next time I’m not helping

Kaitlyn has been begging me to videotape her during gymnastics class. She wants those who cannot attend to see her in action. So today I took the camera along.

The class was using a corner of a giant gym that’s on the lower level of the town’s rec building. The set-up is pretty good for taping, because from two sides you can look down from the upper floor onto the action. So I was sitting up there recording when the teacher looked up and asked if a mom could help one of the little gymnasts to the bathroom. There was another woman sitting nearby, but she had a really little kid with her and I figured it would be a real hassle for her. So I agreed to go.

On my way to the stairs, a woman who works in the rec building told me where the closest toilettes are. Good thing she did a lot of pointing. I figured between her pointing and a sign on the door I’d probably find it.

The teacher handed off to me a little boy. Great. It’s not enough that I have to do this in French. It’s even more unfamiliar territory.

I managed to find the bathrooms and took him in to go. He was not happy I’d hauled him into the ladies room and promptly walked across the hall to the men’s room explaining I’d made a mistake.

In France, men go into the ladies rooms all the time if their daughters have to go. Or if they are cleaning up. Or I think just if they want to. I know women go into men’s rooms to clean (my brother refused to pee in a men’s room in a train station in Paris because the female attendant was attending to it). That doesn’t mean I go into men’s rooms. But I didn’t have a choice. And luckily no one else was around so I guess it really didn’t matter very much.

Then was the next problem. The boy is probably 4 or 5 years old. Too short to reach the urinal. But determined to use it. He expected me to pick him up so he could go. Wanting the whole ordeal to just be over, I did to try to expedite things. As he washed his hands he told me all about how when he went on vacation the urinals flushed automatically. Later when I shared the story of my ordeal over dinner, Kaitlyn agreed that sounded like a good quality for a vacation. She asked me what country he’d gone to. When I told her I didn’t know, she instructed me to learn how to ask during my next French lesson then go ask the boy so we could appropriately plan our next trip.

2 Responses to “next time I’m not helping”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    I have nothing to comment here. A Triple-A Triptik which includes those criteria probably doesn’t exist. And I agree with your brother.

  2. mandy says:

    perhaps you should consult the following website before your next vacation:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.