Tag Archives: child safety

Not What We’re Used To

Spring break and the kiddos get restless, so we figured we’d hightail it up to Chicago for a few days, with an overnight stop in Valparaiso so that I could attend my first rehearsal with the other cast members of Listen To Your Mother (You really should come if you live in the region; it’s going to be amazing! More on this soon, I promise.)

We spent the day at the Indiana Dunes; it was sunny, but cold and brisk. We picnicked anyway, enjoying the sounds and sight of Lake Michigan from another perspective.  The kids burned off some energy running and then summersaulting down Devil’s Slide and trekking back up only to do it again and again.

On Friday we headed into Chicago, to explore some venues we hadn’t visited for some time—the Field and Lincoln Park Zoo. When we’re out as a group, we’re used to the myriad of looks and stares, and sometimes comments. We experience this less in a city the size of Chicago where diversity abounds, and perhaps that’s some of the comfort of why my kids love the city so much.

Invariably when out for any length of time, Mother Nature “calls.” We’ve always had a rule: young boys NEVER go into the bathroom unattended. It may appear that I feel this way because I don’t trust my sons to do their business and come out. Not at all. My (our) concern is the about who is in that men’s public bathroom—might he be a peeper, or someone who exposes himself to or molests young boys in bathrooms? It happens. More than we want to admit.

So, of course G had to use the restroom at the zoo, and Mark accompanied him. A maintenance guy, about Mark’s age, was in there cleaning and turned around after G had locked the stall door. Mark stood in the doorway, while G attended to his business.

Maintenance Dude: (pausing in his work) “Can I help you?”

Mark: “I’m just waiting.”

Maintenance Dude:  “Who are you waiting for?”

Mark: “Him.” (And motions to the stall.)

Maintenance Dude: “Oh, your grandson.”

Mark: “No, my son.”

Maintenance  Dude: (Nodding, with a huge smile and the “manly,” “he-he-he,” slap-on-the-back kind of approval) “You’re not shooting blanks! Good for you!”

I guess he kinda missed the obvious…


Filed under Family, Growing Tweens & Teens, Parenting, The International Mom