LittleBrother is a Bathroom Tourist. He has not met a bathroom he doesn’t like. He visits bathrooms in restaurants, schools, churches, stores and friends’ houses. He even enjoys a good porta-potty on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, he almost always “has” to use the bathroom during a meal. I say “has” in quotations because, more often than not, it’s just a LittleBrother ploy to get out of eating whatever he has deemed inedible at that given moment. Meal stalling at its finest.
It happened during dinner tonight. It’s frustrating when it happens during a dinner that I know he likes. I made breakfast for dinner, because who doesn’t like a good brinner? Both of my boys love eggs, so I thought we’d have a dinner-fight-free-night. I was wrong, as I am about so much in parenting, and LittleBrother dawdled even more slowly than usual. He even pulled the bathroom trick.
As I sat and read the newspaper while he finally finished up his last few bites, he came up with a grand plan.
“What is it, Bubba?” (Can you hear my exasperated tone?)
“When I’m one-a-hundred years old…” There’s a pause here while he actually takes a bite of the forsaken dinner. “When I’m one-a-hundred years old, I’ll wipe my own butt.”
Oh. Oh good. I’ve just got 96.25 years left of meal-time-bathroom-duty. How thrilling! I chose not to respond to his butt-wiping declaration — because, what do you say to that anyway?
“But Mommy, you’ll need to get me a bigger toilet for when I’m one-a-hundred.”
“Noted. Bigger potty. Eat your eggs.”
“Okay Mommy. But promise me you’ll still love me when I’m one-a-hundred.”
I lowered the paper and looked across the table at the meal-time-stalling, bathroom-touring, frustrating-almost-four-year-old staring back at me.
He looked kinda like this: Hopeful and silly and just — him.
What can you say to that?
“I promise. But I hope you eat faster when you’re one-a-hundred, Bubba.”
“I will, Mommy. I promise.”