At least it wasn’t a page from a catalog

Well, first I will explain why I call tissue paper on a roll “potty paper”.

It was not always thus, and I surely did not grow up saying it.

However, after I got married, the tale of potty paper was told to me at various times, separately and without prompting, by my own husband and a few in-laws.

It is family lore at its finest, yet I still mix up details.
I’ll bet someone will make corrections and updates as needed.

It seems that young George was attending Kindergarten, as most children are expected to do in our society.
The classroom had its own little rest room, and the teacher would give permission for the students to use it.

Young George was next, but came rushing back out very soon, telling the teacher that he couldn’t use it because “Somebody left a WHOLE HERD of potty paper in there!!!”

As soon as possible, the teacher called his mother, laughing so hard that she could barely make herself understood over the phone.

Even my somewhat fastidious father-in-law was heard to say potty paper when one of his grandsons called from the bathroom.

Over the years, I have potty-trained my baby brother, our own 3 sons, as well as many children in daycare.

This morning in the church nursery, we had 2 youngsters on ‘accident’ watch.

Potty paper was foremost in my thoughts.

In the afternoon at Yarn Group, the subject of toilet tissue was brought up by someone else.
Really.
She was telling about how often she makes a purchase, and explaining that she has several rolls of toilet tissue close at hand in the bathroom of her apartment.

Now, Now, I know you are jealous that you were not sitting at the table whilst we talk about shopping trips and storebought items, chatting over our hands working with yarn and tools.

As she was winding down the story, she was almost apologetic about how she had gone into detail about a need for having enough toilet tissue, saying that maybe somewhere in her youth she had run out or something.

Well, this triggered a memory for me I must have squashed down and stained black in my memory.

When I was a kid, Dad was always taking his offspring (and any buddies he could fit in the truck) out of town.  With or without another adult to help, we went fishing, berry picking, gathering nuts from wild trees.

Tappan Lake Park wasn’t fully developed in the 1960s.  Looking at that website, I can tell ya that improvements have been made in the last 40 years.

I remember the rest area was a smelly pit in the ground with a building over it.  In the Women’s side was a wooden bench with two holes, one had a white toilet seat, the other seat had been broken off by vandals.
My youngest sister was barely old enough to be potty-trained, and she was already scared in an unfamiliar place, so I let her use the hole with the seat.

After we both did our business, I discovered there was no potty paper.  I yelled out to dad our situation.

He learned that the hand pump for water had also been busted by vandals.  He asked if we could drip dry, but I told him I had done #2 and needed cleaned good.

I heard him searching through the truck, then his footsteps going away from us.

The two middle sisters were getting anxious waiting their turn over the hole, but without dad we weren’t sure what to do.

He came back, sloshing lake water in the bait bucket.  He came into the Women’s side of the restroom, took his handkerchief out of his pocket, and wiped my sister’s bottom with it.
Then he dipped the cloth into the bucket, wrung it out a bit, and proceeded to bend me over and wash my backside.

Then he dropped the handkerchief into the hole, turned to help my sister adjust her clothes, and told me to make way for the other girls.

I was so shocked by what had happened.  I was about 8 years old or so, and I knew about germs, and touching personal parts.  I think my middle sisters decided it would be okay to just get to it, then pull up their pants without wiping or saying anything to Dad.

To this day, whenever I use a restroom, before I drop my drawers, I make sure there is potty paper or I have a napkin in my pocket or purse to use at the end.

Lake water from a bait bucket didn’t kill me, but it did make me more cautious.

People should always appreciate a custodian who does the job well.

So I was recalling this at Yarn Group, and maybe some of the folks are thinking this is way too much information.

On the other hand, we keep getting together every Thursday afternoon, cuz nobody wants to miss out on what other tales might get an airing.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

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4 Responses to At least it wasn’t a page from a catalog

  1. momma says:

    What a wonderful story of your childhood. Your dad was quite an ingenious man to think of a good fix for a difficult situation. We used to call it potty paper too but now toilet paper or TP on the grocery list is it’s ID. Must be age or maybe lack of little children that brought about the change.

  2. Pammie says:

    Loved the story, except when you mentioned your friend calling it toilet tissue, I was thinking in my mind: “Tissue Paper” (the kind you use when wrapping presents! Oh well, to some toilet tissue might be a “present”!
    Hugs;
    Pammie

  3. Evelyn says:

    Hi Diane!
    I got to thinking of all the memories those old two holers evoked!
    The sights and smells! PU! And I had to make a comment anyway!
    I think your Dad was a very practical and innovated man! Bless his heart!

    When we went to Kansas last week, we stopped at a rest stop that must have been just cleaned.
    It sparkled and the chrome was shiney and the place smelled wonderful – if that is even possible.

    What an evolution from the old days! I mentally thank the attendant who took his or her job seriously!

    I do consider when I flush a perfectly clear tank of “drinkable water” to make my business disappear.

    Someone at the other end has a mess to work with.

    I bless them, too! Evelyn