Thursday, September 30, 2010

Norrin & the Royal Flushing Privies

Ren Fair 9/25/10
 Last Saturday, we ventured off to Renaissance Fair in Tuxedo, New York.  As we got ready that morning Joseph asked, "Hey babe, should I put a pull-up on Norrin?"  I just looked at him. "You do know that at some point we're going to have leave the pull-ups behind," I say, not really answering his question.        

We have been potty training for almost two years.  And in the last few months, he's been doing really well with minimal accidents.  I smile with pride when I hear the clopping of his flat feet down the hallway to the bathroom as he clumsily throws up the toilet seat.  I peak from behind the wall, watching him stand there wriggling his little fingers in front of face and listen as he hums or repeats lines from his favorite cartoon or books.  Absentmindedly, he rolls all the toilet paper down, ripping off long strips, crumpling them up in his hands only to toss the thick wads into the toilet, sometimes waving the paper around inside the bowl and that's when I run in and say "No!"

It was a long drive from the Bronx up to Tuxedo. When we finally reached the parking lot I realized his shorts and t-shirt were wet.   We changed Norrin in the parking lot within seconds.  Shamefully, I admit putting Norrin in the pull-up I snuck in my bag before leaving the apartment.  

I asked the parking lot attendant where the bathrooms were.  "Well there's one real bathroom, right over that little bridge - just before you go into the park.  Inside, only The Royal Flushing Privies," he said.

The "real" bathrooms were medieval: dull lighting, clogged toilets, empty rolls of toilet paper and dirty floor tiles cracked and missing.  (It was only 11 am and the park had just opened.)  Navigating that bathroom with a sensory kid like Norrin was not easy.

Shortly after lunch, Norrin started to pull down his pants - right in front of The Washing Well Wenches.  "Have to pee pee," he said.  "That's good asking for the potty Norrin."  I smiled at him, though for a brief moment, I wished he just went in the pull up. But he said it so clearly and so spontaneously and so appropriately that I had no choice.  We were on the other side of the Fair, and it was quite a walk back to the Royal Flushing Privies. I grabbed his hand and dragged him across the field.

The Privies were three rows of port-o-potties.  I wished I had anti-bacterial.  I took a deep breath and opened the door to the handicapped port-o-potty.   I held both of Norrin's hands with my right hand while pulling his pants down with the left.  "Stand still and do pee pee."  As soon as these words left my mouth, I knew I would regret them.  We were standing in a small puddle - of what, I could not think about.  And I was wearing flip-flops.  Norrin looked up at me and smiled.  Then he stomped his feet and the puddle of mystery water splattered all over my bare feet.  I couldn't look down.  I focused on Norrin using the potty; he had asked me without any prompting.  It was my small price to pay.     

Joseph & Norrin at Ren Fair 9/25/10

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.