I've had a revelation:
I was doing a little bit of shopping at the local mall when my (now fully potty trained) dear little boy told me, "potty!" Naturally, we abandoned what we were doing and rushed to the nearest bathroom. As we were nearing the little hallway to the restrooms, I dropped one of the bags I was carrying. I bent down to pick up what had fallen out of the bag, and I let go of Little Spaghetti's hand for a split second. I looked up, just in time to see him disappearing into...the men's room.
"Noooooo!!!" I cried out in overly dramatic slow motion. I couldn't have imagined how many panicked thoughts would run through my head in the span of the next few seconds. What if he decides to roll around on the floor? What if he reaches into a urinal! What if he reaches into a toilet!? What if he decides to grab some unsuspecting gentleman's behind while he's just trying to pee in peace?!? Oh, the germs! The embarrassment!
But what was I to do? Find a male security guard to send on a search and rescue mission? No, that would take too long, and I wouldn't chance leaving my kid alone in a bathroom for any amount of time. Knock gently on the wall and ask for someone to kindly return my kid to me? That could work, but what if nobody picked him up right away? Imagine how many things he could touch. Or lick.
Just as I was getting ready to duck and cover and sprint into the men's room with my eyes averted as best as I could while frantically searching for my toddler, he turned around and wandered back out to me. I let out a huge sigh of relief at the awkwardness I'd so very narrowly avoided.
So, today's parenting lesson: when you're within 500 feet of any bathroom with an open door, don't even think of letting your grip on your child's hand loosen. Not even for a second.
On the plus side...he seems to have learned to pee standing up all the sudden. I'll count that as one in the win column this time.