In an airport ladies room recently I overheard a woman gently chiding her antsy toddler, warning her not to touch anything in their stall. I thought to myself, whoa, been there, sister. But I felt a twinge of shame concerning my own public potty kid management techniques. You know, the ones that usually involve wild gesticulating, random outbursts and profuse sweating. When I heard the woman's calm soothing tones, effortlessly silly jokes and quiet encouragement of her little one, I had that warm comforting feeling I used to get when Teen Spirit's kindergarten teacher read to the class on field trips. I thought I might ask for a cookie and drift off into a nap right there on the toilet.
But when I snapped myself out of it and got back to business, I noticed that the woman had started repeating the same warning over and over, each time louder and more urgently. "No honey, don't...touch..that...no I said don't touch...dirrttyyy dirttyy. No, not on me!" I bet there was some profuse sweating going on, too. Well, now we were in my territory because La Principessa uses her super germ powers to find the most revolting surface in any public bathroom and wipe, roll, submerge or smear her hand with whatever's living there. It counts for nothing if she can't display it to me proudly, preferably waiting until I am, ahem, otherwise occupied in the stall. Only then will she rub her hand in a vigorous circular motion around my face. A fecal facial, one might say. The first time she tried that on me, I could have sworn my head rotated 360 degrees but I was yelling so loud I can't be sure.
Not long ago, we were in a Chipotle rest room when she realized that she could create an arc of water shooting to the opposite wall by flicking her hand under the gushing faucet at just the right angle. I was again rushing to finish what I went in there to do when the spray hit my face. By now, the tile floor was treacherous and she was slipping and sliding towards me, taking a spill between the sink and the toilet. She could reach just far enough to yank me off the seat down with her.
At some point, I'll see if I can muster the strength to discuss the great Crap-tastrophe of 2010.