Little Boys in the Big Boys' Bathroom
My twin sons turned six at the end of December, which according to them, puts them in the "older kids but not teenagers category". Which is true if you're a parent of a toddler — I remember how I used to look at the kindergarden-age kids running through the park playstructure and put my arm protectively around my 3-year olds, warning them to "stay clear of the big boys". Still, they have a point. My boys are growing up. They ride two-wheelers and casterboards, understand the concept of passing to one another in soccer, play one-on-one basketball, routinely go on drop-off playdates, and have even ventured out into the local skate park.
But there is one area where I still treat them like little boys: when they have to go potty in a public place — at the park, at Target, at a restaurant — I still take them to the women's restrooms, not the men's.
Am I being overprotective? I don't know. I think they're still too young to go off to a place where I can't keep track of what he's doing or what's going on. At six, I have no faith in their personal hygigene. I swear they get plenty of home training, but my sons are oblivious to any signs of cleanliness — or lack thereof — in public restrooms, and they're likely to assume any puddles they see are just water. I just can't see myself holding the men's room door open with my foot, shouting, "Did you wipe? Did you wash your hands yet? Don't touch anything!".
More importantly, there's the safety angle. The world is full of perverts and crazies, and the thought of them entering a public restroom alone, without an adult I know and trust, does not sit well with me. Even if there's only one door in and out (and how would I know that anyway, it's not like I can go inside to check), how do I know there isn't some pervert in there, lurking in the adjacent stall with a Larry Craig-like "wide stance"? If I knew the bathroom were empty, maybe. For now, they're stuck with mommy and the ladies' room.Continued on the next page