Spina Bifida and The Outhouse

Being born with Spina Bifida, I wore a diaper for a good bit of my life.
As a result, my restroom usage was a lot different than most other people.
Meaning I don’t use the restroom in the same manner others do.

I admit that I was born in the age of indoor plumbing.
That’s what I got trained to use—indoor plumbing.
If you never had the privilege of using an outhouse, you missed out.
My Tot Tot didn’t upgrade to inside plumbing until later in the ’80s.
That meant that I had to use the outhouse to use the restroom while at Tot Tots’.

I remember my first experience with an outhouse.
I was less than ten years old, and I was at my Tot Tots house.
I would usually go to Tot Tots’ house with dad and my brother Tony.

This one time at Tot Tots, I had to use the restroom.
Please remember that I was less than ten years old.

“I need to go to the bathroom,” I whispered to Tony.

Tony tells me to get myself a new diaper and go to the outhouse. —Like it was no big deal …

I get inside there and pull the door shut behind me.
Standing there, I just looking at “it.”—Wondering how this apparatus works.

“That’s a big hole,” I thought.

“I don’t get this at all.”

“Somethings gotta be wrong.”

“Tony!” I began hollering.

“What’s wrong?” came Tony’s voice from the other side of the door.

“I think I’m in the wrong place—This can’t be right.”

“Whaddaya mean?” Tony asked. “Did you change your diaper?”

“No. Not yet. I’m not sure how.”

“What’s wrong?”

“What do I do?” I asked

“What do you mean? What are you doing?”

“Im standing here looking at a hole.”

“Did you change your diaper yet?” Tony asks again.


“What’s the problem?”

What do I do?” I asked

“You’ve changed your diaper before. Do the same thing.”

“Where do I put my diaper?” I ask

“Throw it in the hole,” Tony says back.

“Want that clog it up?”

“No, you’re supposed to throw it in the hole,” Tony says back.

“You sure?” I ask again.

“Just throw it in the hole!”

“Um, k.”

It went against everything I got taught about using the restroom.
Lesson number 1 was “Do not throw your diaper in the toilet.”
Here I am, throwing my diaper in the toilet …err … Hole …

I half expected to hear Tony scream, “Gotcha!” as I walked out, but no.
I walked out a new person — A wiser person.

Shortly afterward, Tot Tot got inside plumbing.