As we said goodbye to the beach and ventured back through the back roads of SC, we came across a pit stop where the "El Cheapo" gas station advertised "butt meat" and "liver puddin." We felt that this was too good to pass by so we stopped for boil peanuts and to tank L up. The boiled peanuts were slightly below average, but the diversity was high as the clerk was from India. For lunch we stopped just past Columbia where we frequented the chipotle (for K's dietary restrictions) before we hit up CFA.
Our chipotle bathroom experience was memorable as I ventured in solo with Luke and Ava Marie. As we were in the men's, the men went first followed by Ava Marie. The scene that unfolded was memorable. Luke having done his business now proceeded to the sink to wash his hands while Ava Marie climbed up onto the commode and clung precariously to the seat which was not designed for an almost three year old. Watching her dexterity on the lid, I failed to notice that Luke had applied liquid soap all the way to his elbows as if scrubbing in for a surgery. I immediately stepped in and began to ration the liberal amount of hand soap that Luke was applying, out of the corner of my eye I watched Ava Marie shift to the side of the seat where she could better stabilize (smart!) in order to concentrate at the task at hand. Having positioned herself, she began vigorously applying herself. At that moment Luke, feeling satisfied that he had sufficiently washed his hands and elbows discovered the jet powered drier. The moment his little fist punched the drier into action, I knew that we were all in trouble! The sound reverberated with a deafening roar off the concrete floor. Her concentration completely derailed, I watched as Ava Marie's hands instinctively shot from their Vulcan grasp to cover her ears. She rocked precariously and decided it would be best to keep one hand engaging the seat and the other covering an ear. As she doubled over to escape the sound, she let out a screech joining the jet powered drier. To resolve the problem, I immediately began barking orders into the tumult! "Ava Marie, it's ok! Luke, don't touch the drier!"
Once relative calm had been reestablished and Ava Marie had been coaxed to proceed, we began to wait. As Luke's bathroom break was complete, he decided it would be a good time to exit. I explained in earnest to Luke that we had a no kid left behind policy and that he had better not open the door. We would hang out till his little sister was finished. I saw in his minds eye that his hands could use a little more drying, I emphatically told him no. I began to wander how much of the proceeding tumult could be heard by the very patient man outside, who I imagined was contemplating how using the ladies would impact his manhood. For good measure, and the sake of my fellow man waiting outside the door contemplating gender suicide, I beseeched Ava Marie to hurry. Formative instances like these are probably why most don't like to be rushed in lieu. As we waited, I found myself asking Ava Marie for the third time "are you done yet?" Finally she nodded and we headed toward the sink, while I kept my eye on Luke who was hovering by the door and who I feared would attempt a quick escape.
Thinking again of the unfortunate man who was waiting for us to vacate, I quickly dashed some water over Ava Marie's hands omitting the application of soap. Maybe it was being second to use the commode, maybe the ear shattering dryer, maybe her daddy asking her 5 times if she was finished, but at the omission of hand soap Ava Marie came undone! We made a quick, but not to quiet exit. Luke pulling me toward the exit and Ava Marie pulling me back toward the bathroom. I managed a dignified nod to the obviously relieved gentleman as we exited to continue our 900 mile journey home.