The drama unfolded just as we were concluding our lunch and paying the bill, when Grady had a blowout diaper and began screaming that he needed to be changed. Off to the ladies room we went.
As the bathroom was rather small there wasn't any room for the changing table except in the handicapped stall, which I didn't lock, since I knew we were going to be quick. However, as soon as I gave Grady a clean tush, I figured that I might as well use the bathroom too.
So I put him on the floor next to the toilet and reached over to lock the door.
In the minute or less that I was 'seated' and unable to keep my hands on him, Grady managed to gross me out beyond belief. He touched the walls. He crouched onto the floor to look under the stall next to me. He put his thumb in his mouth. I rushed to finish so I could throw out the stinky diaper and scour both of our hands in hot water. But when I was ready to go, the lock was stuck.
I jingled the lock. I pushed on the door. I jingled the lock again. I knocked loudly. I jingled the lock in every direction. I pushed a little harder on the door. Again. And again. And again.
Nothing happened. For five minutes. Then ten.
In the meantime, I was holding a dirty diaper in one hand and using my other as a vice grip on Grady as he had now touched ... the toilet. The floor. The toilet again. The changing table. The sanitary napkin box. He tried to climb under the door at least three times. And followed it all up by putting his thumb back in his mouth.
I. Was. Sick.
A young girl who walked in to use the bathroom, realized I needed help, and rushed out to tell anyone who worked at the restaurant that there was someone locked in the bathroom stall.
About five minutes later Riley rushed into the bathroom looking for me. I angrily told her what happened and instructed her to tell Matt. It was only then that an employee finally offered to help.
Fortunately, the employee was able to pry the lock open after a few minutes of heavy fiddling. UNfortunately, she told me that the lock on the stall was changed earlier that morning and that I was the SECOND person locked in there today.
NOW I was irritated. The restaurant already had this happen one time today and they didn't fix it? Nor did they put a sign on the door stating to lock it at your own risk?
Instead, I was forced to spend fifteen minutes stuck in the small stall with a wild toddler.
Fifteen minutes where I could have been back in the mall shopping. Or waiting in the long line at Starbucks.
The manager met me at our table, in the center of the restaurant, where I loudly told him what happened. He offered no response or explanation. So I didn't waste any more of my time or mince any words. I just demanded that as a result, he was going to comp our meal.
Dumbfounded, he continued to stand there and stare blankly at me, while our server, who was mortified over my situation, quickly ran to the cash register and refunded us our money.
And. We. Left. With the same $47. And Purell. And with a whole lot of giggles. Because seriously, this stuff only seems to happen to us. Our new year may have started off crappy, but it's bound to move on up from here!
So to those who say, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Well ... they haven't been locked in a stall with a 2.5 year old.