Panic! in the Bathroom

Yes. Yes, I have felt this way before. (image from
Yes. Yes, I have felt this way before. (image from


My hands were shaking and my heart bulging from every artery when I saw what was on the screen. A picture of me. Well, half of me. From the waist down. Pants around my ankles. Sitting on the toilet. On Instagram.

Did it post? Did it post? I didn’t know. My phone was frozen. I clicked, nothing would work. I was unable to delete, rewind, go back. My life was ruined. Ruined.

“I take your picture Mommy! Yaaaaay! I did it! Yaaaay! You like it?” My round-faced toddler hovered at my feet, right near where my pants were not yet pulled up. “I take your picture Mommy! I did it! See?”

I had to move to Mexico. I have to delete the Internet. All of it. This would spread. I could take if off my account, but there would be screenshots. I could never show my face again. My life was over. I had to get in the car and start driving. I had to change my name. I’d never been more embarrassed in my whole life. Not even when that boy in middle school said he wouldn’t kiss me during a game of truth or dare because I had a huge zit on my face. Nope. Not even then. It was all over. I could never recover from this.

Left with no choice, I powered down my phone. I pulled up my sweats, and walked in a daze to my laptop. I’m sure the damage was already done. I’m sure people wouldn’t be kind enough to not pass it along. It would go viral faster than anything I’ve ever posted before. This. This is the one thing I would be known for. Not a sensational blog post. Not a well-crafted story. Not a breathtaking photo of a sunset on my farm.

This. A fuzzy, angled picture taken by my 22 month old, who wandered into the bathroom where I was just trying to PEE ALONE, picked up my iPhone and hit the first button she saw. This.

I opened up my laptop and logged in, ready to see the devastation. I wanted to cry, but I was too numb. This wasn’t funny. Frantically, I pulled up my Instagram account, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and braced for impact.

Open. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. I kept clicking the reload button on my Chrome browser. I stared in disbelief at what I saw. Nothing. It didn’t post. IT DIDN’T POST!!!!!! Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujaaaaaaaaah!

Well, looks like I won’t be moving to Mexico after all.


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53 responses to “Panic! in the Bathroom

  1. I just heard about something like this this week. I guess it happens more often than you think now that kids are so tech. savy at such a young age.

    1. I’m actually surprised I haven’t heard of it more often. I was shocked at how quickly it happened, too. She walked in, picked up the phone. Swipe, click, bam!

  2. And I thought it was bad my 3YO took a photo of me this morning pre-shower. We’ve moved from “Can’t I just pee alone?” to “Can’t I just pee without it going viral?” Moms can’t win.

    1. Pre-shower as in you hadn’t showered yet, or were getting ready to step into the shower? 😉 And you’re right. Moms can’t win.

  3. Whoa! I’m so glad my youngest, the 11-year-old prankster, didn’t have access to an iPhone when she was that age. I would have had to move to Mexico for sure.

  4. You would have have had a ton more followers I bet. Instantly. 🙂 I’ve had similar things happen with my kids and phone and photos and it’s terrifying. But I love this. That’s okay, right? 🙂

  5. But Mexico is so beautiful this time of year! What a fabulous story – my heart was pounding out of my chest up until the end. If the photo had posted, I would have helped peel you off the ceiling (or helped you pack), but since it didn’t, I’ll just say, phew. You dodged a big bullet! Great story and writing – your words dragged me in and wouldn’t let go!

  6. What a great story! So glad for you that it didn’t post. I accidentally hit “reply all” with an embarrassing comment and it got emailed to over 100 people I work with–but that doesn’t compare to what could have happened to you at all!

  7. Giggling because although he’s yet to post them to instagram, my son has taken so many photos of me unaware and it’s not until I go into the photos for something else that I notice. And yes, there was one of my butt when I was getting in the shower. Just one cheek; totally unrecognizable UNLESS OF COURSE HE’D PUT IT ON INSTAGRAM UNDER MY ACCOUNT. Oh, the panic.

    1. I’ll be like, oh yeah, I recognize that cheek! Ha! I hope for your sake he doesn’t post them, or better yet, you’d better delete them!

  8. What a relief! I don’t have an Instagram account, so I didn’t realize that it automatically posts the pictures. Well, I’m glad my cats don’t have opposable thumbs. 😉

  9. “I have to delete the Internet. All of it.” YES.

    Oh for the love of all things… this is what I have to look forward to with kids one day?? My ovaries just shriveled. 🙂 I’m so glad it didn’t post. Great, great, suspenseful and humorous telling. Whew.

    1. You know what I appreciate? That you caught that one line that cracks me up. I was actually contemplating how I could delete the entirety of the internet. Funny what panic will do to an otherwise sane brain. And don’t let those ovaries shrivel just yet. You haven’t even heard all of the best “kid poops everywhere” stories! 🙂 Nah. It’s all worth it. Besides, it will give you many fun things to write about.

  10. Oh my word Cat, I would have DIED!!! After I moved to Mexico and deleted the entire internet, of course. Ha ha!
    You filled this post to the brim with anxiety and humor that hit a little too close to home for this Mama!

    Great story!

    1. Aww, thank you Dawn! In hindsight, I guess I’m glad these crazy things happen, because they give me reason to write about something new. 🙂

  11. Oh my gosh. I felt so bad for you…and I laughed so hard. (hopefully that does not make me a bad person)

    Very happy for you that it didn’t post. The Instagram powers were on your side that day.

  12. I have a mentally handicapped brother living with me. He can’t deliver a message but I am sure the every staff member at the workshop he attends knows what I look like on the can and how I strip every evening without the benefit of knowing it is because of hot flashes. Ain’t life grand. Enjoyed your post.

  13. Oh man. I can just feel the terror. lol.

    Oddly, whenever I go to the bathroom in the morning, someone never fails to knock at the front door (or call me.) It’s Muriel responding to my email! It’s the UPS man with a package that I have to sign for or they’ll take it away! It’s my neighbors coming to do laundry in our basement (they’ll just walk in the house after they knock—hopefully the bathroom door is closed by that time.) It’s the Riverside Booster people! Some lawn guys! Jehovah’s Witnesses!

    Every. Single. Time. You don’t need kids to have 0 bathroom privacy time. (But at least these guys don’t have cameras. haha.)

  14. Oh my gosh, I could not contain my laughter! I know it wasn’t funny at the time, could feel your panic, but dang this was hysterical. Who would have imagined that would ever happpen!

  15. Whew, so glad to hear the picture didn’t make it onto the internet. Sitting on the toilet has to be one of our most vulnerable and least elegant poses.

  16. A few years ago, my wife thought it was hilarious to throw open the door and snap a picture of me on the can. The look of panic and fear on my face was pretty funny. She kept threatening to make a coffee book out of the pics. Thankfully, she never did. And luckily, it was before Instagram. Great post! The Cutter was correct.

    1. Oh my gosh! I can’t imagine what I would do if my husband did that! And are you sure she didn’t make a book? I think I saw one before…ha! Thanks for stopping by to check out the post.

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