In the bathroom


Evan’s bathroom habits have become annoyingly predictable lately. And by annoyingly predictable, I mean borderline infuriating.

Whether we’re at home, a restaurant or a friend’s house, the moment everyone sits down to start eating is inevitably the exact moment I hear, “Mommy, I need to poop.” Yes, he’s five years old, but I’m not a big fan of scrubbing skid marks out of underwear, so I choose to accompany my dear child to the restroom. Apologies for the visual.


We recently were out for dinner when, like clockwork, as the waitress placed my plate before me, Evan announced that his tummy hurt, and no, he could not wait. So, off to the restroom we marched, hand in hand.

I don’t recall our exact conversation in the bathroom that particular evening, but I can attest to the fact that it was very much about poop, poop and nothing but poop. But to the crowd of women who gathered in line to wait for the restroom after me, impatiently knocking as I hollered “we’re almost done in here!!!”, I suspect it sounded a lot like something else. Something far more enjoyable.

“Hurry up, sweetheart. I would really like to eat my dinner while it’s still warm.”




“Are you done yet? Come on. Seriously.”




“Hurry up, my love, I mean it. Next time, you’re going to have to do it alone, I don’t care how messy it is.”


“I’m really losing my appetite here, honey.”




“We are not doing this again. I mean it this time. Stop laughing and CONCENTRATE!!!”



Finally. Let’s get cleaned up and go eat. I’m starving.”


For the record, it was not good for me.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Chelley / AisForAdelaide 3 years ago

…I don’t think I want to start potty training anymore.
Stay strong!

grownandflown 3 years ago

Ok, when we (two moms with high school and college children) said that motherhood doesn’t get easier with older kids, bathroom behavior may be the one exception.

Stephanie ( 3 years ago

You should’ve sent Evan out another stall and come out of yours wiping your sweaty brow, adjusting your skirt. You know, just for shits and giggles. <—– see what I did there? 😉

Zee Maid 3 years ago

Okay seriously I never wiped my children's but after they were potty trained. Who cares what their underwear looks like. Teach them good hygiene and call it a day. On the other hand, it never fails that they need to use the restroom as soon as we start to eat and we do still have to escort them. Very annoying.

Jenny 3 years ago

My 2.5 year old will argue with me in a public restroom if she has to poop…
“Go out!”
“I can’t leave you alone in here. What if you fall in the potty?”
“Turn around then.”

Which I do, and then wait patiently and pray she actually does poop with me in the stall with her so I don’t have to repeat the process in 15 minutes. This whole scenario amazes me, since she hasn’t allowed me to poop alone pretty much since she was born. But somehow, she is 2.5 and she NEEDS privacy to go!

Frankie Lawson 3 years ago

My 3-year-old is camping out on the potty with the door closed. Why can she pee in private and I can’t?

Frankie Lawson 3 years ago

My six year old son conveniently poops only at home and uses wet wipes so it’s easier for him to clean himself.

Charisse Oates 3 years ago

HA! That was so awesome.

Hillary 3 years ago

Ha!!! This happens to me as well! The only freaky twin thing my girls do is to have to poop AT THE SAME TIME. This, without fail, only happens at dinnertime. I may need to adjust their snack schedule. 😉 Now, concentrate!

Elaine A. 3 years ago

Oh man, my G is the EXACT same way. Every night at dinner time!! It’s like the thought of new food going in triggers it. WTH?!?

Sandy 3 years ago

Please resist the urge to send a child alone to a public bathroom. I don’t know about other restaurants, but when this happened at mine I personally felt responsible for that child. Our restroom was right next to the front doors. I used to stop what I was doing, 2 hour wait be damned, and go in and make sure that child was safe, and stay there until they inevitably needed help to find their table.. I think parents get too comfortable. Don’t trust it. They can always reheat your dinner. No big deal.

Kelly 3 years ago

My daughter would do this the moment everyone was ready to walk out the door for school. They were all late every day for the entire first year. I even tried getting them out the door 15 min early, but somehow she knew, and just took longer in the bathroom.
A friend of mine has a teenage son and one bathroom. Whenever she’s in the tub, he has to come in. Awkward!

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

All too familiar.
Our kids know they are not allowed to leave the table unless for urgent toilet matters. So standard, halfway through their meal we hear at least of theme say :’Mommy I have to go… ‘

Jen @ MamaLionStrong 3 years ago

First off I am amazed how many people take their kids out to eat. Great job! I find that whole experience annoying and stressful even without the pooping scene!

Heather Holter 3 years ago

My 7 yr old does this exact thing, never fails, every single time we eat dinner!

Jami Beno 3 years ago

I have an almost 3yr old & he JUST did this last night, when we went out to eat (well, bathroom to pee, at least) only he made me go twice! *sigh* I wish I could just sit & enjoy my whole meal!

Sara Gabriela Ugalde 3 years ago

My six year old does the same but he tells stories, looooong ones.

Lesa Fields 3 years ago

Yep send them by themselves. Lol just teach good hand washing skills.

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 3 years ago

My son is a toilet-clogger with his behemoth dumps. Thank God he’s never clogged a public toilet, though.

One time, at what I thought was the end of his potty training, we brought my 2yo to my favorite Indian restaurant (CURRY MAKES ME HAPPY). Even with MULTIPLE trips to the bathroom during which he sat on the toilet wiggled around and sang songs and did NOT poo, even though I KNEW he had to poo because at the table his eyes kept watering, he simply would not go. Guess where he finally took a dump. Guess whether or not he was wearing a pull-up. Guess what got all over his clothes, including his socks. Guess who forgot to bring a change of clothes. Guess how many female patrons didn’t have use of a bathroom for 20 minutes.

It took me five years to go back to that restaurant.

Amanda 3 years ago

Lmao!!! That is hilarious!! You’ve got some great blackmail material for later!

Mercy 3 years ago

Haha, good one.
My kids often have to go at mealtime too. I finally had to make my 5 year old clean himself because he goes multiple times a day and I do not want to see his butt that many times.

Amber 3 years ago

My daughter always picks the worst moments to want to use the bathroom. One time we were in line and it was finally our turn. Then she was like, “I need to potty.” *Sighs* And she takes forever too.

OHmommy 3 years ago

Ha! Please remind me to keep him and Feenie away from each other for as long as possible. Trouble.

Ariana 3 years ago

Wait till he’s older. One of my sons will inevitably, 100% of the time, excuse himself to go poop the moment I ask him to do a chore…unless he has some other excuse to get out of it.

    Jen @ MamaLionStrong 3 years ago

    Son? I have this problem with my husband!

MILF Runner 3 years ago

I have the girl version. Mine likes to pee and poop in separate visits to the bathroom. Always. Just a phase, right?

Janine Huldie 3 years ago

Seriously was laughing, because this just happened to me with my 4 year old at Friendly’s last Friday night. I literally had 2 bites left when she announced she needed to go to the bathroom. By the time, I got back and everyone had finished and I got to eat the last two cold bites. They really do have impeccable timing!!

lynn @ Maven of Savin’ 3 years ago

OMG – my 4 year old does the same thing! Last time we were in there she put her elbow on her knee to rest her head in her hand and told me I could sit down… it could be a while.

Outsmarted Mommy 3 years ago

Good grief our kids would be fast friends. My husband and I can count down from 5 at dinner and know that our five year old will inevitably announce that he has to poop. I will do this when my five year old is married with kids at his dinner table as revenge.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago


You need a category for blogs posts like this called, “file away to blackmail child someday.” This is pure teenage punishment GOLD.

Jean 3 years ago

I gotta give this one a “BAH-HA-HA!” It took me a few seconds to get it.

Mom off meth 3 years ago

I “assisted” my kids to save the skid marks until they were older than 5. I had to be like “NO you have to do it yourself, this is getting weird!”

I don’t remember what Freud said about that, but I don’t think it’s good.


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