The Trouble With Public Toilets, Part 1

I’ve never been a fan of public restrooms. In fact, until I lived in the dorm in college I did whatever I could to avoid using the restroom in public. Once I lived in the dorm where EVERY toilet is public in a sense, I gave up on holding it in, but I still hate public restrooms. I hate them even more now that I have a (arguably) potty-trained (when she wants to be) child. Public restrooms bring out a whole slew of new obstacles while we are out and about. There are so many obstacles that I’m going to be ranting about public restrooms for the rest of the week (except for tomorrow because I already promised a pants alteration guide).

You know you want me to.

Some of my complaints have to do with potty training. Some of them have to do with diaper changing. ALL of my complaints are things most public restrooms could easily fix at very little cost to them. And I KNOW I’m not the only parent who would like these changes.

So here we go with complaint No. 1.

When Lily was my only child, it wasn’t a big deal to pick her up to put her on toilets or reach the sink to wash her hands. Sure, it got to be a huge pain in the ass when I was pregnant, but that was nothing compared to what it was like to lift her on the toilet after her sister was born.

As I’ve said before, everywhere I went I was carrying 2 bags and a baby or a heavy carseat carrier with a baby in it. Sometimes I wore Rose in an Ergo, but that didn’t change the fact that I was carrying an awful lot. I know baby-wearing is supposed to help you to do your regular chores, but I still find it extremely awkward to lift a second child while wearing the first.

Even if I wasn’t carrying two bags or I put the bags down in the bathroom, it would still be difficult to lift Lily while holding Rose. Until Rose could walk, I did not want to put her down on the bathroom floor. But sometimes with all those bags and a preschooler begging to be lifted up I was left between a rock and a hard place. Rose would sometimes sit (or, ew, ew, ew) crawl) on the bathroom floor while I helped Lily reach what she needed to reach.

The sink in most restrooms is the worst part. I do not see Lily being able to reach most sinks until she’s 6 or 7, and even then she’ll be stretching. So I’ll be lifting her to wash her hands for MANY years to come.

Sometimes I’m carrying so much stuff or Rose is being so difficult that I just have Lily use a baby wipe. It’s just such a hassle to drop my bags and baby again after picking them up again in the stall just so I can pick Lily up to wash her hands.

It wouldn’t take much for stores and restaurants to make all parents’ lives a lot easier– a tiny step stool could be kept under the sink. Kids of all ages could use the stool to wash their hands. The newly potty-trained set could take the stool into the bathroom with them and use it to boost themselves up to the toilet. And I, the bag-laden mom with a second small child in my arms would not have to struggle to juggle all my things to put my preschooler on the toilet.

Another possible (way more expensive) solution would be to have 1 toddler potty in each restroom. There are some places where this actually makes a lot of sense– Wouldn’t it be great to go into Chuck E Cheese or Toys R Us and just have your 3 year old sit on the toddler potty? The toddler potty would be labeled like the handicapped stall… but this is way more of a commitment and less useful than a step stool.

Wishful thinking. I’ll probably be lifting kids to wash their hands and sit on giant toilets for the next 3 years. Joy.

Tomorrow: How to alter baby pants even if you can’t sew. Wednesday-Friday: More things I hate about public toilets.

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  1. Pingback: 2 Steps Forward, 3 Steps Back: Potty Training Regression | Creative Kids Play

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