I’m taking a tour I never quite expected now that my son is potty trained. It’s not one of those fun tours with a bus and an entertaining person giving interesting facts over a loud speaker. My tour is more like an ongoing chore and results in interrupted grocery trips and meals.
For several months now, I have been privileged to see every public bathroom in every store and restaurant we visit. I can be sure that if I’m anywhere longer than half an hour, I will likely hear “Gotta go pee! Gotta go pee!”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely awesome that my son is out of diapers. But, I kinda dread having to take him to the potty while we’re out for many reasons. Many of those negative feelings are a direct result of the not-so-little-kid-friendly facilities. Now, let’s be clear, I know I’m visiting the restroom. I don’t have high hopes for a five star extravaganza of wonderfulness. But, I’m always left feeling like the experience could have been just a little bit better.
I have one rule upon entering any public bathroom with my 3-year-old – “Don’t touch anything!” Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get in and out of using the potty feeling not so exposed? Like we just visited a petri dish? Wouldn’t it be great if he could just reach the sink?
So, I have a few restroom requests.
To the public potty keepers of the world from the mother of a little kid, here’s my wish list:
- Can we get a step stool in there? It would really help with hand-washing. I hoist up my nearly 40-lb child and sit him on a wet sink surface, usually between two sinks and wash each hand in a different sink. For little boys, a stool would also be great so they don’t have to stand on their tippee-toes to pee.
- If possible, just add a family restroom or stall. I had the best potty experience at Sam’s the other day when I walked in to the family restroom to see a little mini toilet right next to the big potty. I didn’t have to worry about him not reaching. And he could reach the sink in there too! Is it sad I may have actually squealed with delight?
- Keep it clean! Please! I get that your employees cannot possibly know every time someone makes a mess and they are likely on a bathroom cleaning schedule, but maybe bathroom checks more often? Just to make sure nothing is too crazy in there? I won’t go in to detail.
- Keep it fully stocked. Moms carry everything under the sun in their bags, but I hate it when the soap is out or there’s no toilet paper or no more of those handy seat covers. This seems pretty obvious. But you’d be surprised how often something is empty. Please make sure the bathroom necessities are plentiful.
- Make sure all the doors have bag hanging hooks. I cannot stand putting my purse on the floor of a public bathroom. When you’re juggling a kid and (usually oversized) bag in a tiny stall, it’s not easy and sometimes not possible. Make sure there are hooks so at least, that’s not an issue.
My fantasy wish list would also include a trusted, caring, grandmotherly-type, child care employee devoted to taking kids to the potty, so their parents can eat and shop uninterrupted. Back here in reality, I’ll take the above list and the antibacterial spray in my purse to get me through the next few years of this flush-tastic public potty tour.
What are your tips and tricks for taking your little ones to the potty when you’re out?