As we rode the elevator up to the food court, I saw Big E pull a Michael Jackson.
You know, the crotch grab. When Big E needs to go to the bathroom he sometimes uses that move. By the way, is that trademarked? Mr. Yoy? Anyone?
DO YOU HAVE TO USE THE RESTROOM?
I've grown wise to his body signals.
NO, MOM! (I also detected the slightest of eye rolls).
I take his three-year-old word for it.
We hit up CFA and order a barrage of kids' meals, applesauce, milk and toys.
I get everyone set up at the table.
This may be a one sentence statement, but it involves many detailed steps and takes about 5-10 minutes. I like to think of myself as Swedish Chef meets Mary Poppins. It is hurried and panicked and complete chaos.
I finally sit down and begin shoveling my lunch down my throat.
We make it about three minutes into lunch.
I HAVE TO PEE! I HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM!
The words I dread hearing. Especially at this moment in time. I've got $20 worth of uneaten food on the table.
My brain scrambles into action. I scan the food court. I have a few choices.
1) I ask the nice businessman sitting next to me if he'll watch our food and/or Little E while I shuttle Big E to the toilet. I consider this man legit because he is wearing a tie and it is swooped over his shoulder so the french fry grease doesn't drip on it.
2) I ask the friendly CFA counter person if she'll watch our food from across the food court and make sure someone doesn't drop roofies into our chicken. I'd hate to wake up in the Pike House (again) wondering what the hell happened to me. (JOKING!)
3) I scrap lunch and just throw everything away and scurry off to the family restroom so me and my kid can use the dueling toilets while looking at each other.
4) I bribe Big E to hold it while we finish lunch. Conveniently there is a Tollhouse Cookie Cart within his line of vision. This might be the winner!
I gave Big E options three and four. Obviously he goes with the cookie-for-holding-it option.
We finish up lunch, hit up the bathroom, and then head down to get Big E's haircut.
I'd like to pause here to voice my frustration about lunch. It didn't have to be that way. I know I could have insisted that Big E use the bathroom before we sat down, but I asked him and for whatever dumb reason, I trusted him.
But the next part of the story sent me over the edge.
Fast forward like 15 minutes. Big E's hair is done. We are walking to the mall exit when we spot the seasonal Halloween costume store.
We go in to pick out a costume for Big E. After a few indecisive minutes, Big E goes with Buzz Lightyear. I guess he has forgiven Buzz for last December's scuffle.
I'm in line paying.
I HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM! I HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM!
Say what? Again? This is happening again? Like 25 minutes later? I did not put near enough deodorant on for a day like today. How many fire alarms are we going to have at the mall?
We literally run out of the store. Little E giggles in the stroller like he is on some sort of Disney ride.
This time, my mind isn't as sharp. I can only think of the bathrooms upstairs, even though I'm sure there is one on the lower level. I decide to chance it and run to our car where we house a deluxe backseat potty.
HOLD IT! SQUEEZE IT! HOLD IT!
I'm sure we were quite the sight running through the parking lot.
We made it to the car without an accident.
But as I launched Big E onto his potty, I'll admit, I had a moment of diaper nostalgia.
Yeah, they are expensive as sh*t, but as I stood sweating in the mall parking lot while my kid sat on a toilet inside my car, I wholeheartedly missed my diaper safety net.
Little E may never be potty trained.
Things were so much simpler back then...