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I Did Something Dumb and Ended Up in the Men's Room
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No, I didn't just look at the sign wrong, or go to a restaurant that thinks it's cute to put confusing signs up by the restrooms.  Because signs that read 'Men' and 'Women'? That's so... unoriginal! Let's say it in French or Italian or Spanish or Pig Latin or something, and pretend that all these little West Texans will just KNOW which is really the Men's Room and which is really the Women's Room. And these restaurants clearly KNOW we're West Texans and all that implies. A great group of people, but we generally aren't so cultured and classy that we speak a few languages on the side, especially under pressure when we just need to pee. 

So, like I was saying, I ended up in the men's room, although it clearly said "Men" in English. My first mistake was taking my three sons to  Chick Fil A without another adult or sprouting extra arms and hands. But an after school snack and Ethan-6yr and Caden-2yr in the glass enclosed playroom, while Seth-6mth and I sit and watch? And can't hear the screams? It sounded heavenly.

Ethan-6yr decides to go to the bathroom though, and Caden-2yr tags along, with me yelling, "No! No!" And they're barefoot, having taken off their shoes to go play. I manage to get food and drinks back to the table, wheeling Seth-6mth around in a high chair with me from place to place. When I realize that my two little boys are in the men's room, hyper, and alone (hopefully) - i leave the food at the table, wheel Seth-6mth all the way to the other end of Chick Fil A and open the door. I do not look in. That's just so wrong. But I open the door with the intention of calling Caden-2yr (who does NOT potty at home, much less in Chick FIl A) and what do i hear?

Screaming. Hysteria. Little Boys In Distress. I throw open the door, wheel Seth-6mth in with me and totally forget to care if there might be some guy just trying to eat a Chicken Sandwich and get some privacy for a moment. But there isn't, and thank GOD for that. Possibly the only bright spot of this little outing. Instead, Ethan-6yr is screaming because he's trying to lock the stall door, and Caden-2yr is picking the lock from the outside. Caden-2yr has his pants off, but can't unsnap his onesie and Ethan-6yr is trying to coach him to "LEAVE MY LOCK ALONE AND GO POTTY, CADEN!" Shrill. Screaming. Reverberating off all that gray ceramic tile they have in the men's room. (WHICH IS TOTALLY CLEANER THAN THE WOMEN'S. Grr.)

It is futile to try to reason with either one of them, although I give it a shot, and don't get anywhere. I scoop up Caden-2yr, his pants, and wheel the highchair back out and sit in the nearest booth while i shove Caden-2yr's kicking legs back into his pants. People. Are. Staring.  Particularly? Men. Men who are so thankful they didn't have to go to the restroom during the moments just prior to My Scene Of Family Chaos.

So, Caden-2yr is pantsed, and I have him under one arm like a football (a kicking screaming football, because he was robbed of the privilege to pick locks and scream like a banshee in the men's room for the first time). I wheel Seth-6mth back to the table, where our food still sits, and Ethan-6yr joins us with a 'what's the big fuss?' look.

It is impossible to set Caden-2yr down without him bolting for the men's room. I offer for him to go play and SKIP eating, but no dice. I manage to get sandals on his little kicking feet, the soles of which are already black from the dirt on the floor which i really, really don't want to think about. I tell Ethan-6yr to grab the bag of food, leave the drinks and I scoop up Seth-6mth with one arm and Caden-2yr with the other. Ethan-6yr says, "No. I'm staying."

The lady in the booth behind us turns and looks, to see what I"ll do. SHe's been interested, but politely pretending not to be aware of all the thrashing and protests right behind her. I clench my teeth and quietly tell Ethan-6yr to grab the bag and walk to the car.

Now is a good time to point out that Ethan-6yr has a distinctive voice very much like Mickey Mouse. It's darling, usually. I walked to the door and he sat at the booth loudly proclaiming in his Mickey voice "I CAME HERE TO EAT!" Then he'd look to see where I was. "I CAME HERE TO PLAY!" I'm imagining he's about to incite a revolt with the under 6 crowd in Chick fil A, but I'm losing my grip on Caden-2yr, so I go hold the door open leading to the parking lot and watch Ethan-6yr continue. He shouts a few more proclamations to his audience, then grabs everything, including drinks and meets me at the door. He can barely hold it all, and neither can I, and just as i get one kid into a car seat, Ethan-6yr drops it ALL. Caden-2yr starts screaming again, and Ethan-6yr starts announcing to the people still in the restaurant who are looking our way - and i so hope they can't hear him - "MY MOM IS MEAN!" 

This was one of those times where I found myself thinking, 'ok. this is bad and it'll get better.' And then it would get worse. And then i'd think, "ok. this is worse, but now it's gonna get better.' And then it didn't.  It didn't get better until they were all in bed asleep and I'd decided never to take my three little boys anywhere alone ever again. I'm practical that way.

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Your Comments

Maria Said:

forgive me but I am lauging hysterically here. The problem is, that I could see myself in exactly the SAME situation!

on May 13, 2006 4:24:49 PM
JeanaJ Said:

Man. Man oh man. Is it wrong that the most impressing thought I have right now is how entertaining this was to read and that I'm glad Holymama is back?

on May 13, 2006 4:25:30 PM
chelle Said:

hehee sorry not laughing at you....it is these stories that make my husband question why I would want to have more kids!!

Tantrums, bad behaviour and all the things that make us cringe with our darling children are all things that EVERY parent goes through, no matter what their glare is telling you! I think you were awesome!

on May 13, 2006 5:17:44 PM
Diane J. Said:

Hey, HolyMama!, consider this: At least noone was bleeding, and noone called the cops or CPS on you, so all in all, it was a pretty good outing...Yes? No?.....LOL :-)

This was so funny, especially considering the fact it happened to YOU, and not Me, you know, LOL. ;-)

And it will get better as they get older, I promise. Different crises, but better. :-)

on May 13, 2006 6:06:29 PM
anneberit Said:

Oh, man, you write so good that I feel like I'm almost there - and now I barely can stop laughing, sorry..

I'm sorry this happened to you, but so glad you told us!

Happy Mothers Day

on May 13, 2006 7:15:34 PM
Patrick B Said:

First off. I needed that. LOL

Secondly the reason the walls in the men's room are so clean is that they have to constantly try to remove all the stuff that some men feel the need to write all over them.

Be glad that none of your kids learned "interesting" new words as a part of their adventure.

on May 13, 2006 8:19:46 PM
Diane Said:

Barefoot in a public restroom...a men's restroom no less! EWWWWWWWWW!~ After de-vomiting your house....I'd spray some Lysol on those little toes! YUK!

Ah--the joys of motherhood--which reminds me....HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!


on May 13, 2006 9:41:32 PM

Oh, friend. OH, FRIEND! Oh, we have all been there--how horrible. You deserve a night on the town after that. And can I just say that "about to incite a revolt with the under 6 crowd in Chick fil A" had me laughing out loud.

on May 13, 2006 10:09:51 PM
Owlhaven Said:

Oh, man, that stinks. Makes the cup of ice water I got in my lap at a restaurant today look like nuthin.

Mary, mom to many

on May 13, 2006 11:34:41 PM
peach Said:

Bless your heart, friend. I too have been there -- almost literally, but I have only one son . . . so I can't duplicate your situation entirely. Yet, I have gone into Men's rooms to rescue my JD more times than I'd like to admit.

Sounds like you needed a little Calgon to take you away once those sweeties hit the hay! I'm quite the poet tonight, don'tcha know it. Hee, hee. Couldn't resist. : )

on May 13, 2006 11:40:55 PM
Diane J. Said:

Kelsey, this is kind of ironic considering the subject of this post, but.......


Hope you have a great, vomit-free day, LOL. :-)

on May 14, 2006 12:11:47 AM
Lei Said:

Wow - I hope somebody gives you the world for Mother's Day tomorrow. Hugs...

on May 14, 2006 12:13:12 AM
mandy Said:

OMG, and to think I was saying "I will never take the baby(4 mo) anywhere alone again..." just yesterday. Boy am I spoiled.

You poor thing...

on May 14, 2006 8:03:39 AM
cheeriobutt Said:

Man, I feel for you soo bad! I've been reading about the puke, and then laughing, and now this! You're such a good mom though! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has days like that, but boy are they the greatest and funnest memories! I hope you had a good Mommy's Day!

on May 14, 2006 9:55:12 PM
emlouisa Said:


Thank you thank you thank you for this post. I had such a bad day today and it made me feel a tad better to know that someone else has awful days like mine too.

Happy Mom's Day!

on May 14, 2006 11:36:39 PM
oreo Said:

HEHEHEHEHE Momma says she has had to do stuff like that before! Kids......BTW, Happy Belated Mother's Day!

on May 15, 2006 7:26:15 AM
Jeana's mama Said:

I am sooo glad I swallowed that mouthful of hot coffee *before* I started reading this, or it would have been snorting out my nose! Hilarious---at least, reading about it is, but I guess not much laughter while it was happening. It reminded me of an incident from Jeana's childhood....not that *she* was ever naughty!

on May 15, 2006 7:29:24 AM
edj Said:

ROFL! I love reading stories like this...when they've happened to someone else, not me. And I've had my share of these instances! The main thing is, it sounds like you handled it just fine. A wise friend once told me, "All kids act up from time to time; what is important and what people notice is how you respond." (No I don't follow this; I just like it)

on May 15, 2006 9:10:51 AM
stephanie Said:

I too was laughing out loud. I think at some point we have all had these type of situations, maybe not to that extreme but we can all relate. You go girl for handling it so well:) At least none of your kiddos looked like mine does now, go check out my latest post:0

on May 15, 2006 10:52:02 AM
Jamie Said:

See, this is where I would have pre-empted the "My Mom is mean!" comment with, "I know, your mom is so mean!" back when the lady was peeking over the booth. I know we aren't supposed to use sarcasm, but at least then they don't think they've come up with something new. :-D

Good job, Mommy!

on May 15, 2006 4:08:30 PM
aggiejenn Said:

WOW!!! I can't believe you tried to navigate Chick-fil-a by yourself with 3 boys. You are one brave mama!! Thanks for the laugh (sorry!).

on May 15, 2006 4:21:08 PM
Shalee Said:

All I can think is Happy Mother's Day...

That just so reeks... you losing all that Chik-fil-A... Just a tragedy.

on May 15, 2006 4:51:32 PM
Heth Said:

The two year old football hold. We totally do that.

So sorry you had this traumatic experience. :)

on May 15, 2006 10:41:42 PM
millicent Said:

Wow! You have NO IDEA how much sympathy I had for you while reading that. Kudos to you for leaving and sticking to your word.

on May 16, 2006 5:36:27 AM
April Said:

Just wanted to add that, in addition to having a wonderful sense of humor, you must be a wonderful mom. Your boys are so blessed to have a mom who would try to take THREE boys under the age of 7 to a restaurant to have fun. Not to mention that you would teach them something along the way (that you don't behave that way in public and get away with it). Sometimes it seems easier to just placate your kids and let them get away with their little tantrums so we don't look "bad" to the nosy old ladies in the next booth, but your kids do remember that.
You inspire me to be a better mom.

on May 16, 2006 7:23:23 AM