BWAH! BWAHHH! (can’t…write…intro..laughing…too…hard…bwah!)
After reading the "Marco Polo" hack the other day, I was reminded of something that I’ve been doing over the past year to keep my sanity in public washrooms with my four-year old daughter.
We play "Simon Says" to keep her hands off thing she really shouldn’t be touching in public washrooms while my hands are busy, er… attending to my own needs. She’s so curious about everything from the "funny little mailbox"; and often tries to be kind and pick up paper from the floor ("Wittering is yucky, you know.") and has even poked and prodded old wads of chewing gum stuck to the TP dispenser – all things that send me into full-on germaphobe freak mode. I used to give her something to hold, but sometimes she’d drop it – or decide that her stuffed animal wanted to see what was in the little mailbox; or sometimes she’d open the door while I was still "busy", leaving me rather exposed and in an awkward position to chase her…
So now we play "Simon Says", as in "Simon says, put your hands on your shoulders" (and keep them there for a really long time) or "Simon says, put your hands on your elbows" (because the space in a single stall is pretty tight, and why don’t more places have family washrooms?!) and "Simon says, be like a tree!" (because you need to stand STILL, as other people in their stalls don’t want visitors). It has worked for over a year now, as long as I keep it pretty silly. The minute she senses my distress, she immediately wants to explore to find out what gross thing in the bathroom is making me nervous.
I’m not so hysterical about public washroom germs, but sometimes the thought of my sweet little girl with someone else’s old gum wedged under her fingernails makes me want to hurl.
Anyway, feel free to use this however you’d like. My name is Marla Good, and I blog at Hello Josephine – but I don’t really care about attribution. I only care about someone else’s darling not fishing a tampon that someone didn’t wrap up out of the bin because that string hanging there was just begging to be pulled, and Mommy’s too busy wiping pee off the seat to make it there in time.
BWAHHHHHHHHA HA HAAAAA!
Aha ha. Hooo. Whew. I think I love you, Marla.
Love it Marla! Thanks for the tip!
I avoid taking my 2-year-old into public restrooms at all costs. I love this, though. I think we’ll be learning “Simon Says” this weekend so that mommy can go potty once again!
That’s great! I thought I was the only that had this problem. My daughter used to get on her hands and knees (yucky!) and look under at the next stall (worst!)
This is the BEST hack I’ve read in a long time….now that my daughter has figured out how to open the stall door, this one will come in handy!! Thanks!
This is fabulous! I’m reminded of a trip to the restroom where I heard from the next stall, “Do NOT open the door!” Well, I’m sure you can imagine what happened next…
My 4-yo just learned criss-cross applesauce at school, and I have him criss-cross his arms. This works for a limited amount of time, obviously. I also prattle on about how he shouldn’t touch anything… which is useless, and usually just makes old ladies in the stall next to me chuckle. Simon Says is a great next step!
What a great idea! My son is only 14 months but this will come in handy in the future. Thanks.
I am embarrassed to admit that I once tied the sleeves of my sweater around my 2 year old in makeshift straitjacket style and then wedged him between my legs so I could go. He couldn’t grab anything or flop on the floor in outrage, and my hands were free to wipe. It worked but seemed kind of mean. Sigh.
Kids who are old enough and so inclined to want to play “spy games” might also be kept busy by playing a game of “Observation,” in which they have to describe everything around you in excruciating “spy” detail, as if making a report, but without touching anything (because that leaves fingerprints, doncha know, and real spies have to know how to pay attention without drawing attention to themselves by handling what they’re studying).
The visualizations had me laughing so hard. Love this idea though! My daughter isn’t anywhere near old enough for this yet, but it’ll definitely make it into my book of tricks! Thanks.
Wow! What a terrific hack! Thank you for sharing… so many of us struggle with these types of things and your creativity is so appreciated!
Yeah, I’m gonna be using this one, too. I love it extra because I can use it on two at once! (Hey, a twin hack!)
Thanks so much for all the nice comments! And thanks, Asha, for deeming it worthy.
I did this to keep the twins occupied when I was trying to get the twins to not interfere with everyone at bedtime at home (bathroom, so full of fun!), and it worked like a CHARM. So, thanks! 🙂
Hilarious! I will try that when my youngest is old enough! LOL
Nice to know that I am not the only one who’s kid likes to see everyone else when mommy has to go potty. It’s tough because I have two boys, and I feel really wierd about them going into the stall with me because I know they’re going to peek under at the next lady. Fortunately, most times I can drag dad along on grocery shopping and have him wait outside with the kids safely contained in the shopping cart.