Hope on the Horizon — Maybe?

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.

Fall Boys

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.


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14 Replies to “Hope on the Horizon — Maybe?”

  1. Thankfully Charlie never got into the bathroom tourist thing. We do have meal stalling and then “I’m hungry” later on as bedtime stalling. Although with his meds, I tend to feed him as they are appetite suppressants (sp?) and he needs to eat more.

  2. I’m guessing he’s getting to the age where you have an enforced bathroom/wash hands trip before a meal, and then if you get down during the meal you have finished… we’re currently doing part 1 of that with our girls (4 and 2) but not onto part 2 yet.. although it was the law for my whole childhood (along with no answering phones during meals etc). :)

    1. Yes, we have the pre-bathroom trip rule, but I don’t believe in the “if you get down, you’re done” rule. It’s not how we do it in our house. Maybe if it was an issue with BB, we would make it a rule, but he sits and eats even if he doesn’t really want to be doing so. LB, on the other hand, really only “gets down” for the bathroom, and when he says he has to go, he MEANS he has to go. I’m not going to punish him by taking away food because he needs to use the bathroom.

      1. Fair enough – I suspect it was partly having to control 4 kids in my family, some of whom would use needing the bathroom as a great get-out-of-washing-up-free card!

  3. LOL! I have to say, sometimes it feels like my kids will be 100 before I have to stop escorting them to the bathroom. I love his expression in that picture. So mischievous!

  4. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be stuck at our kitchen table until I’m one-a-hundred waiting for Alexis to finish eating. We have a “nobody’s excused until everyone is done” rule and OMG WHOSE BRIGHT IDEA WAS THAT?

    1. Oh man. Ouch. I almost went with that rule and did when BB was little. Then with the boys two years apart, it felt unfair to BB. Now it would just feel unfair to me. Are you at least allowed to read the paper/do something after YOU finish? I read while LB finishes. It almost feels wrong because I should be engaging or something, but he cannot eat and talk apparently. I hope this phase ends.

  5. I would say the phase ends but…I’m still going through it with both of mine, and the girls are 7 and 5! The only reason they’re allowed to get down is to use the restroom, and so of course they both nearly always have to go. Heaven forbid they sit still for 30 minutes!

    I don’t stay at the table while the girls are finishing, but I do stay in the kitchen (it’s eat-in), usually getting a head-start on cleaning up. That way we can carry-on conversations and I can keep an eye on what’s being snuck into napkins. :)

  6. Awesome. We currently have a bathroom tourist too! I was told this morning that our potty is a “horsey” and she had fun hollering, “yee haw, y’all”. I thought, “ok, little wierd, but I’ll go with it.” But, alas, no buisness was completed in this process *sigh.

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