We had an epic errand run today that ended with a very important (but not entirely useful) discovery. Rather than bore you with all the details of how we went to the grocery store to stock up, dropped off some mail in a mailbox, went to the Borders in Annapolis to get a reserve book which is the subject of an awesome podcast, traveled from there to Third Eye Comics to get my comics fix, wandered from the comic shop to Best Buy where Jacob could try out the drums, and ate lunch at Wendy's, I'll cut to the chase and say that I've discovered an Achilles' Heel for Jacob.
If you don't know and didn't follow the link above, ancient warrior Achilles was made practically invincible when his mother dipped him as a baby in the River Styx. The water made his skin impenetrable but, of course, his mom had to hang on to something while dipping him, so his heel did not get covered. He became a famous warrior surviving many battles till that literally fatal day when he was shot in the foot with an arrow, killing him.
Lots of other nearly invincible beings have similar weaknesses. Think of Frankenstein's Monster who, like the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz, is afraid of fire. Or Superman, who goes haywire in the presence of Kryptonite. Or werewolves, who are hard to kill unless a silver weapon is employed. Or 1950's housewives, whose mastery of the kitchen can only be vanquished by the presence of a mouse.
What about Jacob? As we left Best Buy, I discovered that Lucy needed a diaper change (no, a poopy diaper is not his weakness). So rather than try to make it home, which would take 25 minutes, and rather than change her in the van, which was freezing cold, I decided we should go to lunch at the nearby Wendy's (no, fast food is not his weakness). Our first stop would be the bathroom for a quick and refreshing change. As we approached, Jacob shrunk back and asked if we could go in the ladies room. I told him we couldn't, and didn't understand why he was so reluctant to go into the men's room. Was he too used to going with mommy? Was he simply mistaken?
Then I heard the problem. Someone was drying his hands. The sound of hot air hand driers is often pretty loud and we could easily hear it outside that bathroom. Jacob is quite cautious about them. So I told him we could wait until the drier was done blowing. The guy came out and we had to wait another minute before going in. It was the standard minimalist men's room: one stall, one urinal, one sink, one hand drier. We got into the stall and I went to work. Someone else came in, did his business, washed his hands, and started up the drier again. Jacob paled. I told him we were safe in the stall and we would not leave until the drier stopped. As I finished up another guy came in and started it up again. So Lucy's clean diaper was in place for a while before we were ready to leave the men's room stall. Luckily, we did make it out and had lunch.
It's nice to know that Jacob has a weakness. The only problem is the lack of ways to exploit it. Really, we want him to be comfortable going into a bathroom. We want him to be able to wash his hands and not dry them on his pants. Further, the only real inconvenience was to me. Any suggestions on how to use this knowledge (other than writing a blog post, of course)?
Cry Room Chronicles LXIX
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