Feb 1, 2011

Mommy, What's That?

Here's a funny Youngest story for you...

While we were in India, we didn't encounter Indian-style toilets for the most part. Everywhere we went, there was a nice, western-style toilet bowl with a clean seat to sit on. There wasn't always toilet paper, but I always think ahead so it wasn't an issue.

My boys have never seen the Indian-style toilet, which is basically a hole in the ground with two footholds on either side (you stand on the footholds and squat--it's like peeing outdoors, except you're indoors). Sometimes they're clean, and sometimes they're...well...not.

Anyway, when we went to the theme park type place that had displays of various cultures across India, Youngest had to go to the bathroom. There were public restrooms there, but this place isn't there to cater to foriegn tourists, so you can probably guess what style bathrooms they had. :)

I took Youngest to the bathroom and opened a stall. A porcelain hole was in the floor, with two porcelain footholds on either side, and a handle sticking out of the pipes so you can flush when you're done. It was very clean, and the lack of toilet paper wasn't an issue for Youngest because he just had to pee. But he'd never seen a toilet like this before, and just stood there staring at it.

Him: Mommy, what's that?
Me: That's the potty. It's how a lot of them are in India.
Him: (cocking his head to the side) How do you use it?
Me: You go pee-pee in the hole there, then flush here.
Him: Oh, okay. (he looks at the toilet again, then at me, then back at the toilet). Mommy, how are you going to use that?

It was all I could do not to burst out laughing! I told him I'd do just fine, and that he should go potty. Which he did. :)


cleemckenzie said...

These toilets are a challenge, but when I was working with students from the middle east I discovered our western style toilets were equally as challenging for them.

One night about 10 I got a call from a teacher asking for my help to extricate a student's foot from a dorm toilet. We had to call the fire department.

Dangerous, these strange white porcelain objects.

Tabitha said...

LOL!! That's hilarious. My in-laws have had trouble in the past when they've come to visit us. It's just so completely different from what they're used to.

But getting your foot stuck in a toilet??? That takes some serious talent. :)

Logan E. Turner said...

Hilarious, and so observant of him! I went to India about a year ago, and I was the most worried about the toilets. As it turned out, they were the easiest part to adapt to, but the bucket shower was quite another story!

tooartsy said...

My niece is in India right now, working in a monastery for 6 weeks and in her first email home she spent an entire paragraph describing the "awful restrooms!" Now I see what she was referring to!

Tabitha said...

Logan - yeah, the bucket shower is definitely difficult to get used to. My kids hate it. They'd rather soak in a tub (and with how dirty they get in India, I'd prefer that, too). I took a very long, hot shower right when I got home, and they kids soaked in a huge bubble bath with boats and everything. :)

Hi Wendy! So great to see you here! And yeah, the bathrooms definitely take some getting used to. The hardest part is mostly the lack of toilet paper... :)

J.Tuttle said...

That's super hilarious! I think it's great that he thought of you and how it might not work so well in your case. Thoughtful! I hate those hole in the ground toilets. Built for men.