Jul 5, 2008

This Life is Not Yet Rated

I had one of those completely unpredictable moments down at the city library today. The girls are in a Saturday program for Creative Dramatics (think moving sculpture exercises and Styrofoam props). After their one hour session, I make a point to take them to the restroom before we leave because (a) when they are with me in public places I turn into a frantic germaphobe, and (b) we live a long way from...well..everywhere, so stopping to "go" first is just part of the routine.

The ick factor of public restrooms is very high in my opinion, and though the girls are getting to the age where they can do most things by themselves, I still get into hover mode in the loo - I just can't stomach the thought of a misplaced hand touching something I don't dare think about. Of course, if we all thought this way, maybe these public places wouldn't be the heebee jeebee haven they are now...but I digress.

What struck as me as so amusing was that I had a very distinct moment in there today, some variation of which has probably happened a thousand times, and seemed perfectly normal, so it almost went by without my notice. Picture this...

On my left arm, I had my backpack dangling by a single strap. It's dangling somewhat perilously because it's crammed full of all the Just in Case items I take whenever we do outings. With it's weight, I'm willing it to stay on my shoulder because if it touches the floor in there, well then mommy will just about lose her marbles. In my left hand, I have a bag of the DVDs and books I've collected while waiting for the girls to finish the workshop, just enough to keep in them entertained in case we never make it back to the library again - or at least enough to hold them until next Saturday. At the same time, I'm using my left hand to turn the very stiff metal tap/spigot thingy on the sink and holding it in the on position (because you have to to keep the water flowing) and cheerleading my youngest through washing her hands. "Scrub the back...no you're not done yet...that's it honey...between your fingers...now get some more soap...". The soap dispenser is rusty and old and so with my right hand, I am jamming the spout back and forth so that she can get the very necessary second helping of soap.

The only reason my right hand was free at that time was because I had just finished doing a one-handed lining job of the seat in the stall that my oldest is about to use. Not having both hands to work with...I have to do the lining job twice. And I tell her to just squat anyway...after all, that lining can't be trusted. While my little one takes her sweet time lathering up...I find that the stall door where my oldest is about to perch, doesn't actually lock properly. Thank goodness I have a foot free! My right leg and foot work perfectly as a door locking mechanism. And why shouldn't I be able to hold the door closed with my leg to protect child #1, balance on the other leg, keep a backpack on my shoulder, keep the library materials in the bag and off the floor and keep the faucet going so that child #2 can scrub the ick off her tiny hands?

Had anyone walked into the restroom at that moment and looked at me with well-deserved concern, I'm almost sure I would have smiled and said, "This is motherhood. By definition, it's a physical comedy."