There is something about being in Staples (or any other vast office supplies super store) that makes my five year old son need to poop.
I don't know what it is.
Perhaps the scent of the copy paper, or the fluorescent lighting combined with the visual cue of the maze-like printer ink aisle creates a physiological urge in this child that is nothing short of a Pavlovian response.
It never fails.
The minute we start making our way to the check out line, his stance begins to change. Then his gait becomes a little purposeful.
I always ask him, "Do you need to go to the potty?"
"No," he always replies.
Then he does the classic butt-cheek-clench/penis-pinch maneuver and we are on our way to the back of the store.
We always choose the Ladies' Room together, which he despises.
"But Mom, I (sic) a BOY!"
"Sorry little buddy, you still need help in the potty. And besides, stranger danger!"
I don't like to pull out the big guns of scaring him, but I do it every time to avoid the "I can do it all by myself!" argument.
Let's face it, he totally can't do it all by himself in a public restroom just yet.
Undoubtedly, he will either have trouble with his pants, or the TP dispenser, or reaching the soap, or like last time, the latch in the stall he picks.
I didn't think it could get any worse than seeing my child stick his face in a public toilet to see what was under the rim, but watching him get locked in a stall and having to encourage him to army-man-crawl on the dirty public restroom floor, under the door, on his little belly, is a sight I cannot un-see.
And of course, the soap dispenser was out of soap that day. Nice.
Staples' tagline is "That was easy!" Just once, I'd like to come out of the Staples' ladies room saying the same thing.