I'm procrastinating here, big time. There's something I should be focused on writing for a workshop we are leading in a couple of weeks, and I just don't feel like summoning the brain power to block out the kids and write it.
So let me tell you about my most recent parenting observation: Auto-flush toilets are evil devices of child torture.
Last night, we went to a parish Lenten program, and since we were in town we made a late run after the program to Department Superstore (you know which one) to grab some essentials. Olivia was tired but behaving pretty well, and we expected an easy bedtime wherein she would fall asleep in the car and be carried away to bed, the end. This plan required that we put her PJs on at the store and make sure she used the potty before getting in the car. Then, as we were heading to the car for PJs, she announced that she needed to potty. Perfect! We don't even have to fight the "I don't HAVE to potty" battle tonight.
Then we entered the stall and realized our mistake. Department Superstore has auto-flush toilets. Olivia took one look at that evil "eye" and hopped off the potty, declaring that she absolutely did NOT need to potty and would like to go to the car now, please. I tried to convince her to just sit up straight and it wouldn't flush until she was finished. She thought I was going to force her to sit on the Evil Potty of Doom and commenced shrieking as if I were pulling out her fingernails with a pair of pliers. I heard some murmurs from outside the stall and am fairly certain that the employees of Superstore were *thisclose* to calling CPS to report the crazy lady who was performing unspeakable torture on her child in the bathroom stall. Olivia was having THAT kind of crazy freak-out.
I finally convinced her that we just needed to change clothes so we could go to the car. We walked out quickly (I'm pretty sure some employees were staring daggers through me). Then we had to make a quick stop at a fast food place so she could go to the potty (which she still needed to do). After all that drama, she dropped off to sleep within five minutes. Lesson learned...do not attempt to use the potty at Department Superstore. The end.