So my wife and I take the kids to one of our favorite haunts, Mario’s in Beaver, home of fine Italian cuisine and a loud, bustling atmosphere that enables someone with young children to eat out without too much guilt.
While my wife spoons a jar of blended chicken, veggies, and who-knows-what-else into our ever-ravenous son’s mouth, my daughter scribbles miniature Picassos on Daddy’s pocket notebook.
“Here, Daddy…for you!” she says, handing me a perfect rendering of a shapeless blob.
“For me?! Thanks, honey!” I reply, admiring the crude but unique work of art.
My daughter looks distraught. “No, Daddy, it goes this way,” she says, taking the drawing from my hand and turning it 180 degrees.
“Oh! Of course. My mistake.”
As we wait for our food to arrive, my daughter suddenly pops out of her chair. “I have to go pee-pee!”
“Let’s go!” I says, grabbing her by the hand and whisking her away to the men’s room. You never know how much time you have in these situations.
Seconds later, she is finished—or so I think. “I have to go POO-pee, too!”
Now, at home my daughter always prefers a little privacy when nature calls, and tells me to “Go out!” and to “Shut the door—ALL THE WAY!!” But here, in the noisy restaurant, I wouldn’t be able to hear her outside.
“Do you want me to turn around and face the wall so you can go?” I ask.
“Yeah. And close your eyes!”
So, for the next 15 minutes—yes, 15 minutes—I stand there, eyes closed, facing the wall as my daughter sings songs and does her thing on the potty. Of course, she has no way of knowing whether my eyes are really closed or not, but honestly, I don’t want to do anything to jinx it. Meanwhile, customers knock on the door to no avail, wondering what the hold-up is.
Finally, my daughter says she is done, and so I proceed with my fatherly duties. “Throw the paper in the basket over there,” she says, “not in the potty.” I immediately understand why: she wants to see the poo-pee. I flatly deny her request, of course, out of consideration to any future restroom visitors.
Walking back to our table, and to my cold food, I can see that my wife is wondering what took so long. But before I can explain, my daughter makes a gleeful and audible announcement to my wife and, unabashedly, the entire restaurant:
“I WENT POO-PEE!!!”
Luckily, due to the noise, only a couple dozen people hear her. Otherwise it could have been embarrassing.
I can’t wait to share this story with my daughter years from now. Preferably when she’s entertaining a male suitor.