With children there are things you stop worrying about after a while.
Thursday and Friday the kids and I took off for my parents' house in Tulsa, because two days where meals would be cooked for me and the house wasn't my responsibility? Yes, please. I'd mulled the idea over in my brain once Parent/Teacher Conferences and the accompanying days off loomed in the distance, but the minute both G's and Little Missy's coaches called off basketball practice on the corresponding evenings I was IN. Thankfully my kids and my parents were not only on board but excited.
The first night there--after a delicious dinner that I did not have to come up with or shop for, and only nominally helped prepare--I put sweet Baby Chickadee to bed so that the rest of us could watch the fifth Harry Potter movie. Midway through the movie my mom mentioned that one of the toilet seats was really wet, and did I know what had happened? Neither of the still-awake children claimed responsibility, and not wanting to embarrass either one of them, my mom and I carried on a quick and fruitless silent conversation via exaggerated facial expressions and pointed arm movements. Again: fruitless. The movie must have picked up because our exchange dropped.
A couple of hours later the conversation resumed when my mom mentioned how Baby Chickadee's tiny Toms shoes were lined up next to the toilet. Of the once really wet toilet seat. Culprit identified.
With children there are things you stop worrying about after a while, but the toilet is one area I've given very little thought. Our wooden stairs: of course. Lots of thought and borrowed baby gates. Permanent markers: swept out of the way on a weekly basis. But none of my children have ever been that interested in the toilet. All those stories of kids who flush toys down the toilet or who get cups of water out of the falsely clear toilet water never came from my house. Somehow, my kids remained uninterested.
Because that night my sweet toddler daughter decided to line up her shoes and then... do what? Dunk a toy in the toilet? Splash water? WHAT DID SHE DO? AND HOW DID I NOT NOTICE?
And how, pray tell, do you ever sanitize enough your preciously sleeping child's hands? And do you stop at the hands? Because no matter how recently your mother/her nana cleaned that toilet, it is still a toilet. And that baby girl of yours made a happy little mess out of one.
So, if my youngest becomes ill, we can pinpoint the cause. Until the sickness comes, I will hold my breath. And use lots of sanitizer.
Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette. Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,augustagazette.com.