During a recent trip to Target with Autism Boy he gave me the look as we were in the aisle. It’s the look every Mom knows. It’s the, if you don’t get me to a bathroom in 6.7 seconds you are going to have a huge issue. So with Autism Boy in tow we ran through the aisles and made the mad dash to the women’s restrooms, which is the point of this post.
My loving son is 8 and nearly 4 and 1/2 feet tall and needless to say, he looks much older than he is. Well together we all paraded into the ladies room. We quickly did our business and prepared to leave. It in case you didn’t know your voice carries in the restroom. There is an incredible echo effect in the restroom, even with the whispers of gawk and horror. In between my son’s very off key rendition of “Bennie and the Jets”, I heard it. The sounds of ladies gasping. The horror of a woman discovering that there is an older child in the restroom. In the last few years we have heard it all. From “How old is that kid”, “What is he doing in here”, and my personal favorite, “I can’t believe parents who can’t let go, who does she think she is.” Much to Exhausted Hubby’s delight, I usually respond. He is 8, using the restroom and “I am Mom to my incredible little man who tends to wander and needs assistance, that is who I am.” I do all this in my best southern accent with a sweet smile on my face. So on this occasion, what was Heavily Caffeinated Mommy to do? As we washed our hands, I joined my son in song and smiled all the way through the store.
I do not anticipate ever seeing those ladies again but am trying to prepare the rest of the world for my son. He may always need help. I don’t know how he will ever be able to go into a men’s room alone without becoming lost in the overwhelming sounds of the toilets flushing or hand dryers blowing. But every day we make strides. If you are an incredible architect designing a new building, let me just say, family restroom rock. Dad’s and Mom’s of superheros can use them and avoid and unpleasantries. They are private and provide the little extra room that our superheroes need.