A few weeks ago I really had to go to the shopping mall. My only chance was after Little Man finished his swim class and when I would be by myself with all three kidlets. Upon arrival all was going well and I even managed to push down the rising panic that comes with this kind of outing until I was feeling quietly confident. And then it happened. Thanks to my tiny bladder and the fact I can’t fit in the swimming pool change room with everyone I made a toilet trip our first stop at the shops.
THE HALLWAY OF DOOM
I walked down what can only be described as a long dark corridor complete with various doors hiding rooms that are surely only privy to center staff with the highest clearance. The lavatories were positioned towards the, ahem, back end. As I approached the only disabled toilet, a mother with a pram was making her way in. She was speaking to another woman, also with a pram, about how they were sure a toilet used to be in the parents room, which was situated at the very end.
Hmmmm. That’s interesting. Where will I go if there isn’t one down here?” I thought to myself.
I figured I’d check it out anyway, having risked accidents aplenty by making it this far down into the bowels of the shopping mall.
AROUND THE BENDS
Okay, here is where I need you to follow me. The parents room was like a “U” shape. Only just wide enough to fit my double stroller. It has big green buttons that open and lock the automatic doors that close behind you after a second or two. It might scan your retina at some point too, just to check you are in fact a stressed out parent in desperate need of relieving yourself. Unbeknownst to me, I had actually entered the kind of place that would be a test to my mental and physical capabilities.
So, as I walk in, I follow the bends (sorry I can’t help it) and reach a toilet. Totally winning, right? Little Man walks ahead, presses the green button to open the door, the layout being an “L” shape. The sink runs along the wall on my left, with an adult and a child toilet on the back wall that also seemed to taper around a small corner. He goes in first and as he walks casually starts dropping his pants so that he continues the next two meters with them around his ankles.
I walk in and press the green button to lock the door behind me. Quickly realising I can’t get to the toilet because I can’t get around or over the pram, I cleverly back out, do a ten point U-Turn and walk backwards into the toilet pulling the pram behind me. Obviously I begin lamenting in how smart I am as the automatic door closes. This lasts for about a second because guess what? I can’t reach the green button to lock the door from this side. “Oh well, I’m busting, and it’s not like I have any dignity left” I thought as I decided to just risk it should anyone open the unlocked door from the outside. If that did happen then at least I’d be pretty hidden by the pram.
As I sit it suddenly dawns on me that “hang on…. if I can’t reach the button to lock the door, I can’t reach the button to OPEN it”.
Well, there was really only one thing to do. The boy and I finished our business and washed our hands. I then lifted him onto the counter top where he gingerly stepped into and out of the trough of a sink. He then climbed down the other side, using his sisters foot-well located on the pram as a step and opened the door. Seriously, I expected glitter and confetti to fall from the ceiling as he pressed the green buzzer. I mean button.
Naturally we high-fived upon exiting. I’m also fairly certain I got a nod of respect when passing a cleaner on our way out of the hallway.