Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tales from the Girls' Bathroom

The other day, while visiting the luxurious girls' bathroom at school (which is equipped with high-sensitivity automatic hand dryers that freak me out by turning on every time I walk by them), my 3rd-grade daughter had this encounter. 

A tiny little kindergarten student approached my daughter and said, "Can you help me wash my hands?"  So, my sweet daughter hoisted up the little girl so she could wash her hands. 

Once her hands were washed and dried, she turned to my daughter and asked, "Can I have a quarter?"  I'm not sure why my daughter had a quarter in her pocket, but she is very generous, so she gave it to little Miss K, who proceeded to ask my daughter if she would help her get something from the mysterious machine in the bathroom. 

My daughter wasn't quite sure what was in the machine either, so the girls put the coin in the slot and turned the handle.  Little Miss K turned out to be a good reader, because when she pulled the box out of the machine, she said, "What the heck is this?  It's a napkin."  The little girl then tried to shove the box back into the machine, probably wondering why on earth there were napkins in the bathroom.  She asked my daughter if she had another quarter so she could try the other slot, but my daughter decided it was time to get back to class.

When my daughter told me this story, we were driving home from school, and could barely see the road through my tears of laughter.  I thought I may just need a similar product for bladder control.

I have other fond memories of children discovering the joys of femine products.  When another of my daughters was two, she went through a stage where she would climb out of bed after we said goodnight, and she would "explore" the upstairs.  One night, Al and I heard some rustling around in the upstairs bathroom.  I went up to investigate, told the quizzical two-year-old to go back to bed, and then subdued my immense laughter while I called for my husband to come upstairs.

Lying on the toilet were about 10 of those adhesive strip covers used for feminine napkins, in nice neat little lines.  When Al joined me in the bathroom, I asked him, "What do you think she did with the pads?"  I envisioned having to scoop soggy, saturated napkins out of the toilet. 

But I looked around the bathroom and slowly realized that my creative little daughter had "redecorated" the bathroom.  There was a pad wrapped neatly around each of the many handles of our cabinets, and an artistic array of pads arranged on the wall under the towel bar.  I could just imagine her fascination as she embellished the bathroom::  "Mom never told me we have STICKERS in the bathroom!"

By the time I finished surveying the bathroom, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't even catch my breath.  I tapped Al's shoulder - he was still staring at the toilet - and pointed to the dainty decorations placed around our bathroom.  We both burst into further rounds of gasping laughter.  Meanwhile the two-year-old was yelling from her room, "What's so funny???"

I wholeheartedly oppose the TV commercials showing femine products - it's always so embarrassing when in mixed company. (Besides that, we all know that women never wear white during that time, no matter how good your protection is.)  Everyone either stares at the TV in discomfort, starts picking bellybutton lint, or tells a ridiculous joke to try to draw attention away from the disturbing content coming from the TV.

But in this context, feminine products make for wonderful storytelling and maniacal laughter.

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