a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Aug, 2010

Dave’s guest post: Dad in the Ladies Room

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Guest postings

I’m busy charging my batteries, so it’s Guest Post Week here at the Fishbowl! Today I’d like to introduce you to Dave. Dave makes me laugh. His blog is a very sweet record of his family life. Someday his kids will read it with laughter and tears. I have his grandmother’s tomato soup recipe and I keep meaning to post it. Someday I will remember.

I cannot believe I’m in the Fishbowl! Gosh. It’s much roomier than I thought.

I’m Dave from over at Tomato Transplants. My wife, Erin, and I grew up in Leamington, Ontario — the Tomato Capital of Canada. We’re raising our three kids on Prince Edward Island. Henry is six. Jane is four. Alice turns two this week.


It’s Friday. Erin is still recovering from her surgery. She feels good today. She looks good. We celebrate by taking the kids out for a rare restaurant meal. We choose an Italian place on Victoria Row — a pedestrian mall in Charlottetown.

The kids behave splendidly. Erin’s dark hair and sunglasses shine in the evening sun. She is beautiful. I am so lucky.

We pay, and linger on the street for a few moments. A band plays. The kids start to dance.

Erin: I’m going to run into the Confed Centre to use the bathroom.

Me: OK. Kids, do you have to go?

Kids: (dancing) No!

Me: Are you sure?

They look at me as if I am a moron.

Erin leaves. I’m left with two twirling dresses and a six-year-old boy trying to look cool. The tie helps (he dressed himself).

Alice: (twirling) I’m drunk!

Me: (blushing)Oh — heh — don’t say that, sweetie.

A few faces turn to us. I kick myself for laughing uncontrollably the first time she ever said this line.

Jane: I have to go pee.

Me: What?

Henry: Me, too.

Me: But we just asked –

Alice:Haff to pee.

Me: You wear a diaper!

I think a minute. I can take them to the Confed Centre, but I don’t want to risk Erin missing us when she returns. She’s still awfully tired. I’ve been counting her steps all night, and can imagine her searching far and wide for us if she finds us AWOL.

Me: How bad do you have to go?

Jane/Henry: BAD.

We rush into the Confed Centre. We don’t meet Erin on the way in. I assume she is still in the Ladies’ Room. I realize if we go to the Men’s Room, she — again — might miss us on the way out.

Jane’s seems to be the more urgent case, so I let her into the Ladies’ Room. I call into the room as Jane enters.

Me: Erin — It’s us. Jane is coming in.

I wait a minute.

I hear Jane yell something from inside the bathroom.

I crack the door open.

Me: What’s that, Janey?

Jane: I said, I’m pooping.

Me: (panicking slightly) Is Mum in there?

Jane: I don’t know. Mum?

No answer.


Where is she?

How am I going to deal with Janey? She has wiped herself before, but with mixed results.

Jane: I’m done.

I make a decision.

Me: Janey, you’re going to have to wipe yourself.

Jane: I can’t!

Alice squirms on my hip. Henry does the Little Boy Pee-Pee Dance. A stream of people walk past. I can only imagine what they think of this man yelling into the women’s bathroom.

Woman: (smiling) You’ve got your hands full.


Alice: I’m drunk.

The woman scoots away.

I convince Jane she can, in fact, wipe herself. “I be-lieve in you!”

We return to the street, and find Erin waiting patiently. She had, as it turns out, gone on from the bathroom to buy tickets at the Confed-Centre Box Office for a show that’s coming to town in a few weeks. That’s why we missed her.

Erin: What happened to you guys?

Henry: Dad made us go in the girls’ bathroom.

Alice: I peed!

18 Responses to "Dave’s guest post: Dad in the Ladies Room"

1 | Ginger

August 17th, 2010 at 6:51 am


Dave, thanks for starting my Tuesday off with a good laugh! What a great story! Thanks for sharing!

2 | Dave

August 17th, 2010 at 7:01 am


You are welcome!

Hurray! Fishbowl! Fishbowl! Fishbowl! Look at me!

3 | coffee with julie

August 17th, 2010 at 7:22 am


Great story, Dave! I could visually it perfect (and it made me feel awkward too!) haha! :)

4 | Craig Wesley Jones

August 17th, 2010 at 7:48 am


Like watching a slo-mo car crash, I read this post with growing dread but was unable to stop. While I admire your candour, Dave…

5 | Javamom

August 17th, 2010 at 7:51 am



5yo here can do it all by himself, except when he doesn’t want to (more often than not) and bitterly complains when he has to enter the ladies’ room with mom because DADDY NEVER MAKES ME GO IN THERE!

And the 2yo? She strips down wherever there is grass, lifts up her dress, and pees like a dog. We’re in the process of explaining that IF there is a bathroom, this is where we go to do our business, and if there is NO bathroom, we at least find some bushes to do it behind…


6 | Dave

August 17th, 2010 at 8:00 am


Javamom– Our oldest sought out grass as well. He had a favourite spot by a tree in our yard…
Craig — I try not to potty post. I made an exception this time….

7 | Jordan

August 17th, 2010 at 8:36 am


Craig: At least he didn’t mention whether or not Jane did a good wiping job. God, that would b…um…so how did she do anyway? I just changed a nasty diaper so for some reason it seems relevant. Go Jane!

8 | Dave

August 17th, 2010 at 8:45 am


All my Tomato friends have joined me in the Fishbowl! Hurray! Tomorrow, let’s party back at my place!
(and she did great, thanks for asking)

9 | Carla

August 17th, 2010 at 9:30 am


hilarious! and can see it happening so clearly. And, can I just say, what is it with people who look at a parent struggling and just walk past saying “you’ve got your hands full”. Ah, yes, “thank you for the compliment” shall one answer? I never know what to say to that

10 | Melissa

August 17th, 2010 at 10:29 am


I love it. I’ll be sure to be kind to any panicked Dads that I see peeking into the ladies room.

11 | Anu

August 17th, 2010 at 2:43 pm


Lovely post Dave.

12 | karn

August 17th, 2010 at 2:45 pm


congrats on fishbowl, dave! a GREAT afternoon read.

13 | Julie

August 17th, 2010 at 4:58 pm


Great post… I’m going to subscribe to Dave if I can… I could use a daily laugh, even if it is at someone else’s expense!

14 | Dave

August 17th, 2010 at 7:14 pm


Phew! All this Tomato/Fishbowl mingling is a bit mind boggling. What a day.

Andrea — Thanks for the opportunity to hang out in your space. It was lots of fun.

15 | Rebecca

August 17th, 2010 at 8:54 pm


This was fantastic and hilarious. I am now following your blog. Love your writing – glad to have found it.

Side note: I was just in Leamington 2 weeks ago, my inlaws are in Windsor ;)

16 | Camping 2010 >> a peek inside the fishbowl

August 22nd, 2010 at 9:54 am


[…] week. Didn’t they do a great job? In case you missed them, here’s Kaitlin’s, Dave’s, Emma’s, and Rebecca’s posts. Thanks again. You guys […]

17 | Wendy

July 7th, 2011 at 4:01 pm


Ha ha ha…
Too funny, Dave!
My 8 year old Granddaughter waits until the LASt possible moment
Whenever we are out and about.
I have been seen running in to stores asking if we can use the
With my poor Granddaughter running with her little butt
Sticking out!
We really need more child, bathroom friendly places!! LOL

18 | Guest post: Darth Vader >> a peek inside the fishbowl

August 2nd, 2013 at 6:08 am


[…] in the Maritimes. His blog is called Tomato Transplants and it always makes me smile. Dave’s last guest post STILL makes be laugh, and it’s been three years. Read it if you’d like a good […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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