I don’t care how old they are or how big they’ve grown, the mother in me will always view strangers as something of an unknown quantity when it comes to The Co-Defendants.
From the elderly gent at the grocery who pressed a candy into my son’s grimy hand when he was two and said ‘Eat up!’ to every sweet, well-meaning cheek pincher who dandled the kids’ hands (the same fingers which the kids would then attempt to shove to the back of the throat and slurp down heaven knows what kind of cooties), I will forever harbor something akin to an ‘ick factor’ for strangers. How do I know the candy’s not laced with something entertaining like meth and that granny didn’t just pick her nose? I don’t! Forget about them riding around the neighborhood on a bike…there’re the pedophiles we know about (I can Google it and pull up a map…no shit) and the ones we don’t. I think I’m responsible for The Diva’s OCD regarding handwashing since I was forever pulling out a wet wipe every time they touched something (or someone) I hadn’t already vetted. They’re lucky they still have fingerprints. Weird, I know, but we’ve all got our hobbies, right?
Every day I pray God protects and watches over them and gives me the wisdom to choose an appropriate weapon to take out the dirtbag that messes with one of them and the cunning to actually get away with it. Yes, I’m aware this is a gross violation of the whole deity-follower relationship but Mama always said it never hurts to ask.
The last great unknown for the mothering frontier, in my humble opinion, is the public bathroom. My children have always been weirdly attracted to public restrooms. Can’t you just pee before we leave the house? Heck no, that’d be too easy. At least we know the home potty is somewhat clean. ‘Somewhat’ being kind of relative. I have seen virtually every public toilet in this town, no lie. When he was small, it was no big deal to take His Awesomeness with me to the ladies’ room (which would go over now like a turd in a punch bowl). Now, the whole ‘I can go by myself’ mantra means I have to wait…and wait…and wait outside a public restroom for them to do their business. How long does it take anyway? Are you actually sitting on the seat?! OMG, aren’t you own butt cooties enough?! Don’t you know you’re supposed to do the ‘butt hover’? You may as well have licked the toilet! Forget washing your hands in there because the last douchebag probably didn’t and how the hell do you get out of there without becoming a full-blown cootie colony all by your lonesome?! Mom has hand sanitizer when you get out. Yes, I know it smells like a margarita but that’s as close to booze as Daddy lets her get anymore because, oooh-weee, does she ever schlep into ‘cheap date’ mode if she consumes the real deal.
Where was I? Oh, yes…
My daughter doesn’t seem to have the ‘Let’s homestead’ mind-set of her brother when it comes to the bathroom. She’s in, she’s out, she’s moving on. For a male, His Awesomeness takes an inordinate amount of time in a public restroom. Not George Michael felonious time, mind you, just more than I think is absolutely necessary for a male of any age except possibly those with prostate trouble. Which brings me to my mom tip for the day.
Wanna know how to scare the bejeebers out of a grown man without uttering the words ‘I’m late’? Listen up, mamas as I have employed this method before with great success!
I don’t trust any dingleberry to be honest when I ask ‘Hey, did you see a young kid in there?’ and proceed to describe His Awesomeness. Face it, Himself isn’t observant enough to find the mayo in the fridge door, there’s no way I can trust a stranger, a male at that, to tell me if they’ve seen my son in the restroom. Quickest route to rousting him off his perch and scaring any other occupants into wetting themselves, is to swing the door open (yes, the door to the public mens’ restroom) and shouting ‘Are you done yet?!’ You’ve never seen ’em zip up so fast except in maybe a police raid at a massage parlor. It’s shock and awe, mom-style. I am firmly convinced that crimes of opportunity are committed because, in this day and age, we’re supposed to be concerned about not offending someone or hurting their feelings by implying they might be a dirtbag. I don’t give two figs if these people think I’m a few bricks shy of a full load; that’s my kid in there and I’ll rip your spleen out and serve it to you with a nice white wine if you mess with ’em, thank you very much.
Mission accomplished: is His Awesomeness safe? Check! Did I put any potential dirtbags on notice that this child and his mutha are not to be trifled with? Check!
Employ and enjoy!