After a week of rainy days, we Seattleites got a reprieve this weekend, so our family did what comes natural when the sun comes out: we made a beeline for Wallingford Park.
We hit the park Friday, Saturday and Sunday, pulling one daily double, and we were certainly not alone. Tons of kids were running in, on, and around the play structure, swings were being swung, and the merry go round was on fire. It wasn’t an atypical park scene by any means, but somehow it just made you feel so good. I closed my eyes and let my senses run – the sound of children laughing, the warmth of a ray or two of sun, and the distinct smell of trees and flowers – it almost felt like spring.
As I played Star Wars with my son in the empty wading pool, I heard another mother behind me say “Oh, you have to go? Ok, let’s just quickly run to the…” but she stopped mid-sentence before letting out a groan and crying, “oh no, it’s locked!” Several parents within earshot commiserated and made a few suggestions – she could run over to Julia’s or Wallingford Center or maybe have her child pee behind a tree?
The incident made me smile. Just before Christmas we’d had a playdate at the park with a new friend from school, and not five minutes into things, my son announced “I have to go poo.” Like the other mom, I calmly told him we could head to the park bathroom until we too, discovered it was locked. I rattled the bars as I stared at the padlock. Sure, it wasn’t helping things, but somehow I couldn’t stop myself.
Then he said, “I have to go poo…, NOW.” So, we did what anyone else would do. We cut outta there too hurried to say anything to our friends and sprinted to Julia’s – two and half blocks never seemed so long. I was huffing and puffing and willing him not to go in his pants. When we flew through the doors, I didn’t even get a chance to say anything. Just by looking at us, the server immediately understood the situation, and politely said, “down that way and to the left.”
So in case you head over to the park this winter and need to use the bathroom, you’ll find that the “comfort stations,” aka the bathrooms, are closed due to furloughs but will be open again on April 1st. Until then, I guess everyone will need to hold it or run.