This weekend we headed to a Halloween festival with hay rides and pumpkin bowling and copious amounts of candy. All is going at its normal level of stress when thirty-seven teenagers are in charge of my child’s happiness, and the two, who are supposed to give directions to the scary haunted house versus the fun haunted house, drive off in a tractor leaving us in the dark by a field as my daughter discovers she has to pee.
My husband and son find their way into the spooky side from which my husband emerges terrified, while my son says: That was scary but cool. My husband defended his terror by yelling: I’m a pediatrician. I actually knows what teenagers are capable of.
Meanwhile, my daughter still has to pee, but there’s a young man running around in a werewolf head in the darker, pop-a-squat appropriate spots in the area so we make our way through the section of woods lined by lanterns and candy to keep her from regressing to diapers. However, we have to move faster and faster to escape a tween who screams every time a branch moves. Save the eardrum, I whisper as we burst out of the other side trees.
Finally, in front of us is the main room with bathrooms like sirens beckoning us inside. I rush my daughter past the teenage crayon and the cupcakes and to the bathroom door on the right just as it’s opening. A dad I know is attempting to walk out with his daughter as I’m hustling us towards the stalls. I pause to make some small talk with the only person I’ve recognized the entire time we’ve been at the Halloween Festival before pushing past him. My daughter says hello to his daughter as we move further into the bathroom.
I should be relieved to have finally got her to the toilet yet something keeps bothering me about the conversation.
That something becomes very clear when I see the urinal.
Me: Um, sweetie, we might be in the men’s room.
I peek my head back into the main room to look closer at the sign next to the doorway we passed to have our lovely conversation with that dad.
I grab my daughter out of the men’s room and run her into the women’s room next door. While she’s finally peeing, I consider creating a sign on my back: Awkward Haunt House This Way.