They tell me the child is 2, certainly old enough to potty train. So, they start the brigade.
Every 20 minutes, the child is asked if she has to go potty.
Any excuse to get behind the exciting and until now, forbidden bathroom door and mingle with water and soap and flushers is way too exciting for a 2 year old. Especially when it involves water.
A steady stampede is repeated throughout that day. And the next. And the next. And the next. And so forth until the child turns 3 or 4.
Of course, at home this scene isn't repeated quite as often. The child is left to play uninterrupted with pull-ups on or some other fancy fanny wear and eventually she learns that all she has to say is the "p" word and the whole house swarms to her side in order to meet her request before an "accident" takes place.
Soon it gets boring to go to the bathroom so often. The water and toilet paper and flushers just aren't quite as appealing as they were before. Eventually the child takes on the schedule of any well potty trained individual; not too often and not too infrequent. A healthy balance.
But, when it comes to church time, the former schedule of every 20 minutes comes into action. Only this time, you drop the 0 and keep the 2, making it about every 2 minutes. In a short service, that child can be seen being ushered down to the enthralling throne room at least a half a dozen times. The look of glee and contentment on the child's face is seen by all except the well meaning parents who "just don't want another accident."
After repeated episodes of trips to the bathroom, I had to wonder if the child had a severe bladder problem. Surely it is never healthy for anyone to have to go to the bathroom every few minutes. But, maybe a 2 year old's bladder is just a bit more active. Her parents don't seem to be too concerned but I had to wonder if a trip to the doctor the next day would perhaps be a good idea.
But I knew the truth. I have a two year old. A girl too. She plays on every chance she can to do something "fun," something interesting and something with water. I also know she'd have to go potty every 10 minutes at Church too, if she knew the beauties that the Church bathroom beholds.
And if you're like me and inwardly smirk at the predicament of parents to their child's whims and wants for the Church bathroom, you have all you can do not to discreetly get the child's attention and then mouth "POTTY" across the pews when you happen to see the child actually sitting for all of five minutes between potty sessions.
You know you'd see the little face turn up to the bathroom-weary-face of her poor father and then she'd pull on his neck and whisper the powerful "p" word and off they'd rush to the bathroom. Again.
But I couldn't do it. Some time in the near future, my 2 year old girl will be fancily clad with becoming fanny wear and sitting in Church wishing she could be down in the bathroom too. And she really won't have to go potty either.