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Most Embarrassing Mom Moment

CORRECTION Mens Room Tourism

Taking small children into public restrooms is always horrifying on many levels.  There’s the germ issue.  The sheer amount of biological remnants skittering around a public bathroom makes me want to throw up in the back of my mouth, and seeing my precious child playing Dora the Oral Explorer doesn’t help.

Then there’s the privacy issue.  My kids narrate everything, so every person in the whole bathroom knows exactly what’s going down in that stall.  It’s also hard to hover pee while holding the door shut and trying to keep them from unlocking it and introducing Mommy’s private area to the world.

When my son was three, I took him to the library for story time.  Halfway through, I broke out in a sweat and a wave of badness rolled over my body.  I hoisted up my son, snatched up my purse, and hightailed it to the bathroom, passing a study group as I pushed open the door.

I made it into the stall, set down my son in the corner, and went to town.  I was shaking.  Gluten?  Dairy?  Bad packet of gummies?  I’m not sure what caused it, but when I let the Wienermobile at the Ford Museum in Detroit seduce me last summer, I had a similar experience.

This trip to the bathroom was a-gonna take some time, and I was stuck in there with a three-year-old boy.  I tried Teacher Mode.  “Hey, sweetie, let’s count the tiles on the floor.  How many tiles do you see?”  I tried Diversion Mode.  “Soooo, affffterrr thissss, what do you want to dooooo?  We could go to the park (distract distract distract).  We could go get chicken nuggets (distract distract distract).  We could fly to the moon and eat cake and drink chocolate and CHOO-CHOO!  LIGHTNING MCQUEEN!  STAY WITH ME, BABY!”

Despite my stellar distraction tactics, my son got bored, lay down on the floor, and put his face on the drain.  The drain.  The drain!  The nasty drain in the middle of the floor for catching backed-up poo floaters and soggy toilet paper.  I was trapped on my ring of fire and he was just out of reach.  I tried poking him with my toe.  I tried hissing at him to come back.  The person next to me started laughing.

He eventually crawled back and I realized I could probably never kiss him again.  That mouth had been where no one should ever, ever go.  I started strategizing how I could get to the nearest hand sanitizer and apply it to his face without anyone calling child services.

As my Symphonic A**plosion crescendoed, E. Coli Face began to narrate.  “Hey, Mommy, dat’s WOWD!  You poopin’, Mommy?  Dat’s a big one, Mommy!  Mommy, dat’s stinky!  Dat’s so stinky, Mommy.”  The person next to me – a new one, because no one stays in the bathroom this long – tried to stifle a guffaw.

I finished up, emptied of all bodily fluids and ready to weigh myself to see how many pounds I’d just lost, and got out of there, slinking past the study group and avoiding eye contact.  I know they heard everything and were timing me.

And this is why we never, ever go to the library and why my kids will never learn how to read or get into Yale.

Motherhood is embarrassing.  Would somebody please share their Most Embarrassing Mom Moment and make me feel better?!?


image from bathroommonkeys.com 


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  • Awesomemom

    Oh wow that was bad. I once puked in a Target bathroom while holding my eldest as an infant. Some lady saw me and came over to see if I needed help. She offered to hold my baby and I just shoved him at her as I heaved my guts out. Thankfully she was not a kidnapper because at that point in time I would not have cared.

    • Melanie Dale

      Amazing. And also restoring my faith in humanity that a kind stranger helped you, didn’t judge you, and didn’t steal your baby.

      • Awesomemom

        I was very thankful for her. That puke was the opening wave of a horrible few days. My son had picked up a terrible stomach virus from the hospital (He has a heart defect and had been in for surgery) and shared it with us. It was right before his first Christmas. My husband and I were both down at the same time and I am amazed that we lived and managed to take care of my son at the same time. I was actually at Target because my husband has asked me to get supplies for the oncoming storm that he had already succumbed to.

        • Melanie Dale

          Wow, we played a similar game of “hot potato” when our son was three months old and we all got the stomach flu, passing the baby back and forth as it came in waves. So terrible.

  • Melanie W

    At least you made it to the bathroom…I was checking out at Walmart when that *feeling* hit…the rumble, the cold sweats…you know. My kids were 2 yrs. old and 2 months at the time…one in the cart and the other in the Bjorn – what was I going to do? It’s one thing to plop a kid down in the stall with you, a whole other ballgame when you’re wearing a kid! I only lived about 5 minutes away so I decided to risk it. I hauled my full cart of groceries and children to the car and proceeded to load it all in the car…but the rumble got worse and the sweat was just pouring by now. And there I was in the Walmart parking lot attempting to wrestle my son out of the carrier and into his carseat when it hit. Couldn’t wait. What was a mom to do? So I rearranged some of the groceries to give myself a few extra plastic bags to cover the seat and drove home!! Then I threw out my clothes when I got home – there’s no coming back from that!!

    • Melanie Dale

      I mean…I just…I’m struggling between laughing and a big “OH HONEY.” Wow. The Day Mom Pooped Her Pants at Walmart. I mean, that’s a legendary story that should be passed down through the generations.

    • Sam Tippton

      Oh Dear, so bad experience you had there, but there’s sort of a tip: by having two kids in diapers (I guess your 2 year old was in them too) why you didn’t simply took one of the diapers and let the business go? I mean, would be less embarrasing and even more easy to cover up, but maybe you couldn’t think too much in that moment I mean, as you said, you were very stressed, but hope that advice adds in moms that happens that, I really feel sorry you had that experience but at least nobody noticed it, I think, cheers! :)

    • Jessica

      YEP. Similar situation here. The toddler and I were out and about doing God knows what, and I decided to play Russian Roulette with a Jamocha Shake. Thank baby Jesus I had plenty of diapers in the diaper bag, shoved one of those suckers down in the pantaloons and was able to absorb the majority of the damage. Haven’t chanced any sort of milkshake since. However, I wasn’t so lucky about three years before that, before I was a mother. I was borrowing my mother’s minivan at the time while my car was in the shop, and I had somewhere fancy to be. Feeling a mad case of the scoots come on in a borrowed minivan while wearing a dress is NOT fun. Pulled the van onto a side road, booked to the brim, and hell broke loose. Once I was done pooing out all of my non-vital organs and sweet relief just started to make it’s way through my brain, a light flipped on behind me and laughter ruptured out from the darkness…turns out my a** was directly facing some BUSINESS back in the distance a bit. Just awful. AND, when I called my then boyfriend (now husband) to share my horrifying ordeal with him…that jerk had me on speakerphone, while he was out with his buddy (who also happened to work with us, and was also the guy who made a big fuss out of my fly being down at work years before all this. I man come on, not everybody wears underwear ALL of the time, act like you haven’t seen a vagina before, right?). And before you judge too harshly…yes. Yes I am sort of a hot mess. :)

      • Eva

        Using your baby’s diapers? Ingenious!

  • Stefanii F

    I dragged Clara (age 3) with me to the mall because I was desperate for a new bra. As we walk into Macy’s, she says in her loud-as-only-a-3-year-old-can-be-loud voice, “So, where do we hafta go to buy the boobs? Do we go upstairs for all the boobs?! Can we take the escalator to get to the boobs?!” And when we finally get to the underthings department, she squeals in excitement, “THERE they are! Look at all the colors of boobs there are!!! What color boobs are you going to buy Mama?!” The several, sweet, triple-F sized matrons shopping for their own bras were highly entertained…

    • Melanie Dale

      And then I died from laughter. I can’t quit reading this and laughing. Thank you for my ab workout.

  • Off The Cuff Cooking

    Oh dear! Well I have no such horror story of my own, since I am still waiting on a child, but once when I nannied for 2 years for a little baby, he was about 1 year old, and I was going somewhere right after work and hadn’t showered yet, so I hopped in the shower and took him in with me, because he needed a bath anyway, and he was only about a year old at the time. I’m 2 minutes into the shower with shampoo on my head when I look down and see a big ol’ poop right on the shower floor (and it was a small stall, so the hot water, plus poo, meant I was standing right in it and he was playing with it. AAAh… so then it’s the whole “How do I get out of this?” Because if I stepped out onto the bathmat, I would have poo-water on my feet, which means the bathmat would be stained, and contaminated, and I couldn’t set him out either because he had poo on his feet and hands, and I knew I’d have to clean out the shower, and sanitize it before getting back in, and mind you, I still had shampoo all over my head, and had not finished washing myself up yet. I am trying to remember how I solved it all, but I think I propped the door open, blocked him from climbing out with one leg, while reaching for toilet paper to pick up the big turd, and throw it in the toilet. Then once the big one was gone, I think I turned on the hot water again and rinsed off as much of the shower-floor as possible, and washed our hands and washed off our feet as well as I could, so I could climb out onto the bathmat, and then I had to keep him occupied while I got some sanitizing solution and scrubbed down the shower floor, and then I still had to climb back in and wash us both off again. It was my OCD nightmare! :)

    • Melanie Dale

      Okay, you have officially been baptized into the ranks of motherhood, girl. Dude. That’s amazing.

  • Cstoufflet

    You should get some poo-pourri for your purse. I didn’t leave my house for a year after I had my twins. bc I had a wave of sickness at Target once and had to figure out how to get two infant carriers into the bath room plus a toddler. I had to carry them both at once bc I was scared to take one in and come back. Nothing like lifting heavy objects when your about to lose your guts.

    • Melanie Dale

      I am having a great time trying to picture this in my mind. I don’t even know how you managed to fit everyone in the stall. Impressive, mama.

  • Jsvoice

    Ok, so this isn’t really an embarrassing Mom story, but it applies to “public bathroom experiences with kids”.

    I recently had to deal with theme park bathrooms and a newly potty trained toddler. We went around Christmas, and it was cold and snowy. My daughter is a runner, so the only time she was non-contained was in the bathroom stall. First, she cried “potty” every 5 minutes so that she could run in the stall, which was exhausting AND revolting! So, I was constantly assembling (and disassembling) her travel potty while she ran around the stall like a wild banshee. When she would sit on her potty, she would put her hands on the wet floor, picking up stray pieces of toilet paper as her pretty, ruffled coat dragged the floor. Theme park bathrooms, people, and we weren’t at Disney! I about gagged every time I dragged her off to wash her hands, but I think her coat scared me even more!

    • Melanie Dale

      Commence throwing up in the back of my mouth…ewwwwww!!!

  • Susan

    When we were coming home from China with our girls, we had a hellacious trip home….began with a typhoon in Hong Kong that kept us there an extra night, staying in an awful hotel and being kept awake most of the night by construction. The next day we had to take a flight home with several connections, through LA and DC. I was beyond tired and emotional, having been unable to sleep on any of the flights and was at the breaking point. People were being SO kind to us, especially me…I think they could tell this woman was close to losing her you know what. We were on the flight from LA and I had to change one of the girls’ (poopy) diapers and had to do it on the seat next to me; a tight squeeze at best. Not to mention the fact that the beverage cart was headed our way and I had to move fast. The sweet lady sitting next to me kindly got up so I could do it and then held the baby so I could walk to the back to throw it away. I got back to my seat, strapped myself if in and took the baby back, thanking her profusely. I just started to relax a little when a gentleman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and let me know that I had dropped something on the way to the back of the plane, I was puzzled what it might be and when I looked down, there it was…one perfect little turd, just lying there in the middle of the floor. I mustered the tiny bit of composure I still had to bend down and pick it up, but wouldn’t you know it, couldn’t get to the bathroom now, as the blessed beverage cart was blocking my path. All I could do was wrap it in a napkin and hold onto to until beverage service was done. In front of all my fellow passengers. So unbelievably humiliating.

    • Sherrie Sizemore Lunsford

      When we were on the plane coming home with our oldest son from Guatemala he had diarrhea. His diaper leaked. All over me, my husband, and the PRIEST sitting next to me. Good times

      • Melanie Dale

        Holy s***! (Heehee, sorry, just popped in my head :)

    • Melanie Dale

      Oh my word. I’m having flashbacks to our never-ending trip home with Evie and how you just feel like you can’t. You just can’t make it. You’re just too dang tired and want to start crying in front of all the other passengers. And you had to hold onto a turd. I just can’t even. Wow.

  • Sherrie Sizemore Lunsford

    We adopted our younger son through the foster care system when he was four. Needless to say he had learned some inappropriate words and behaviors in his birth family. The problem is that you really cannot explain this to people in Walmart. So the first time I took my shiny new son to Walmart he:
    1. pointed at a rather large busted woman and screamed “Look at those really big tits!” Then he started laughing like a maniac. fun.
    2. saw a security guard and started freaking out because “The cops were coming to get him because he was a bad, bad boy!” Screaming and crying, he threw himself under a clothes rack and it took me an hour and a half to talk him out.
    3. shoplifted.
    4. dropped the f-bomb and used the n-word, often.
    This was the most heartbreaking and humiliating day of my life. Who would teach a kid, baby really, this stuff?! And I knew, I KNEW, that every single one of those people we encountered thought I had. I know, also, that that should not matter, but it does. You don’t want strangers in a store to think you are THAT bad. This was no two year old temper tantrum. This was look at all the horrible things I have be taught in my short life. My poor, poor boy.
    Just so you know… that was four years ago. We have been to a lot of therapy and worked really hard (he has). He is doing wonderfully well.

    • Melanie Dale

      Oh I am aching for you. I have experienced some of those feelings, but not to that extent all in one outing. Hard, hard, hard. Heartbreaking and humiliating is the perfect way to describe it. Whew. It’s so encouraging to hear that four years later, he’s doing well. I know he’s worked hard, and I know you have, too, mama.

  • Carrie Snider

    I had just spent an hour at Walmart, simultaneously filling the shopping cart for the week while trying to keep my 1 year old boy from having a meltdown. We are in line for what seems like an eternity, and in classic Walmart fashion, the line gets really long. We are blocked between being the next to the register and a line behind us. Right then, i hear water hitting the floor at my feet. My dear son’s boy part was apparently pointed right out of the corner of the diaper, because the diaper was still dry! My first thought was, “No way will this stop me from buying these groceries we can finally afford on payday that I just spent an hour collecting…..” But I had to do SOMETHING about the pee on the floor. I looked around in horror, but the truly odd thing was that no one else seemed to notice or care (creepy?). I didn’t have the diaper bag on me but thankfully Walmart checkout lines are full of small crap to buy, including travel sized wipes. So I opened one and cleaned it up and added the empty wipe container to my pile of groceries (it may have put me over budget). The really funny thing was, later I told my friend what happened… she doesn’t have kids so she didn’t quite understand why I wouldn’t just ditch the cart and run away???

    • Melanie Dale

      Why, oh why, do these things ALWAYS happen in Walmart?!?! Ha! I’m with you. Once you’ve gotten that far, you can’t back down. Smart thinking with the travel wipes.

  • MamaJanice

    My daughter is 2 and has an aunt who pulls her boobs out and feeds my niece whenever, where ever so my sweet daughter has definitely learned what boobs are for. When we talked about how I was going to have another baby she automatically felt the need to inform me, daddy and anybody else she can get to listen that my boobs are now the baby’s cuppies and not daddy’s! So, everybody who works at the store, doctor’s office, H&R Block and well every stinking where know how much my husband loves my boobs and that he can’t have them anymore!

    • Melanie Dale

      Oh my goodness. Hilarious. I’m cracking up and wondering what on earth in her little adorable 2-year-old mind she must be thinking daddy’s doing with your boobs!

      • MamaJanice

        I’ve wondered the same thing but am afraid of the answer! lol

  • KK

    I have one for you that I haven’t lived down from 8 years AGO!!! I was at the age with my kids when you dread going to the market for what I would consider musical personalities. You really had no idea what you would get, no amount of pre-napping, snacks or cuddling could cure. Now as a seasoned mother I look back and wonder why I didn’t consider the environment as opposed to my childs current developmental stage or personality. Grocery Stores set them up to fail, poor little people! Long before distracting them with cell phones and iPads (“back in my day”) we moms had to use something different, something I thought I was master of, my creativity! Why yes, I could go to the store with a 2 & a 4 year old and “I was different” (Oh boy feeling bad for me yet?) I had a PLAN! We would wiz by the alluring colored isles and be too busy to notice, I put more time in my preplan then the women on Extreme Couponing (well almost)! I made maps of the store for my little people and put picture items on their lists for them to HELP!!! I know, hard to believe I haven’t churned out a couple child rearing books ehh? I would make it FUN and a family event, Win Win! I had the real list and my four year daughter insisted I read it out loud before we exited the car so she could gage how long our game would last-Oh boy do you feel the fall from grace coming my way yet? My two year old son could run in shoes (in tall grass at the age of 9 months-double sigh) so they each had their cute kiddie carts with the flags and we were off to the races. I was beyond pleased with myself as we took turns going from list to list, we headed to the check out with our free bakery cookie and I was glowing in all my genius creativity-you’d think I invented the stroller b/c I did of course read this idea online for heavens sake! There we stood with our three carts all in a row…not a tear, a whimper or an argument in sight! Then, just like life- it all took a turn! My daughter let out a yowl like I had only heard once before when a neighbor kid shut her hand in a CAR DOOR! I felt the blood drain from my face, my tummy turned over 5 times in 5 seconds! She was purple faced and not breathing. My son was so surprised by this outburst he dropped his cookie and peed right on the floor! He stood with his mouth hung open in an ugly fashion and it crossed my mind that he must be choking on the cookie because he stood motionless and frozen in that position-he hadn’t. I scanned her entire little body and saw nothing, checked the moving belt, nothing! I wrapped my arms around her and she finally stopping screaming at the very top of human pitch for danger and she SCREAMED….Your WINE Mommy, I forgot your WINE!!!! I’m so SORRY, I didn’t mean to be a bad girl and forget the WINE! Obviously WINE was not on HER list but it was on the list I rattled off in the car :( I was so dumbfounded I didn’t react immediately, when I realized she was not hurt I looked up to what seemed like 1,000 frowning faces! Oh yes I know how this looked from where they were standing! My daughter said ‘Show us more pictures I promise I’ll go get it now” at that my son heard contest and shoved her cart over spilling everything into his pee and took off running back into the store. OH MY GOSH, what to do my brain was racing. She was crying REAL tears and shouting very loudly I’m going to get the WINE MOMMY! A lady (I’m sure an off duty CPS officer) leaned down and told her “You are a good girl, you are a good helper” glaring at me-her mother for (she was sure) equating helping me with being a good girl— get WINE! I scooped her up and found my wet son running thru the store, I scooped him up and left the store. For the next year that we lived in that town I drove 15 minutes out of my way to go to another grocery store. From then on out I buckled them in the car cart and gave them lollipops and just rushed!

    • Melanie Dale

      I am shaking with laughter right now with a horrified expression on my face. I just…This is so incredibly awful. Oh the humiliation. Can you laugh about it now? If it was on TV, it’d be hilarious. In real life, holy cow.

      • KK

        I sure can laugh NOW but the image of your baby licking the drain has kept me up a few nights in the last week

    • Off The Cuff Cooking

      Yep, that was a pretty amazing story!!!

  • Dorina

    I was babysitting a couple boys -not my own, but my experience was not so far off from these im reading. The mother asked for some help in her stressful morning and I didnt mind. As im changing the 1 yr old, I realized hed been sleeping with a swollen diper- something ive never seen before! It was literally falling apart from all the pee, and littly jelly crystals oozing from every side. It was a cold morning, and the baby cried like -like they usually do, you know? LOUD! Now, the 3 yr old asks to go pee too. Being a girl, I unfortunately forgot that boys do things differently, haha. I set him on the seat and said ” ok Jo, you can let it go now.” Holding his favorite blanket, he looked at me in a desperate way, as if something is still wrong. I encouraged him again, and since he couldnt hold it any longer, well..he let it go. And oh, how he let it go!!! On the counter, on the carpet, on his bankie! I panicked and tried to turn him around, but that only made it worse and gave me a thick streak of “it” on my pants (which btw I had to wear until they dried.) Now everything around us was wet and I couldnt help but laugh. They just looked at me…

  • C.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH to you and to those who commented for sharing about this. Sometimes, it feels like I am the only one. It is so embarrassing! I have had several “bad” experiences while out in public, mostly in the first month or so after giving birth. But, more recently, it was happening a little too often. I started taking probiotics. It helps. Also, I never go anywhere without taking a large zipper pouch that has pads, wipes, and clean underwear. I know where every bathroom is in every store I ever visit!

  • jenny

    Thank you to the ladies who truly know what it means to be a mom.god u love it!!!ya know when you laugh so hard you’re crying,ya that’s me now. Feels great.keep em coming

  • Shaylee Ann

    Oh. My. Word. You poor, brave, remarkable woman. I don’t know how you made it through that horror…. I’m the oldest of ten kids and have experienced plenty of terrible potty moments, but never as the mother holding everything together. One of the things that I dread most about having a baby isn’t labor & delivery, unsolicited advice, sleep training, or going back to work; it’s PUBLIC FREAKING BATHROOMS. Even grocery shopping with littles doesn’t sound TOO bad because I’ve done that plenty of times, but bathrooms scare me when I’m on my own, and I can’t imagine having to bring a tiny human with me into those places! I wish there was some way to avoid them completely, but of course there isn’t. Guess I’ll just be stocking up on baby wipes & hand sanitizer, oh, and plastic sheets from the dollar store to lay down on those nasty floors. Thank you for opening my eyes. :D

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