Thursday, September 20, 2012

so, about the port-a-potty

I really appreciate all of the advice that you lent on my last post about the upcoming birthday party. You folks are the bomb diggity! At noon today, we had our minds made up that we'd host the party at an offsite location (here, in fact) and we were feeling relatively good with that decision.  Actually, Charlie was feeling GREAT with the decision because:

1) He wouldn't have to prepare;
2) He wouldn't have to clean-up; and
3) He would have an opportunity to experience the Fields of Fear

Me, personally? I had my heart set on fixing up our yard like a fall festival, but Charlie really likes haunted houses. And, one of the keys to a successful marriage is compromise. 

But then. I went to our school's Open House tonight and while there, I spoke to some of my friends about our birthday party plans and every one of them (!) suggested that we NOT host it at a pumpkin patch. At least not that pumpkin patch because although, yes - it is awesome and the kids (and Charlie) would have a fantastic time ... it's 90 acres and we'd lose everyone. 

I think their exact words were, "Do you really think the kids are going to know that it's time to come out of the corn maze and eat cake?? Most of the kids don't wear a watch, let alone know how to tell time!!"  Hmmm. Good point.

A few of my friends told me that hosting a party at our house is a wonderful thing to do. But, we're going to work our fannies off getting ready.  And then there's the whole bathroom issue.  Truly, I was cracking up at the number of people who suggested that we have it at our house and rent a port-a-potty.  When I read the first port-a-potty recommendation to Charlie, he snorted and said, "Yeah, RIGHT. Like we're going to have a portable toilet on our front lawn?!"  But then another 20 or so suggestions came in with, "Rent a port-a-potty!" and we were in fits.

I don't know why that struck us as so funny?

We clearly need to get out more. 

A few weeks ago, I took Henry to a playground while the children were in school and in the midst of climbing around a jungle gym, he had to go potty.  So I noticed that there were some port-a-potties lined up near the playground and we walked over to use one. My young son - who has no recollection of ever using a port-a-potty in his entire life - was aghast.  He peered down in to the deep blue water and turned with a look of horror on his face.

"You want me to .... IN THERE?" 

It took a few minutes of coaxing (no, you can't go behind the tree or the bush or the swing or the slide) before he went in. And this is how he came out, he was so desperate to extract himself from the deep blue water toilet box, that he didn't even take the time to complete his ensemble.


He kind of reminds me of my friend, Terrell, who did the 3-Day (60-mile) breast cancer walk with me in 2009. Terrell had such a phobia about port-a-potties, she pledged she'd hold it until the walk was over.  If I remember correctly, she nearly succeeded.

No final plans yet on the venue for the party - although I have the invitations almost ready to go.


As you can see, I just need to add in the WHERE and adjust the duration. Three and a half hours with 35+ children?? You'll find me hiding in the deep blue water toilet box.


  1. Most metropolitan areas have portable bathroom rental companies. They're not honey buckets - they're trailers with flushable toilets and hand-washing sinks.

  2. Jen - there is at least one company in our area that rents portable bathrooms - it's like a tiny shed with running water that is a REAL bathroom and is also clean.

  3. We had our wedding in our back yard. We do not have municipal water and thus were worried about the toilet-flushing of the 100+ guests wearing out our well and well pump. So, we had port-a-potties, one pink and one blue, brought it. The one your son used was the base model (think Yugo). You'd be surprised at all the bells and whistles some of the deluxe models have (think Cadillac). Plus, the kids (with the exception of your, perhaps) will think its great. Let the adults use the "real" bathrooms.

  4. We go to an annual Labor Day campout at our friends' farm. Although the guests are welcome to walk to the house and use their bathroom, they always rent a port-a-potty to place by the pond where the tents are set up. It's a wonderful time.
    Maybe you could set a little table beside it with a giant hand sanitizer pump.

    I love the idea of having the party in your backyard. I'm picturing giant bins of popcorn and candy corn with little cups for individucal scoops, jugs of apple cider. Tiny pumpkins for party favors - with a station for painting them.
    Oh, and you could have a table where the kids could make a scrapbook page - stickers, crayons - for all the photos the parents will take.

    Sorry, I haven't read yesterday's comments. But I think you could make this very fun and keep it simple. The Dollar Tree is your friend at party time.

  5. Oops. Just saw that you realize that you need to adjust the time! Really glad to see that! ;) IEinIL

  6. Great Country Farms is a great fall place for a party. They have a big pillow to bounce on, farm animal petting zoo, corn maze, u-pick apples and pumpkins, swings, mazes, etc. And, the size is not overwhelming like Cox Farm. We have been going there since my girls were a year old. The owners are wonderful. It is a great place. Also, for some post party enjoyment…. across the road they have a great winery with an amazing view.

  7. Is there a park with a playground near you? When we have had lots of people coming to a party, we just reserve a pavilion at the park and bring everything we need there. Yes there is some work with dragging stuff there, setting up and picking up, but everyone usually pitches in. Plus the parks are equipped with garbage bins and the bathroom situation is covered there as well. Lesa

  8. My mother called to tell me that she after Jim's stroke a few years ago, she had to buy one of those portable toilet chairs that they use in hospitals. She suggested maybe she could bring that to us ... and we could put it behind a tree??

    Oh guys - this is so funny. It must be living with three seven-year-olds that anything having to do with a "potty" is hilarious.

    They're rubbing off on me....

  9. I sure could make you a super cute party invitation that could be printed in 5x7 size on cardstock or photo paper:) I would do it free of charge just b/c I love your blog!

  10. What about getting a quote for one of these: or something similar?

  11. Anon@ 9:23 - - thanks for that link. It was on my to-do list to look up companies that rent out port-a-potties, so I just requested a price quote from Don's Johns!