“No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service” read the sign on the Chinese restaurant door. It didn’t say anything about diapers or underwear which was an unfortunate mistake on the sign-makers part. Maybe they need to make signs just for toddlers, or at least for the parents of toddlers. Something like, “Underwear must be worn at all times. No naked bottoms allowed.”
Over the weekend we took Tiny-Small and my mom out to the Chinese Buffet. We’ve been working on Potty training and it’s been going well. Very few accidents, but a lot of nudity. Tiny-Small doesn’t see the point in wearing underwear or a diaper really. At home, this isn’t a big deal. At the Chinese restaurant, well, let’s just say other diners are probably not big fans of potty-training nudity. So, we made Tiny-Small wear a diaper. It seemed like an acceptable compromise at the time.
Half way through dinner, my mom’s expression changed. She said, to Tiny-Small, “I think your mom might need to help you.” She helped Tiny-Small climb out of the booth, and there my daughter stood with her diaper around her ankles.
“I have to go PEE-PEE!” She yelled, “I have to go Pee-Pee RIGHT NOW!” I ran to assist her. I wanted to pull the diaper up, but instead she stepped out of it and then her dad picked her up. She was wearing a dress. The dress was up around her armpits because dad’s don’t think about making sure dresses are hanging down where they are supposed to be.
“Pull her dress down,” I stage-whispered. Jim looked at me like I was insane. “PULL HER DRESS DOWN!” I hissed at him. Finally he realized that Tiny-Small was flashing the entire restaurant. Mooning everyone in sight. I am pretty sure we violated numerous Chinese Buffet health codes and state laws and I don’t even want to think about what else.
“You’re going to get us in trouble.” I whispered to poor, confused, Jim. The man I married. For better or for worse. Till death do us part…naked baby butts and all.
Then my mom said, “Kids used to run around naked all the time and nobody cared.”
“People get their kids taken away for two months while they are investigated for having a picture of their child in the bathtub now. I can’t imagine what happens to people who have naked kids in Chinese restaurants.” I replied. I sounded ridiculous. I knew it. Still, it’s hard not to be paranoid when you read the news. I mean, child nudity is a big deal sometimes.
Tiny-Small and I ran to the bathroom. I held her hand and carried her diaper as we walked quickly to remedy the situation. She went potty in the bathroom (yay!). We washed our hands. We went back to our booth and finished eating. Luckily, nobody seemed to mind that they had seen a naked toddler during their meal. I guess it’s because we didn’t technically break the no shirts, no shoes, no service rule. Or, perhaps, people here understand that accidents happen sometimes, especially with toddlers. Our fellow diners didn’t seem to think it was a big deal at all really, probably because it wasn’t. At least not to anybody but me. I’m paranoid, obviously. I’m a modern mom. Paranoid seems to come with the territory.
Still, later I felt kind of sad that I had worried so much about our accidental nudity incident. It’s embarrassing to be this paranoid. I probably wouldn’t have worried so much about Tiny-Small accidentally flashing a few diners if I hadn’t just read this story about a family in Arizona that had their kids taken away (after a Walmart employee reported them to the police for taking photos of their kids in the bathtub). When I was a kid, naked baby photo’s and bathtub shots were pretty much a standard photographic category for any baby book. I had friends with bare bottomed photos on the living room wall (we called them blackmail photos). Now it is a crime. One that could make you lose your job, make your children undergo medical exams, and separate your family. Sometimes, it just feels like we live in a much scarier world than we used to. Where you can lose everything important to you just by living your life.
Do you worry about taking photos of your children or the ramifications of accidental, public nudity? Do you have any funny potty training stories to tell? Are you a paranoid parent too?