Some people seem to have a great memory of their childhood school years. I’m not one of those people. I can’t name every teacher I had and the corresponding grade I had them. I can’t tell you what grade I learned to write cursive, or when I decided Social Studies was for chumps.
But for most years of my schooling, there’s always something that sticks out in my mind; something that I will never forget. This story is about kindergarten. As good a place to start as any.
My kindergarten classroom seemed to have it’s own bathroom… or maybe one was just really close by (see… bad memory), but what I do know for sure was that there were signs on the door to say whether or not it was occupied.
And with a quick flip!!
These bathrooms weren’t your typical school bathrooms; they were like home bathrooms: one toilet, one sink. Main difference being the locks on the doors had been removed for safety reasons (they were dealing with kindergarteners after all); thus the signage.
Despite my upbringing, I’ve always been very mindful of providing people with bathroom privacy. You might be wondering what my upbringing consisted of in order to warrant that kind of comment. We were a one bathroom family. As such, if someone was in the shower and someone else needed to pee, you went on in, did your business and made necessary small talk so that it wasn’t awkward. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been mindful of giving people their bathroom privacy.
Because of that, I was way more likely to be standing in the hallway doing the pee dance in front an empty bathroom with a stop sign on the door than anyone else in my class. Others were way more likely to walk in on you because they had no respect for the sign. And then there was the girl that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
I have no idea what her name was, but I can remember her face like it was yesterday.
Every time I went to the bathroom, she’d walk in on me. I was always washing my hands when she did it, so it wasn’t a big deal. What was a big deal is how she dealt with the walking-ins. Most people would open the door, realize what they’ve done, apologize and back out (or freak out and slam the door shut). This girl would walk in, shut the door, drop her drawers and pull up a seat on the toilet, all the while grinning up at me while I stared at her in disbelief.
The first time it happened, I thought maybe I forgot to switch the sign and that she really had to pee so when she saw that I was in there it didn’t matter, she had to go. But then I became really adamant about using the signs and still every time I started washing my hands, she’d waltz on in the door.
I started trying to pee really fast and take less time in the bathroom just so that she never “had to wait” outside while I was in there. And still, the second the tap was turned on, in she came.
I don’t know if I was the only one she did this to; I don’t know why she did it. But I’m fairly certain she’s the reason I ended up peeing my pants in class that year. But maybe that’s another story for another day.