Seasoned parents, particularly moms, should always know where to find the nearest bathroom. There is really no excuse for the mommy bathroom radar not to be kicked into high gear when there are two young children in the equation. And one of those children had only been potty-trained for a few months. But strange things happen at Stonehenge. For some reason my toilet radar was malfunctioning as we approached the prehistoric monument that fateful day.
There are no bathrooms at Stonehenge. There are bathrooms at the Visitor Center, but once you depart on the shuttle to see rocks in the middle of a grassy field, there are no toilets. Auntie, Mommy, and the Tattler all visited the restroom upon our arrival at Stonehenge. We’d been in the car for hours so it made sense to go. But the Temper was still sleeping when we arrived at Stonehenge and was cranky and refused to go to the bathroom. Plus, I’m what you might call a baby-wearing novice. Despite the fact that he’s my third child, by the time I’ve finally got Diaper Baby properly wrapped to me and comfortable, there is no way it’s coming off. And all the Temper really wanted as we arrived at Stonehenge was to be in mommy’s arms. He couldn’t have mommy and he didn’t want to pee, so we decided it was best to let him be.
With storm clouds looming in the distance, we quickly passed through the Visitor Center exhibits and rode the bus to the giant stones. It was a cold, overcast British day and the number of tourists was pleasantly few. The atmosphere was quiet, serene. The Tattler happily frolicked in the grass, completely oblivious to the massive rocks roped off in the center of her grassy field. The Temper just looked mad.
The Tattler was incredibly well-behaved and happily posed for pictures.
All I wanted was one group picture. At least daddy and the big kids, maybe I’d even get in there and let my sister take a picture of our entire family. Or at least get Temper in a photo so he’d have proof someday that he’d been here. But it was not happening. Mad toddler became whiny toddler. He refused to cooperate and daddy finally placed him on his shoulders to appease my photo demands.
I snapped off a few pictures on my phone and then Temper wanted back down. He was whining AND mad. My not-so-verbal toddler was clearly upset about something. And then he lost it. Epic temper tantrum. He ran away from the rocks and threw himself into the grass. And screamed and kicked and screamed some more.
The quiet Asian tourists listening to their audio tour looked up and gawked confusedly. Mommy with baby strapped to chest looked on in horror, unable to control the situation. Daddy rushed after him. And then the screams stopped and he just laid there silently.
Temper had finally realized he really needed to pee back on daddy’s shoulders moments before. Daddy, apparently, had been quick to inform him he would have to hold it until we were back at the Visitor Center. And that is what caused the temper tantrum that earned him his nickname. Reason my son was crying: He couldn’t pee at Stonehenge.
I can hardly imagine what must have been going through his panicked little head. Since potty training had commenced four months earlier, he’d been relatively successful. Mommy had quickly come to appreciate the versatility of boys as our potty-training journey got underway. If Temper needed to pee, we found shortcuts to make it happen. Otherwise, I was lugging three kids around in our quest for the nearest toilet. During his short potty-trained tenure, he had peed in his share of fields, forests, and parking lots. And suddenly, he found himself in a grassy field and was NOT allowed to find a discreet location to relieve himself. How could he possibly comprehend that peeing on a five thousand year old ceremonial landscape would not be okay?
Daddy whisked him away to find a solution and they returned just as the rain started. I even managed to get one halfway decent picture of him with his aunt. Next time everyone will go to the bathroom when we arrive. Lesson learned.