The Stall: a Collection of Horror Stories from Public Bathrooms

If you wonder what being a parent is like, gather up as many hyper, destructive humans as you can and bring them in one tiny bathroom stall as you pee. Have them ask questions as loudly as possible such as “ARE YOU GOING POOP?” “WHAT’S THAT SMELL?” “DID SHE JUST TOOT?” while you quietly whisper “don’t touch that” “that’s yucky” “please don’t put your face on the ground”. Maybe also have one confetti gun and an airhorn for added chaos.

Repeat that scene every time you go into public and you’ll have a good idea what your future holds.

It is complete and utter insanity.

small kids public bathroom

And also a little bit hilarious if you choose to find humor in the pandemonium.

Friday, for instance, held the world’s worst/best Brooks family + bathroom situations.

It started in the morning at Chick-fil-A when I loaded both kids into the big stall with the changing table. The CFA by our house has a sink in the biggest stall, so it’s my fav. So handy.

And as I bent down to help Beckett button his pants, I set my purse on the edge of the sink.

It stayed for a second…before falling INTO the sink and ACTIVATING THE AUTOMATIC HAND FAUCET, filling my purse with an inch of water. (Yes, the automatic faucet. The same one that doesn’t even register human hands half the time, leaving you waving your arms around like a moron.)

Water dries, no big deal, but I still emptied my purse onto the changing table to dry the essentials. Like, you know, my wallet and phone and key clicker and such.

My sons found ways to entertain themselves* while I salvaged my things because they’re punkins**.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 3.32.15 PM

*by splashing in the toilet
**boys who touch, punch, kick, and investigate everything

And in the afternoon, our Friday bathroom fails continued.

My brother, Jared, my boys and I flew to my parents’ over the weekend to say goodbye to a sweet family friend. Jared and I bought tickets for the same flight so he could help me wrangle the chillens on the airplane.

And on the airplane he was THE BEST HELP EVER.

At the airport? Not so much. {He’ll argue this fact, but he’s wrong.}

A few seconds after entering the gate (where we had an hour to kill before boarding), my sweet, older brother says, “Since we have some time, I’m gonna grab something to eat, go to the bathroom, and get my boots shined.”

Who even gets their boots shined at the airport?! My brother. My brother does.

But, whatever, I am home with these small kids all day every day so it ain’t no thing. Except airport with millions of people speed-walking and luggage and THE WORLD’S MOST EXCITED 3 YEAR OLD.

“is that our plane?” “is it going to leave without us?” “let’s get on it.” “why are we still standing in the airport?” “i’m gonna go get on it.”

He was seconds from spontaneously combusting.

When I heard the first call for boarding, I took the boys to the bathroom one more time.

I gathered all 723 snacks, the lovey, the backup lovey, the blanket, the monster trucks, the iPad, and the package of wipes that had quickly gone from “packed in the carry-ons” to “strewn all over gate 77”. My hands were completely full so I shoved the boarding passes in my back pocket for safe keeping and we journeyed to the bathroom.

We and all of our belongings crammed into the biggest stall available. I did my thing while I watched the 1 year old unroll all the toilet paper and reassured the 3 year old for the 27th time that the plane wasn’t leaving without us.

When I stood up, I turned around to flush the toilet and saw that it was already flushing – newfangled automatic sensor again – except not only was it flushing toilet paper, it was flushing OUR BOARDING PASSES. All 3 papers. The ones I stored in my pocket for “safe-keeping”.

Our tickets to getting to my parents’ circling the drain, seconds from flushing out of sight.

Without thinking, I stuck my hand in and pulled them out because WE COULD NOT MISS THAT FLIGHT.

I herded the boys out towards the sinks where I frantically tried to dry the boarding passes. (“Did you at least rinse them off first?” Jared asked later. “No. The ink was already disintegrating and I couldn’t risk it OKAY?!”)

As I patted them dry eversogently, I burst into hysterical laughter. Tears streaming, doubled-over hysteria.

I found Jared back at the gate (he was easy to spot with those super shiny boots) and held a hand with 3 wet papers out to him.

“Ask…..ask……ask me….ask me why these are w-w-w-wet. baaaaahahahahhaha”

A few minutes later we lined up to board and I was still incapacitated by giggles. When it was my turn to scan our tickets, the agent took one look at the wilted boarding passes all stuck together and gasped. Audibly gasped. No questions, no clarifications, just disgust.

“Ma’am, please step over here.”

She reprinted our passes (why didn’t I consider this as an option before sticking my entire arm into the airport toilet?) and let us through.

I feel like when normal people hold up lines for some reason or another, they have apologetic looks on their faces. “Sorry, guys. I know I’m being a pain. This will just take a second.”

Not me. Nope. I couldn’t even stand up straight or see through my tears I was laughing so hard, waiting for new, pee-free papers.

No one was as amused as I was.

Their loss. My abs got a great workout.

Long story long, my new nonfiction “The Stall” will be coming out soon. It’ll be a collection of horror stories from public bathrooms. Stay tuned for more information.

3 thoughts on “The Stall: a Collection of Horror Stories from Public Bathrooms

  1. RACHEL COX

    YOU’RE POSTS ARE HYSTERICAL. ON DAYS WITH MY ONE PRECIOUS 1 YEAR OLD WHERE I THINK I’VE LOST MY MIND, I KNOW I CAN ALWAYS COME HERE FOR SOME LEGIT REASSURANCE! WE DIDN’T KNOW EACH OTHER AT HARDING, BUT I KNEW WHO YOU WERE AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU WERE SO FUNNY! I LOVE READING YOUR BLOG AND SO ENJOY THE INTENSE LAUGHTER THAT ALWAYS FOLLOWS! SO THANK YOU! I NEEDED A GOOD LAUGH TODAY… AS MY SAID 1 YEAR OLD IS TRYING TO CRAWL UP A CHAIR THAT IS TUCKED UNDER THE TABLE CRYING IN FRUSTRATION THAT HE CAN’T SIT UP BECAUSE THE TABLE IS IN HIS WAY… 🙂

     
    Reply
    1. RACHEL COX

      Also just noticed why everything was in all caps… I thought it was your blog that was making me do that. Nope, the 1 year old hit it and I didn’t know it. So I was not yelling at you, but apparently Jude was. He means well.

       
      Reply
      1. Sarah Brooks Sarah Brooks

        Hahah! Thanks, Jude. I’m choosing not to be offended.

        But seriously…Beckett went through a stage about the same time when he refused to sit at the “big” table. He’d only sit at his kiddie table that was directly underneath the big table. I don’t even know.

        We didn’t hang out, but I definitely know you and love that we get to cyber hangout now. I’m glad we have kindred spirits in the world of insane toddlerhood. It’s amazing how such wonderful bundles of love can make us so crazy. But dang if they aren’t worth it all. 🙂

         
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