If there’s one thing any seasoned parent can tell you about raising kids, it’s that it’s a never-ending adventure.
Even the most mundane of activities can turn into a learning experience for parents and kids alike.
One dad’s recent experience at a rest stop is an example of just that. Clint Edwards is a published author and writes a Facebook blog called “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog.” He was recently on a road trip with his wife and three children when they decided to stop at a rest stop to grab a box of cornflakes. He ran inside with his 4-year-old daughter, Aspen.
All of a sudden, Clint felt a… disturbance… and had to quickly detour to the bathroom, with Aspen in tow. He had to bring her in the stall with him to keep an eye on her, and that’s when things took a turn for the comedic. While the story will no doubt be a hilarious family memory for decades to come, it also taught Clint a little something about how his parenting has impacted his daughter.
Clint, his wife Mel, and their three kids were just two hours into a 12-hour road trip when they stopped at an Oregon rest stop.
Mel and children Tristan and Norah waited in the car while Clint and Aspen, 4, went into the store.
While inside, Clint realized his stomach was upset. He went to the nearest bathroom, bringing Aspen into the stall with him.
Here’s what happened next, in Clint’s own words from his hilarious Facebook post recapping the incident: “Aspen watched as I struggled, Moana light-up crocs on the wrong feet, blue eyes wide and supportive, hands clapping. ‘Good job, Daddy! Good job! You make two poops! Now three poops! I’m four!'”
Clint says he discovered his daughter “is the Richard Simmons of pooping.”
He was impressed with the details she included while cheering him on. “She commented on my work ethic. ‘You’re trying so hard!’ At one point I had to actually push her face away from the business end of things as she clapped and cried ‘You’re doing it, Daddy! You’re doing it!'”
Clint explained that he and Mel have been very supportive of Aspen throughout her potty training to keep her from having accidents due to distraction. “I suppose she’s gotten used to the positive reinforcement Mel and I give her each time she goes. And when I’m cheering her on in our family restroom, it seems normal, even appropriate.”
While Clint’s happy that Aspen knows she is supported, he wasn’t too keen on being on the receiving end of the same support. “But when the roles are reversed, it’s just, well, awkward. Particularly in a public restroom where the man in the stall next to me was obviously holding back tears of laughter. Laughter that busted loose when she called me a ‘pooping-farting robot.'”
When all was said and done, Clint grabbed some provisions and got Aspen into the car.
While Clint tried to spare the rest of his family the story, Aspen happily recapped it for everyone.
This is far from the first adventure for Clint and his family, as evidenced by his book I’m Sorry… Love, Your Husband, a collection of essays about his experiences as a husband and dad.
The story was funny, but perhaps just as funny is the fact that so many parents have stories about their own misadventures in public restrooms with their kids.
It’s a silly way to remind ourselves and other parents that these moments happen to everyone.
No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog/Facebook
Whether you’re the mortified parent or the guy in the next stall trying to keep it together, these stories make for a great laugh when all is said and done.