Sunday, November 6, 2011

The one where I nearly had a nervous breakdown in a public restroom

Tonight I will try making paragraphs so that Chad will quit nagging me about how it would be easier to read if I made paragraphs when I am writing. For the record, I don't feel especially (or at all) concerned with there being paragraphs or being super anal about grammar and spelling. Maybe as a "blogger" I am supposed to? I don't know or care really, but I guess I do want my devoted fans (haha) to be able to understand what I am trying to say. In addition to playing fast and loose with paragraph formation, I also feel strongly that it is okay to say whatever I want, even if it is gross, embarrassing, mooshy, corny, private, angry, etc. This is my blog and I'll blog on with my bad self however I see fit. (perfect example of something dweebily embarrassing I might say) So there, paragraph one!
So today Lu and I went to JCPenney to use some sweet coupons that I had. I had her in her stroller and shortly after we arrived I had to urgently use the bathroom...if you know what I mean. There are maybe 5 stalls in the Penney's bathroom at our local "mall" and there is one stall that has bars on the walls and it MAY be a zillionth of an inch larger than the other ones, but I will tell you something right now, there is no way in hell that an adult in a wheelchair could fit into the stall and be able to close the door to acquire the privacy that they have a right to. And so, inevitably neither can a grown woman with a toddler in a stroller. I ended up having to hold all 26 pounds of Lucy on my lap as a took care of business and then had to hold her in one arm as I tried to zip, button, and buckle my pants. There was absolutely no way that I would sit her down on the ground to take care of all of these awkward maneuvers and about halfway through I realized that it might have been possible to let her in her chair right outside of the door, but then what if someone had come in and kidnapped her before I could get out of the stall. So, really there was nothing else to do but hold her on my lap and struggle to get redressed.
Now throughout all of this I was planning how I was going to go home and research what the Americans With Disabilities Act says are the requirements for a handicap stall in a public restroom. And then marching right back to this restroom to measure it and then call a conference with a manager or something to see what they planned on doing about how they are not following the law! And then I thought about how we as a self-centered species seldom think about situations until we are actually in them. For example, one summer I worked at a camp for people with spina bifida and I have never been so grateful to be able to move my bowels and empty my bladder on my own! I had to learn how to help people do these things with catheters and enemas and realized how lucky I am, but had I not been working at that camp I might not have ever been in the situation to be grateful. So sitting on that toilet trying to figure out what to do in this situation suddenly made me feel so guilty for not worrying about how people in wheelchairs would possibly use that stupid bathroom! And how anyone else in a similar situation as mine might manage. Lucy just keeps getting bigger. How long am I going to be able to balance her on my knee so I can go to the bathroom? It stresses me out and I was so mad and frustrated by the time we left the restroom I just wanted to go home. As always, however, Lu was her sweet, patient, and calm self. She just let me jostle her around and figure out what to do without complaining too much at all.
I do my very best to remain as positive as I can about this situation, but sometimes I feel a sudden nauseating panic that comes surging up through my throat and then I cry. And then I move on. I try not to complain because obviously no one's to blame, Lu can't help it, and it wouldn't do any good to be griping all the time anyway! But then something like this happens and I need to vent and now I did so I will keep on keeping on.

PS. The title was inspired by the fact that the title to all Friends episodes started with "The one..." so that was amusing to me!

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