When November comes around this year and each member of our family shares the traditional three things they are thankful for, at the top of my list will be the sticky note! It’s not because of the traditional uses of this handy office supply, it is because this simple item of stationary changed my world and saved my sanity.
When I found out I was pregnant with our firstborn I had no idea how much mental energy over the next 14 years would be given to the potty. Not to be crass but it started right away; pregnant women do have a small child sitting on their bladder for nine months! And then that precious child is born and mountains of diapers are used. Typically these mountains would taper off to small hills of diapers and then finally the potty-training “right of passage”. This was not our experience.
When God gives you a daughter with a special brain your first response is not to think “this will forever change the way I view the bathroom!” I was not prepared to have this as an item line on my planning sheet, but it’s exhausting to recall the amount of brain power given to the topic when Little was between the ages of 3 and 11. Little’s special brain affected the development of muscle control and her ability to sense her body in general was affected. I cannot believe the amount of time I spent potty-praying; I bet THAT’s a journal entry most folks don’t have!!
As Little got older I realized that it wasn’t just getting rid of diapers that loomed ahead of me, the idea of sending Little into a public bathroom alone was another item for prayer. There are the obvious issues of talking to strangers, remembering to shut and lock the stall door, etc. but over the past several years a new nemesis emerged: the “magic toilet.” This is the toilet with the sensor that flushes on its own. Little HATES them; she would choose to have an accident over using a magic toilet.
These toilets are loud and often go off when you are least expecting; the anxiety is just too much. Our practice became me going with her, cramming into the bathroom stall, and covering the sensor with my hand until she finished her business. It seems like a simple and obvious fix but honestly it was ridiculous and the thought of how this would play out long-term was never far from my mind.
I don’t remember who it was that flippantly threw out the idea that changed our life, but I am so very grateful to them. Just a simple, “Couldn’t you stick a sticky note over it?” and it was as if the sun had come out from behind the clouds and a unicorn jumped over a rainbow.
The idea is simple: I keep a pack of sticky notes in my purse and if Little needs to excuse herself I peel one-off and hand it to her for use as a cover for the “magic toilet” sensor. It allows my 13-year-old to go to the bathroom without her mother and I get to finish a meal at restaurants! A simple sticky note has relieved amounts of stress I didn’t even realize were present.
I never thought stationary would lead me to worship but a Post-It now prompts praise. Can you sing it with me? “Peace for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” Yes, because of a Post-It I can believe that the potty will not always hold a place of prominence. Next time you go into a public potty, pause and praise because our God knows our every need (no matter how small) and He will make a way where there seems to be no way.