October 4, 2007
With elections coming up I would like to address a major problem that is running rampant in our country. I’m not talking about healthcare, unemployment, war or illegal immigration. It’s a problem that many of you may not even be aware of. I confess, I wasn’t aware of it myself until about 5 years ago. Some of you may not have encountered this problem in many years, and may have even forgotten of it’s existence, but it’s still out there. I’m talking about bathroom discrimination, most specifically to those toddler age and younger.
I think it should be law that all places with public restrooms should provide changing tables. I cannot tell you how many times I went to change one of my boy’s diapers in a restaurant, or at the movies, or even at the hospital, only to find that there is no changing table. This perturbes me to no end. It makes me want to march my kiddo straight to the manager’s desk, lay him down right in the center of it and take care of business right there. Not having access to a changing table leaves me 3 choices, #1: laying my sweetie on the germ-infested floor, #2: changing him in public wherever there is ample space to lay him down, or #3 taking it to the car, which is sometimes parked far away. I’m not a germaphobe, but the thought of doing #1 is enough to make me gag. I’m not an exhibitionist, so #2 is also out. Which leaves me one, highly inconvenient choice, dragging baby and diaper bag to the car for his changing.
After 2.5 years of doing this with my first child, I thought I was home free when I got him potty trained. WRONG. With little boys, bathroom problems do not end when they are able to “pee pee in the potty” because of the Americans With Disabalities Act. I know that handicaped people need higher toilets, and I think they should be provided, in fact I have them at my own house. However, unless you wait until you son is in kindergarten to teach him to go in the potty, or teach him to pee sitting down, having access to only a handicapped toilet is a bad thing. When a toddler stands in front of a handicaped toilet his “equipment” reaches roughly 3/4 of the bowl height. At that age they aren’t coordinated enough to do their business on their tippy-toes, and having an adult hold them up can only result in a urine-soaked mess. The only solution I found in situations like this was to allow my son to stand ON the toilet, and aim downward.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we don’t need handicapped toilets, I’m just saying we don’t need them exclusively. And, if you are a place where the only toilet is handicapped (i.e. Waffle House), a very economical solution to this problem would be to provide a step stool for the little guys. They have them at the Dollar Tree.
If any of you wanna-be presidents out there use Toddler Bathroom Discrimination as your platform, promising changing tables and step stools for all, you will definitely have my vote.