THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Potty Dance

Okay, friends.  I am now in a little bit of weird place where my son is now 6, which is apparently an age at which people begin to frown on him using the ladies room with me.  But, consider the alternative--him using the men's bathroom by himself.  I'm not a paranoid crazy person, convinced that every bathroom is crawling with pedophiles lurking in every corner just waiting to harm my child while I'm outside.   Okay, maybe just a teensy bit, but, hey, read enough news articles and it will happen to you too.

J came home from work with tales of a co-worker's young daughter being 'bothered' by a strange guy while she was in the bathroom with her daddy while they were at the Cheesecake Factory in Bellevue.  Did you hear me?  At the Cheesecake Factory.  In Bellevue.  With her daddy!!  Because, hello, if that's not safe...

So we were at the store.  Sammy was about to wet his pants, and as I pull the cart with all my kids towards the ladies room, a mom comes out and says "Oh, there's a big line in there."  Sammy looks desperate, so against everything in me, I say "Okay, just use the boys bathroom."  He runs in there, and 3 seconds later a man walks in.  I panic, but think "He's probably a perfectly nice man.  Don't be ridiculous." and then 1 second later I think, "Forget it.  That's my kid in there."  I go to the door and prop it open with my foot. "Hey, Buddy, are you done yet?  No?  Okay, well I'm right here.  Do you need any help?  Are you sure?  I'm right here if you need anything."  I kept the door propped open until he came out.

But, he is getting old enough that it's kind of weird that he's using the girls bathroom. On the other hand, he can use the girls bathroom with me til he's 16 if it means I can keep him safe.  He can't always hold it, I can't put him in a pull up (just in case), so....

What's a mama to do?

17 love notes:

Staci said...

I haven't had to deal with this much yet, because my potty-trained crew is all the same gender as me, but Nathaniel has run into it when he has the girls out. He sends them into bathrooms alone (or normally the older two together, so again, not quite as high risk) and waits right outside the door for them... but I read this awesome blog post from a professional blogger years ago, about how she basically did just what you said when her boys were young. She'd knock on the door, then stand at the door, propping it open, till her son was done. Stinks to be a man who needs to use the bathroom just then, but a grown man should be able to hold it for minute if he's not comfortable with you being at the door. Anything to protect our kids, right?

All this said, I'd be making sure my kid went before we left the house and trying like mad to just be home before he had to go again... cause how awkward! Sorry.

Laura F said...

Erick's nine and I still don't like him to go to the restroom alone. I'm finally seeing the light at the end though because Matt's potty trained and sometimes I have them go together. It still makes me a little nervous, and I always time them. I've totally done the "keeping the door open" thing too, and I think there are a lot of men even who understand that one. They're just glad when Erick's done and the door closes. :-)

Melissa said...

My boys are 7 and 9. If they go together and stay together I let them go in the men's restroom. If there is only one with me (even the 9 year old) I make him come in the women's with me. I don't care if he is getting a little too old. Better that than the issues of a child who was molested.

Gina said...

I will let Liam go in the boys bathroom if it's a one person room with a door and it's in eye view from our table. If there are stalls in the women's room, I don't see the problem taking the kids in there with you... Everyone is covered by their own stall and it's like anyone is exposed for a 6year old to see anything. I take Liam with me and he fights me... not the audience that may see us come intogether. He wants to be a man... and once in awhile when I don't have to use the facilities, I will do exactly what you did and send him to the men's room with the door prop verbal check. I don't see an end it sight for stopping this because #1, I don't trust him to his own devices in there, and the pedophile thing is actually my #2 worry.

Gina said...

I meant to say, it's NOT like anyone is exposed to a 6 year old's view if they are in a stall.

dan[and]rach said...

I don't really have any advice, just an opinion. :) I think you are doing the right thing and you can not be too safe in today's scary world. Who cares if people think you are overprotective or others feel uncomfortable. I would keep doing what you are doing and follow your feelings and you can't go wrong.

Rebecca said...

I always tell my boys that they have 60 seconds. If I get to 60 I am coming in and I don't care who is in there. Of course they would never want me to barge into the boys bathroom but they are out within a minute or close too it! I have walked in a couple of times and they are washing there hands, but I feel the same way....how do you keep them safe but still allow them the dignity of not having to go to the bathroom with mom?

Mariea said...

I personally think you handeled that very well. When Colin was young I always tried to find a single bathroom or family bathroom to use, but if that was not available I did almost the same thing. He is 15 now, but I still feel uncomfortable sometimes. I, of course don't hold the door open anymore, but if he is taking a long time, I still call in to make sure he is okay. As you know, you just can't be too safe when it comes to your kids!

Lea said...

I have a 9 year old and I still make him come in the women's restroom with me, unless I can stand outside the mens restroom and watch him go in and out. He HATES it, but I would much rather be a paranoid safe mom then to have something happen to him. Not too long ago he went into the mens restroom with my husband, my husband isn't as paranoid as me and he came out ahead of my son. Afterwards my son was telling me how some guy inside was talking to him and asked how old he was, just small talk, etc. I freaked out. My son said there was a nice guy in there, and I asked for details, when he explained what happened I got the ickiest feeling...so now I am even more paranoid. I probably freaked my son out a little too, by telling him not everyone is nice and to NEVER talk to anyone in the mens bathroom. Anyway, you know best and I think it is always better to be a crazy paranoid mom then to regret something later.

Lea

Amy said...

You can't keep your kids safe. You can try all you want, but eventually they will have to go to the bathroom without you. What you can do is teach them what to do if someone approaches them or seems scary & trust them to do the right thing.

You're right that you can't trust other people all the time & there are scary people out there. But you can drive yourself insane thinking of all the possibilities. You just can't protect your kids from everything that might hurt them, but you can teach them & you can pray for them & then you can have faith that everything will turn out well in the end. Even if something bad happens (I'm speaking generalities here now, so don't think I'm saying let your kids get molested in a public restroom. It'll be okay) everything will turn out okay.

You have enough perspective to realize that parenting is not about hovering over our kids & telling them what to do every step of the way. That's not the way our Father parents us (but of course it's easier for him to have perspective with that whole "knows the future" thing he's got going) but still... he would probably let you go to the bathroom alone.
Nonetheless, he would still be waiting outside the bathroom for us, to let us know he was there all along to help us had we needed it.

Aubrey said...

It's our job to keep our kids as safe as we can. I would probably have a boy use the women's restroom until they were 9 or 10 (or 11). After that, I like the idea of giving them 1 minute(maybe 90 seconds) to go and come back before you come after them (with you waiting right outside the door).

This world is a scarier place than a lot of people realize. That's why my girls will be allowed to walk home from school by themselves when they can drive themselves home in a locked car (so never). It's hard enough for me to let them out of my sight while they're at school. You're doing great. Don't apologize for being vigilant.

I hope you had a great Christmas. Are you coming this way anytime this year? :)

Julie C. said...

Good job mom! It is hard when you know they can do it, but the it the weirdos are you that you cannot trust. I still have a hard time and my kids are 9 and 11! I wish there were more family bathrooms or unisex 1 stall bathrooms. That would just make the world safer!

Julie C. said...

Good job mom! It is hard when you know they can do it, but the it the weirdos are you that you cannot trust. I still have a hard time and my kids are 9 and 11! I wish there were more family bathrooms or unisex 1 stall bathrooms. That would just make the world safer!

melmich said...

You are his mother. End of point. Whatever you feel safe with then do. Who cares what people say. Mine always go in doubles if I can't go with them. There are some places that have family bathrooms but good luck getting in. I always try to use the less traffic bathroom but that never works all the time.

Again, you are the mom so it doesn't matter. You can explain to people why but do they really care. You want your kid safe and you can do whatever you need to do.

Mindy said...

My 2 boys go together, but when that isn't an option, I stand by the mens door and if needs be, I open it and do what you did. I can never be to safe when it comes to protecting my kids.

Melynie said...

Wow, thanks, fabulous mom friends! What wise words. You all are wonderful.

Happy Mom said...

Went through the same thing with my boys. It's a tough one!