Outings with kids are such huge, wholesome fun. I mean, who can disagree with that statement. All that could possibly differ is the way one defines “huge, wholesome fun” !!! 😀
Outings can be broadly divided into two categories.
The Outdoors – lush greenery, sweet music being orchestrated by the various insects chirping away merrily, the warmth of the sun rays mellifluously warming not just the physical being but also ones heart, the flora, the fauna and last but not the least, fresh air.
The Indoors – the cool interiors of a shopping mall – oh ! the glitz, the boutiques with shoppers and window shoppers alike sauntering in and out, the steady hum and buzz of people conversing, the glamsham displays, floors shining like mirrors …..
When the nutty siblings were a lot younger, we had a kind of mental map in place. Not just of the place that we were to visit but more importantly, of the washrooms/ toilets in and around the place we were visiting. Nature would ring in its calls on the nutty siblings at the most inopportune of moments and they would simply resort to saying “I have to go to the toilet and I have to go like NOW !!!”. Those words were enough to make us sprint and dash as though a whole keg of rocket fuel had just ignited on our backs. The Usain Bolts, the Carmelita Jeters and the Shelly Ann Frasers should try taking on parents (dragging a child who needs to visit the loo, of course) for a 100 m dash to the nearest toilet. Under those circumstances, the parents in question would probably give the Olympic gold medalists a run for their money !!!!
There is absolutely no mistaking that wild eyed, panic stricken look on a parent’s face – with a rather squirmy little child hanging on to the parent’s fingers. And of course, how can Murphy’s Law not take effect in a situation like this ?
The queues in the ladies toilet are directly proportional to the urgency of the child’s need to use the toilet. Serpentine queues on the one hand and a foot-stamping child on the other – feet being stamped one after the other to a staccato beat. A beat that is accompanied by a whiny “I need to go now”. In just a few seconds, the staccato thumping of the feet changes to a hop all around the washroom – frenzied hops that would put a kangaroo to shame. The whine somewhere near its crescendo “I need to go now now now”.
Phew !! That is a scenario which comes with a 100% guarantee – to give parents frequent and recurring nightmares.
This nightmarish scenario gets compounded exponentially when the said request to use the toilet occurs when one is using any mode of public transport. When it comes to trains – there are no toilets MTR stations in HK. This makes it an extremely dicey affair when one is travelling with a child whose need to use the toilet is always an Emergency Request. If one sees an adult running helter skelter, weaving in and out of the crowds, jumping over the turnstiles with a kid in tow, one can be pretty much sure that the adult is looking for a toilet and that the child has indeed pressed the Emergency Button.
We’ve outgrown this stage. Now when we look at parents in similar circumstances with that same frantic, harried look on their faces, as they race against time to find a loo for the youngster they are shepherding along, it does make us wonder as to how we survived those close calls.
The phrase “I need to go now” is something that makes every single parent practice all the survival techniques they are aware of and then some. It is one of those joyrides that takes one a step closer to heaven, time and again !!!!!. The only thing that probably differs is the route and the pace at which one makes that trip to heaven and back !!!
Like Ed Asner once said
“Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare.”
Gauri Venkitaraman dons many hats – a wife, a mom, a teacher and many more. Working as a full-time English teacher in HongKong, Gauri also raises and nurtures two terrors, affectionately known as The Nutty Siblings a.k.a Macadamia, a teen and Pecan, the ten-year old who behaves like he is fifteen. Gauri’s family means the world to her. Life is a lively roller coaster ride and we, as a family, aim to enjoy the ride together. http://tiny-tidbits.blogspot.hk/ is where Gauri pens down her thoughts and musings, in an attempt to preserve memories for posterity