Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Child Rearing Dilemma #622

Here's the dilemma: I often travel alone with the boys. Being that they are only 7 and 5 I take them into the Women's Room with me when we make road trip pee stops. I also bring them into my stall so we don't take up extra space.

1) It's a safety issue. Yes, maybe I read way too many news stories, but there have been many incidents of unsupervised children being murdered in public restrooms.

Example A: "As the aunt waited outside, she saw a person she described as a teen-ager enter the restroom, according to police. A few minutes later the teen-ager came out, and the aunt became worried about her nephew. She told police she went into the men's room and found Matthew [Cecchi] on the floor, bleeding from an ear-to-ear slash across his throat." (source)

Example B:"...You may remember the outrage directed several months back at a young man in a Western state who walked away while a friend sexually assaulted and killed a young girl in a public restroom. The scene of the murderer following the young girl into the restroom was caught on tape, shocking the nation." (source)

2) Who cares anyway? It's not like women's rooms have urinals. There are doors on every stall.

But over the past year neither of these things has keep the dirty looks from multiplying.

On my trip down to OBX I had a near-encounter in line for the bathroom on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The line for the "Ladies" was long and as usual there was no line for the men's room (Hence the "Women should have more stalls" argument)

There was no way in hell I was sending my offspring into the crowded bathroom of a sardine packed establishment...so they were in line with me. The woman in front of us (I'll guess she was in her mid-50's) turned to her friend in that purposeful way so I would hear and said all huffy-like, "They shouldn't be here!"

Now you have to know that I spend the entire drive shedding my "Philly girl" and donning a laid-back attitude.

Upon hearing the codger's remark, Ninja(embarrassed) asked if he could go in the men's room. As equally loud as her remark had been I told him, "No, no self-respecting parent with a modicum of common sense and responsibility would send their child into a public restroom alone. Your safety is more important than what anyone thinks!"

I was beating myself up for the remainder of the drive that I didn't address her directly and let her have it...

Please, people that don't have children...understand that what we parents do is not meant to infringe on you or inconvenience you --or to make things more convenient for us for that matter...It only has to do with what's best for our kids. You should celebrate seeing a pro-active, responsible parent... not sneer and make those horrid scrunched up faces.

...Until more facilities institute "family restrooms" I will be bringing my boys into the Ladies Room regardless of what you think. ...And next time I won't be so polite.

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