Karma in a Macy’s Bathroom Stall

Who: Sophie and me

What: totally embarrassing conversation (see below)

When: last week

Where: bathroom stall, Macy’s, Kenwood Town Centre

Why: karma getting me back for all the times I later recounted (and made fun of) conversations I overhead potty-training moms having with their children in public bathrooms

Sophie: “Do you have to poop or pee?”

Me: “Shh!”

Sophie: “Do you have to poop or pee, Mama?”

Me: “Pee. Use your quiet voice.”

[I point to a Clinique ad on the back of the stall door.]

Me: “Look at that! What do you see?”

Sophie: “Mommy, if you have to poop, just push it out, really hard.”

[I’m mortified. And am wondering why so many people are using the first-floor women’s bathroom in Macy’s right now. And why, when I’m so often asking Sophie to speak up, she’s talking so very loudly right now.]

Me: “What’s on your shirt? Butterflies? They’re so pretty! What color are they?”

Sophie: “Are you done, Mommy? Don’t flush!”

[I think it can’t get worse. I wonder if I should wait until all the people in the bathroom now clear out or if I should just leave. I flush.]

[It gets worse.]

Sophie: “NOOO!!! I told you not to flush, Mommy! I wanted to see! I wanted to see what it was! Poop or pee, Mommy! I wanted to see!”

“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes