Let’s See What Every Public Restroom in Our Town Looks Like


Big Girl Panties 

You're basically a horrible parent if you don't buy your kid's an ipotty, I mean how did anyone live before these were invented?

You’re basically a horrible parent if you don’t buy your kid’s an ipotty, I mean how did anyone live before these were invented?

I say the phrase “big girl panties” far more than I am comfortable with but my modicum of machismo is a small sacrifice in this rite of passage known as potty training.  We’ve traded in Minnie Mouse pull ups for Hello Kitty underwear and so far so good.

I shudder at the risk of writing some mundane blog post that reads like so many all too graphic status updates we have endured on Facebook about the trials and tribulations of dumping the diaper.  I refuse to chronicle the occasional set-back and focus on the fact that we are no longer forking over hard-earned cash for it to get peed on.

I think that we, as parents, are usually so happy to be passed the diaper changing stage that it doesn’t dawn on us for a while that it really is the conclusion of the baby stage.  There is no stopping them from growing up so we may as well appreciate that their maturation can provide a bit of a break for us as well.  As a dad of daughters I could live without the daily 3 minute decision process of is she in more of a My Little Pony mood or a Tinker Bell mood to gird her fanny with but getting your kid potty trained is totally sweet.


I need to go  

Seeing this is totally clutch.

Seeing this is totally clutch.

Here is the deal, 74% of the time you hear a child utter the phrase, ‘I need to go to the bathroom” what it really means is, “I want to see the bathroom.”  I won’t discredit my sentiments from above that your child being potty trained is a good thing but ugh, can we go one place in public without visiting the loo?  Since that is obviously not an option could we please limit our public wanderings to places that have a family restroom?  I don’t mind navigating the potential minefield of taking my daughter into the men’s room but I think we can all agree that the family restroom is pretty clutch.

We have been to the restroom in every store, restaurant, post office (haha, it isn’t 1987, we don’t go to the post office), park, doctor’s office, and gas station in at least a 8 mile radius of our home.  I don’t shy away from taking my girls to the restroom out in public but it ain’t all roses and sunshine people.  Here is just a sampling of some of the thoughts that have gone through my head while fake potty dancing our way to use the water closet:

  • Please don’t ask about the urinals, please don’t ask about the urinals.
  • Oh good, an automatic paper towel dispenser, guess we are coming back here 14 times in the next hour.
  • Good thing we don’t need a special license plate to use the handicapped stall.
  • LOOK AWAY!!!
  • Sure, I will hold you above the sink so you can get soap and wash your hands and splash water because it is important to form a healthy habit even though we both know you just sat there with your hands clasped while I did all of the dirty work.
  • Honey, unless you are ready for her to start watching rated R movies, it looks like its your turn and let’s hope the lady’s room is more G rated.
  • It’s a good thing this kid can’t read (this is mostly on a road trip emergency stop at a highway gas station)
  • I think I put that paper seat cover thing on backwards.
  • NOPE, too many dudes in here = too many potential questions.
  • I already know that this is a false alarm but this is not the type of thing you risk.

So, we visit them all and hope for the best.  At some point they will surely realize that none of them are really that special but I think I know what their angle is. It is the nemesis of parent’s taking their kid’s to the bathroom and the crown jewel of children’s restroom adventures.  The water fountain.  Man I hate public water fountains.  Just as you finish the whole restroom experience and think you are free, you exit the door and your child’s eyes light up with the desire for cool, bacteria laced, free, public refreshment.  Not only does that water fountain present one last obstacle / opportunity for you to be a meanie head, they remember that water fountain and you can bet your life the next time you visit the location, they will want to visit. No one wants their child to be in diapers forever but that doesn’t mean that taking your kid into a public restroom isn’t completely weak.


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

16 responses to “Let’s See What Every Public Restroom in Our Town Looks Like

  • David M. Russell

    Simon! Mate, what a trip down memory lane. Not the same experiences but similar – just the incredible, amazing, unbelievable things one has to accommodate/undertake as a parent. I have twin 22 year old sons now and they are a joy (despite all the hassles and annoyances!). You just wonder where the years went. But they DO slip by, mate. I have to agree with all the things lauriebest said above. I think you ARE all of those kind adjectives and that female teenagehood might be as challenging as she suggests. But I think I’ll follow your journey.

  • lexiesnana

    It isn’t much fun for us women either. I took the grandson to the ladies room and before I could catch him he crawled under the door and about scared the lady in the stall out of her witts.

  • pinkbekah

    So funny! I never thought about dad’s having to take little girls in the men’s bathroom with urinals. Obviously we just have stalls in the ladies room so there isn’t too much to see, unless they are at the ‘peek under the stall’ phase.

  • Linda T.

    Having the same fun over here. LOL!! Three times on Mother’s Day at Maggianos.

  • Tracy@CrazyAsNormal

    I wonder if they iPotties for grown-ups? Not that I would use that. It’s completely ridiculous. ::searches google for “Grown-up iPotty::

  • Charlotte

    Bwahahaha……I laughed so hard at this, I am so forwarding this to my husband. Our newest shopping centre has a family room and it has a miniature toilet next to the big toilet and a miniature sink and soap dispenser next to the big sink – and if this isn’t bad enough it has MASSIVE PUSH BUTTONS AT KID HEIGHT TO OPEN THE WHOOSHY SLIDING DOORS!!! I’m so torn between congratulating them on their design and hating them for it as my youngest is toilet training and has to visit at least three times in one shop grrr! lol

  • silkpurseproductions

    Too funny! I remember the first time I took my little nephew (I think he was 3 or 4) into Toronto to the big photography show at the Convention Centre. When it came time for me to have to relieve myself I panicked and didn’t know what to do. I had to take him into the Ladies which was fine but I thought if I took him into the stall with me I would scar him for life. I made him hold my hand under the stall through the whole process.
    You see it is even harder to figure out if you are only an Auntie.

  • lauriebest

    Great post! Oh,Simon, you’re a strong, strong man. Not to mention sensitive and brave. May the force be with you…oh, and I hate to break it to you, but this phase is a piece of cake relative to the teenaged years!

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