Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Potty City

A Puzzle: The following tale contains public nudity and sneaking through hotels, but is appropriate for a G rated sensibility.

First, some back story: When Claire was about four months old, our meal at a midtown diner was cut short by Claire’s explosive poop and a bathroom not fit for mankind. We hit the pavement with a poo-seeping baby in search of a restroom…

Slinking into the Parker Meridien hotel, I spy the ladies room just left of check-in. Opening the door, we confront an abundance of marble, but no changing table. Deflated, we turn around and run into a woman wearing a tag marked “Marketing Manager”.

“Can I help you?” she asks politely.

I think, “Nailed,”and answer, “No,"with a clip in my voice.

George asks for a bathroom with a changing table.

The woman counters with: “Are you staying in the hotel?”

“Nailed again," I think. “No," I confess.

She leans in and whispers, “Go up to the second floor. It’s quiet. Change her on a bench up there."

We nod in duplicity and head up the stairs briskly. Finding the least obtrusive area, we undress Claire quickly and expedite the damage. People walk by; I smile sheepishly.

I felt like I was dealing drugs or something. I started wondering why babies in public cause such a stir. I often find myself feeling apologetic when Claire is breastfeeding or is just plain loud in the public realm. Babies spend much of their lives sleeping, eating, pooping and screaming. Everyone finds a sleeping baby cute; pretty much everything else seems up for grabs. Come on, even Kim Kardashian got into the mix with her tweet opposing public breastfeeding.

Babies seem to remind us of our impulses, of baser needs and desires that we all wish to remain hidden. I remember reading somewhere that many theaters in the 1900’s were built without ladies’ room. It was considered unseemly that women peed!

The 21st century attitude towards babies is similar. If you ask me, this mind-set is our problem not a baby’s. I wish that Claire and her kind could be who they are in all their glory with no added eyebrow-raisings.

But then again, Claire is my child. And her poop smells like roses to me. Well, not really, but you get the point.

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