Well, for starters, while sitting on the beach, this 58 year old “Grampy” had to “go,” simple as that. On my way to the porta-john in the beach parking lot, I thought maybe my grandson, Owen, who’s making great strides at potty training, might also need to go. He did.
Another grandson, Kevin, five months older than his younger cousin, decides he needed to “go pee” too. So off we went, the three boys, headed for the great denominator that we all use now and then and would rather not talk about; a portable public toilet.
I thought, how quaint, Grampy takes his grandsons off to the potty. How tough can that be?
But allow me to digress for a moment; I fathered three wonderful daughters and no boys. Potty training girls as I remember it sure was different. During the “generating content” phase all I had to do was prevent them from falling into the toilet by holding them up under their arms. Simple. Everything, when it finally happened, pretty much went down and in one direction.
Now back to my grandsons, Grampy and the porta-john. Kevin, who does everything at warp speed, gets to the potty first, flings the door wide open (good thing no one was in there and forgot to lock it!), jumps inside and immediately grabs the urinal with both of his little hands like it was some kind of a destination or goal to get to first. I made a mental note then and there that this boy should not try to hold my hand or touch me in any way until I dunked him back in the ocean! Second born grandson, Owen, methodical and cautious as always, steps inside and announced that he really needed to pee, not soon, but right now!
Kevin was staring down into the toilet and with one hand pinching his nose said, “Stinks!.” So I closed the lid and hoisted “gotta go Owen” up onto the raised portion of the unit so that he had a clear shot at the plastic and “good aim required” tiny urinal. I helped him get the bathing suit down and the equipment pointing up and more or less in the right direction.
This left cousin Kevin on the lower level, his hands again clinching the sides of the urinal so it wouldn’t float away. And I’m thinking……he’s also standing exactly at eye level across from his cousin, who is about to let loose. Now I may be old, but some things don’t change all that much with age or practice. So I readied one hand like a shield just in case in front of Kevin’s face and my other hand behind Owen’s back in case he fell backyards during the delivery. And sure enough, here it comes, this way, that way, on the floor, a little on the wall, but not hitting his cousin or my out-stretched hand in the process.
Phase one of the mission is accomplished. I’m in the middle of praising Owen and getting his suit back up, and then Kevin, getting bored, starts messing with the latch and kicks the door open. Hello world! Nice…. He shuts the door and latches it himself as quickly as he opened it. I set one grandson down and the other up and set the stage again. This time, however, all systems are “go” but nothing happens. Instead we have a discussion about the roof, the stink, the vents overhead, “Where does it go, grampy?”…but no delivery.
Finally, back to why we made this trek in the first place… Remember, it was Grampy that had to go, so with one grandson a foot to my left and the other on the platform overseeing the entire operation, yours truly finally found relief. And judging by the clapping, and, “Are you done Grampy?” it appears that my little audience was pleased as well.
Now maybe all this isn’t a big deal to most people. But I happen to like my privacy in the bathroom. I take note of the fact that bathrooms have one sink and one toilet which indicates to me that it’s a one person affair, thank you very much. But when our kids were growing up, using the bathroom wasn’t a function, it was an event. They’d all pile in while one or the other did their business, and closing the door never seemed to occur to any one of them until I introduced the notion along the way. Even today my daughters and my wife still poke fun at me. And now, two parenting daughters are getting even after all these years as Grampy leads the next generation of potty parties.
Now back on the beach one mom said, “So how’d it go?”
“Two out of three, and I went to,” I replied. Now where did I put those Handi-Wipes?