Category Archives: Judy
I’ve recently had some incidents which have caused me to ponder “how old should your son be before you let him go into the men’s public restrooms alone”?
Like many parents with a preschool aged child, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting every public restroom, in every one of my favorite stores and restaurants. It always happens at the most inopportune time and usually when you’re in a rush. You know the days when you just need to quickly run into the grocery store to pick something up because you have nothing defrosted – and you’re on the check out line with your items when you hear your precious angel say “mommy, I have to go to the bathroom”. ARRRGGGHHH!!! This happens to me often. At that point I ask my son, ‘just hold on a second’ while I’m hoping and praying the cashier doesn’t need a price check on anything. Alas my order is complete and we’re just about done when I hear “mommy, I REEEEALLY have to go….it’s an EMERGENCY”!!!! Now I’m sweating – it’s a complete “code red” situation! I ask the cashier to push our stuff aside, apologize to all the frowning customers and we’re making a mad dash to the restroom. Honestly, I think the employees at my local grocery store think I work there, since I frequently run into them in their break room. LOL We run to the lady’s room and once again, another emergency diffused.
When my son started kindergarten last year there was all kinds of talk about how they’re all big kids, being responsible, etc. This is great, except it’s total sabotage to a parent when these such ‘potty emergencies’ arise. He’s in school, he’s allowed to walk the halls, go to the bathroom alone (with a buddy), but then I take him somewhere and there is NO WAY I’m letting him go into a men’s public restroom on his own. So now I hear ‘why do I always have to go in the girls room’? How do you explain to your innocent child that there might be crazy, perverted, lunatics lurking. OK, so I’m slightly paranoid and just a bit over protective – but it’s how I roll. LOL What’s even better is trying to explain why he can come into the lady’s room, but Mommy can’t go into the men’s. LOL Such confusion!! So I broke down ONE TIME…at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Just he and I, having a great day when I hear those magic words. We head to the bathrooms and he’s pulling me to the men’s room. Of course I’m tugging him in the other direction. Now he’s raising his voice saying “emergency, emergency”, so I gave in, but not before I closed my eyes, opened the men’s room door and yelled “anybody in here”??? Thankfully, it was empty and my son ran in. This mother stood guard outside that door as if I was guarding Buckingham Palace. I was opening the door a crack to talk to him when a gentleman walked passed me and entered the bathroom. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept my back to the door, still opened a crack and talked to him until he was done, hands were washed and he was standing besides me. He was very happy and proud while Mom was getting stares and chuckles from other parents, including the poor guy that walked in after my son. LOL
So I guess I’ll have to do this on a case by case basis – depending on where we are at the time. Believe me, he’ll probably be in the lady’s room with me for quite a while longer, but I look forward to the day when I can just send him in on his own. I don’t think I’ll be missing our adventures together in the lady’s room – at a baseball game, restaurant, theater, you name the venue – when have to “go” and he doesn’t, he’ll find entertainment in opening my door, peeking under at the next stall or better still, trying to crawl under!!! Aaaaahhhh boys – such fun…..but I love him!!
I’ve been having a little bit of an issue with random things disappearing from my house. What’s strange is that it’s usually food that’s missing and it’s totally random. An entire container of ‘no-salt spices’ went missing for almost three days. Then it just showed up as mysteriously as is disappeared! Honey mustard, here today, gone tomorrow….then it’s back again. Then, finally a brand new jar of relish that was in the refrigerator barely 48 hours goes M.I.A. too!!
I seriously was starting to get a bit freaked out about my mental state. This kind of thing doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, I’m left feeling like either there are little critters swiping stuff through the night to create their secret stash or I’m clearly losing my mind. Part of me was just thinking, “it must be here somewhere” especially because I have a husband that puts things in weird places when he doesn’t know where they go. So, I thought “wait, I don’t think motherhood has completely depleted me of my sanity yet”, I decided to interrogate the ‘usual suspects’. Of course, my husband had no information….not like I expected to hear anything else. Then I asked my son, who will fess up and tell the truth or rat out a person under no pressure or bribery whatsoever. He also knew nothing. That leaves my daughter….hmmm. Could it be?? I call her at work to ask if she knew where the relish was. To my surprise, she had it with her! WTF?? Who takes relish to work? It was then that I asked about the other missing food items to which she says “oh yeah, I take stuff to make my lunches at work”!!! OK, I would normally not even care, but I guess it was driving me nuts with all these random disappearing acts so I kind of bitched her out a bit, she apologized and we hung up.
My daughter and I have a very close relationship and I speak with or text her a few times a day. She lives with me, but she goes to college and works a lot and during the day we’re on different schedules. We sign off every conversation by saying “I love you”, but that whole day I was quite busy and I pretty much rushed through every call because I was constantly multi-tasking. A day or two goes by and I was having a quiet moment with my daughter and out of nowhere she says “I guess you’re not made at me anymore”….to which I was dumbfounded because I had no clue what she was talking about. She clarified by saying she thought I was mad at her on the day of the “missing relish incident” because (as she timidly stated) “you didn’t say “I love you” the whole day. She felt that I was doing that intentionally out of anger! Aaaaaaaahhhh! My heart stopped and I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I immediately hugged her and said “first, that’s insane if you think I’d be that petty – second, you dork, you seriously think I love relish that much, enough to make you feel bad – third, I LOVE YOU and I’m sorry you felt that way, it wasn’t intentional at all”. We both laughed at how ridiculous it was, but ladies, talk about daggers to the heart! It really made me step back and recognize how much of what we do and say affects our children every day. I was especially moved at knowing how much comfort she gets in hearing me say those three simple words everyday…. which I know I will never take for granted….ever again!
It was spring break for public schools and we started ours with yet another case of ‘strep’! This time there were no symptoms except the bulging, red tonsils so I was a bit reluctant to even head to the docs office. But the fact that it lingered on for 3 days and my son was starting to talk like Marlon Brandon as the Godfather, I broke down to get him checked. To my surprise it was full blown strep once again – which he had just had earlier this month. So the beginning of the week was a bit dull, although my son was sick, he was bouncing off the walls. Twice, my face and body “accidentally” became a target during his personal indoor soccer game – which scoring a goal was a success when you hit the front window! Oh yeah – it was gettin’ crazy! On day three, I take him to an indoor playground for a play date and all seems to go well, but I contact the doc again, because he’s now having some stomach trouble from the meds. They agree to change the script, to which I say “sure, that’s just great….I just paid $50 for antibiotics that ran right through him (literally) for 3 days and now I’m starting all over with something else….thank you oh so much”.
Now, I throw caution to the wind and forge ahead with our big Spring Break adventure for Thursday. We were heading to the “Big Apple”….that’s right, the melting pot of the USA. Visiting New York can be quiet an adventure, even for a veteran. I had planned to take him back to CMOM (Children’s Museum of Manhattan – see the “Family Fun” page on this site). So Thursday comes and we decide it would be easier to take the train and then the subway. Nooooo prob!!! I can get around Manhattan pretty well, how bad could this be? Well first off, the train is so crowded we have to stand all the way to Grand Central. Once in Grand Central Terminal I ask the information desk how to take a subway. Turns out you need a card of some sort and you have to first take the shuttle to the subway. Hmmm, so far, so good. Let’s just say these damn metro cards or whatever the hell they’re called were THE biggest nightmare. They only let you buy one ticket at a time or it just plain doesn’t work etc. Anyway, we finally go through the turnstile thing and find the subway train. Wait, something doesn’t look right….is it me or are these trains getting smaller? It literally reminded me of a cartoon where you’re packed in like sardines. We jump into the subway train and once again, we’re standing. My son is being so great so far and not fazed by any of this. I nearly toppled a poor college kid with the motion of the train stopping and since we were ‘so friendly’ now, I asked advice on getting to CMOM. So, my new friend was our subway tour guide after that. LOL
We get to CMOM, we have a great time and spend several hours there. I figured we would probably stop for an early dinner first because I needed to fuel up before attempting the subway again. So I asked a nice woman, who just happened to be a native New Yorker if there was a place close by. Well, I was very excited when she told me of a place that “although doesn’t look like much on the outside, the food is great and they give the kids balloons” etc. So we leave CMOM and we’re walking to this hidden treasure. I finally find the place and as we’re getting closer I notice nice outdoor seating, the inside was small but what burst my bubble was the two gentlemen (ahem) sitting outside that looked like they might have just had a meeting with the parole board. Sorry, but NO! So, I nonchalantly, do a u-turn and decide we’re going to Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square. Of course my son is whining “but I’m hungry mom” and I’m rummaging through my bag for any snack to hold him over. In my haste, I run down into the subway terminal but it doesn’t look quite like it did before. Hmmm – I ask a nice lady waiting for her train if this is heading downtown to Times Square. She so sweetly tells me “oh no honey, you’re going uptown”. OMG!!! What is wrong with me! She tells me to go up and over to the other side to get around without paying for yet another of those annoying cards. I manage to do that painlessly and downtown, here we come. During dinner I was asked our server all about the shuttle and subway etc. and he informs me that I DO NOT have to buy a ticket for my son – “he can just go under”. WTF?? Was anyone going to tell me this while I was fighting with those metro card machines?? Now it’s getting quite late, so we head to the shuttle once again and now I’m a pro. I go up to buy MY ticket and it’s now getting really crowded. We get up to the turnstile thing and I say to my son “when I run the card through, you go under”. “OK, got it Mommy”!! So I run the card and my son PUSHES the turnstile and I am stopped short because I no longer have access. MY SON JUST TOOK MY TURN!! OMG!!! So now he’s on one side and I’m on the other! This was clearly the evenings’ entertainment for the commuting pros that were out that night – and very evident that I was “an out of towner”!! So, the nice Port Authority guy tells me to go through the emergency door instead (as he chuckles). Now, for some reason I’m getting confused and I have my son constantly chanting “are we still in New York”? Not to mention that he is touching EVERYTHING he sees (billboards, garbage bins, etc)!! I’m skeeving and want to powerwash him ASAP. I can’t seem to find which train is the shuttle because I’m confusing Track 7 with Train 7. After stopping to ask a trio of NYPD and their gorgeous German Sheppard for directions, then, because at this point I think I’ve developed short-term memory loss, I stop once more to ask a train conductor – we finally find our way. Once in Grand Central it’s a piece of cake – finally homeward bound!
I would just like to say that everyone I spoke to from Grand Central, to CMOM, to all the random people in and around the subway terminals were very, very friendly and helpful to this daring mom toting a small energetic boy around the city. We had beautiful weather, lots of adventures and my son and I had a great day together. Thank you NYC until next time!
PEACE! – judy