Yesterday was my fiance's birthday celebration, so we went out to a great restaurant in Baltimore with the whole family. He loves their crabcakes, so its worth the crazy long drive. The Little Man only spends every other weekend with my ex, so we're always taking him out to dinner or wherever we're going and its never really a problem. I should add "any more" to that sentence, because he was the WORST dinner companion ever as a 1-3 year old. He hates loud noises, new people, and new places... so for awhile any time we took him out of the house he'd scream bloody murder until we went home. Yeah that was a fun two years. But he hasn't had any major public meltdowns in a good six months or so, so we were pretty secure in our decision to take him out with us.
Anyways, we went out to the restaurant and somehow in the car Little Man had managed to wet his pants. A) Gross. B) Uhhh... now what? He's typically a very safe bet when we go out and never has diaper issues. So the men head off to the bathroom to get all cleaned up, and there is (of course) no changing table to be seen. I peek in the women's room and there is no changing table there either. A kind restaurant employee lets me know its in the handicapped stall. Lovely, as there is already a line of women waiting to use the restroom.
So into the bathroom we go to wait our turn... and the dryers. Oh the dryers. In LM's defense, they are loud for me and I have no sensory issues. One blast of the dryers and the screaming begins. And here come the judgey looks. I don't want to pick him up because his pants are wet, and so I am patting his head and letting him bury his face in my legs. But the LM can't stop screaming and is freaking out at this point, so I suck it up and and try to hold him as he screams and kicks. More judgey looks. Little Man is four, so when you look at his little face screaming and see him kicking his momma and pulling at her hair, you might just see a bratty little guy throwing a tantrum to get what he wants. I've said it to many people over the years - the problem when I go out with LM is that he doesn't look disabled in any way. So for whatever reason, people think they have the right to toss me nasty looks or judgey faces at the way I parent my little guy in public. I also don't think it helps that I look about eighteen years old, but thats another issue. But with Little Man there is no way to convince him (unlike an actual bratty kid) that something he feels scary is not, so you either get him away from the scary or deal with the noise. And wet pants meant dealing with the noise.
Little Man is kicking, screaming, and I am smiling politely at the old ladies in line and waiting for the one in the walker to finish up in the handicapped stall. I've told every lady in line that we are waiting our turn for the stall, and they glance away awkwardly so as to not get scream on their nice dresses. The little old lady in the walker edges out of the bathroom, and one of the ladies who has been giving me the rudest looks sweeps into the handicapped stall with a backwards stink eye to my son who is defiling the sacred bathroom with his screaming. Great. At least five more minutes of this. At this point I am trying hard not to run out of the place screaming myself. I wish people realized sometimes that yes, I am just as embarassed for me as you are...
We finally get our turn in the handicapped stall and Little Man is scared to lay down on the changing table. He is fighting me tooth and nail and the screams are getting louder (if that is possible, or perhaps the echo was worse in an enclosed space). He's pinching my arms to get me to pull him up or off the table... By the time I get him changed, my nerves are shot to hell and we exit the bathroom which has somehow miraculously cleared out.
Hubs (I know we aren't married yet, but it is my favorite nickname for the guy. Sue me! ) is waiting outside the bathroom with a pained look on his own face. He sticks a fruit snack in the kid's mouth and the screaming stops. "I was about to send a little old lady in with these for you but I never thought it would take that long."
We get to the table and its like the bathroom never happened. The server commented that he was the most well-behaved child she'd ever seen. Which is our usual compliment when we take him out, he usually sits quietly and eats cheerios while we have long dinners. People are baffled that he doesn't ever get antsy or cry. Anyone that wasn't in the bathroom thought he was an angel.
I got a mimosa. Screw the environment, hand-dryers are the work of Satan.