?"
"Yeah."
"Do you need help with anything?"
"Well, I can't get my shoe on."
"I can't come in there. It's the men's room."
"MOM HELP ME! I NEED HELP!"
"Daniel, I can't come in there right now. Have you washed your hands yet?"
"No."
"Well, come here and I'll help you with your shoe, then you can go back in and wash your hands."
Pause.
Shuffle, shuffle.

Daniel appears at the doorway, pants and underwear wrapped around his ankles, one shoe on, one shoe dangling.
"Daniel, why didn't you pull up your pants? Did you have to poop?"
"Yeah."
"Did you wipe up?" and without bothering to wait for an answer, I check. "Good enough."
So I help him pull up his pants and fasten his shoe, then send him back in the bathroom to wash his hands.
(This is all happening in full view of men walking in and out of the restroom, and people shopping for shingles and siding, which are on display on the wall nearby.)
"Mom, I can't reach the soap!"
Sigh.
He comes back out, I give him a squirt of hand sanitizer, which he rinses off in the drinking fountain. That probably isn't allowed, but I had already checked my kid's butt in the doorway of a public restroom, so whatever. I didn't care. And that's just a reality of having small children: you lose your dignity, or at the very least, your concern for privacy.

5 comments:

Rosemary said...

Oh no. But thanks for the laugh.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Been there, done that!

Claire said...

I was eating a bowl of cereal while reading this and nearly choked, it made me laugh so hard!

Animal said...

Seems like anything kid-related trumps dignity. Or, rather, makes dignity completely unnecessary. Gotta check to make sure he wiped well…and after all, it's HIS bum out in the breeze! No worries: I wouldn't have thought anything of this if I'd seen it in a store.

Becca said...

Based on CJ's inner sense of modesty (or lack thereof), I'm not certain children can lose their dignity if they don't realize they have it. Although, I have gotten him to agree to wear pants when people come over. He's not certain why that's a rule but he follows it. I'll take it.