Monday, June 24, 2013

Sanitation Violation

Sometimes I feel like every time we tackle one developmental milestone, we take a tumble and land in the mud.  For example, as soon as I felt that Cael grasped the concept of apologizing to soothe a friend he'd hurt (whether intentionally or unintentionally), I got a note home from school indicating that my son was using his "sorries" as a make-shift "get-out-of-jail-free" card.  But rather than erecting some new tiny red hotels on the Boardwalk, Cael demolished the best wood-block efforts of his classmates with an evil smirk on his face.  But it was okay, because he was "sorry and stuff".

See?  Two steps forward, one step back.

I can say with underwhelming confidence that Graham has mastered the potty.  He has an accident every now and then, but he can't be blamed for his immature ability to predict his need to pee.  So in an effort to avoid wet pants in public, we visit the restrooms at every store we frequent-- multiple times, in fact, and whenever Graham indicates that he might need to go, we run, not walk, to the nearest potty.  And that is where we take a huge developmental step backward.

No matter how many reminders I give, or whatever manipulation I employ to avoid it, Graham cannot keep his hands to himself.  He grabs the toilet seat, the urinal, the trash can, toilet paper on the floor or gum on the wall.  It's not a quirk I've noticed from him at home,  rather one that he saves for the frighteningly unknown cleanliness of public restrooms.  Most recently, Graham and I rushed to the bathrooms in our local Walmart, probably a more prolific source of bacteria than a hospital's quarantine wing, and he was immediately drawn to the filth in the room.  Before I could lock the door to the roomy handicapped stall, my son saddled up to the toilet and gripped the seat of the toilet.

"Graham!  Yuck!  Remember, you're not supposed to--"


Before I could chastise him for palming the toilet seats, he sneezed directly in my face, stopping me short.

"Oh, Graham.  This is not going well.  The next time you need to sneeze, please remember to cover your mouth.  It's super gross to sneeze right in someone's face."

 And because the "ick factor" of the event had clouded my judgment, I forgot that things always seem to come in twos.  My mischievous boys, Graham's filthy palms, still anchored on the toilet seat, the two butt cheeks of the stall's previous tenant, and yes, even sneezes.  So before I could stop him, Graham removed one hand from the germ-ridden seat and slapped it directly across his mouth as he sneezed, the other quickly wiping beneath his nose before he reached up and hugged me, anxious for the praise that he was sure would come for remembering to cover his mouth.

I wish I'd covered mine.  In fact, I wish that just this once, he'd simply wet his shorts so that I could clean him up from the safety of my own car.  But he's still mastering this developmental milestone, and the fault was mine.

I'm really sorry and stuff.

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.