Photo by: Doortoriver

Never Underestimate The Joys Of A Public Bathroom With Two Kids

by Alex Iwashyna of "Late Enough"
Photo by: Doortoriver

As an avid caffeine drinker and a mother of two young children, I spend an exorbitant amount of time in the bathroom (mostly trying to shirk my parenting duties).

So I’m sharing some public bathroom tips to at least give you the heads up to not touch me or my children post-pee.

Public Bathrooms, Children Edition

Tip #1: If someone can watch your children while you run into the bathroom, ASK. Unless your children are acting up and you tend to take a long time peeing. Then the person will think you jumped out the window. And will catch you halfway out when they come looking for you.

Tip #2: Ask the people in the bathroom if they’re waiting. They may be fixing their hair. Enjoying the free soap. Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. AND STILL WAITING FOR A STALL. If you cut in front of them, they will hate you forever. (FOREVER you old biddy.)

Tip #3: If the stall doors do not lock, you cannot use it. I REPEAT. DO NOT USE THE BROKEN STALL. You need one hand for wiping, one hand for wrangling the children, one hand for keeping the door closed. Since you presumably only have TWO hands, you are left giving your fellow bathroom mates a full-frontal.

Tip #4: The baby seat provided will not have a working buckle and will be located as far from the toilet as possible. So let go of your germ phobias and put the baby on the ground. The whole ordeal will go much faster if you put the child down. And if they aren’t mobile, balance them on the baby bag. If they are, sing and coo from your porcelain throne. And hope that the kid doesn’t crawl into the stall next to you because this may shock the woman in the other stall. Enough for her to miss. Then you’ve got more than hands to wash.

Tip #5: Post-bathroom crawl you will have to choose whose hands to wash, yours or your babies. And you have five seconds before your oldest child leaves the bathroom with your stall buddy who peed on your kin. Choose the baby. As the adult, you are slightly less likely to put your hands in your mouth. And you can always tell yourself and the strangers around you that you will use hand sanitizer afterward. But you won’t. You’ll forget while the baby cries because her hands are wet and the other kid says: I have to pee NOW, Mama.

You’re welcome. Although after writing this I thought: WHO NEEDS TIPS ON PUBLIC BATHROOM USE? And then I realized. The answer was me.

This post is written by Alex Iwashyna, a happily married mom with a BA in Political Philosophy and a Medical Degree and the drive to become neither. She blogs at Late Enough mostly about life, parenting, marriage, politics, culture, religion, and her inability to wake up in the morning and not hate everyone. Find her on Twitter or Facebook, too.

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50 Comments

Hilarious Post. But I hope this isn't true and you dont actually let your kids touch the floor of a public bathroom. That is gross. Tonight at dinner, we even brought our own highchair because the ones at the restaurant are so crusted with other kids goo and food we were worried about what they would catch just trying to eat dinner. If your kids pokes thier head into my stall, I might have to spray with lysol!

Too funny, and oddl very true. I think our worst/best moment was when my then 2 year old peaked under the stall at the woman beside me (while I had my pants around my ankles) and said, "Why does she pee like THAT Mama?" Oyi!

Thanks for the tips and the giggle!

Haha! Hilarious post! I'll be sure to keep these in mind once I have children! For now I'll try not to be surprised when a small child's head pops into my stall!

Yup, that sounds about right. And yes, I've tried the broken stall, not good. I've had to answer "mom how did your nose bleed into your underware or did you poop in them?" or the "mom I touched..."(enter yucky bathroom item here). I've learned if we're going out and I'm going to have to hold the baby and keep the 4 year old entertained, I wear pants that don't have buttons!

Funny post. I have found that if I use the handicapped bathroom when I had my son. I have had him sit on the floor but I have used those disposable bibs or disposable changing pads which I would have in a fast easy pocket to grab. He has looked under the stall or laughed when the person next to me is farting. The things kids say. omg.

We have all been there. If you have a kid young enough for a stroller then it helps. Scope out the places you go often as to where you can find a single bathroom or handicapped stall and take the stroller in. If you have to skip the hand washing there are always baby wipes and hand sanitizer (I keep it in an outside pocket so I can reach and remember to use it).

Oh thank you dear lord that I'm not alone! Although I've actually caught other mothers children when they toddle under the door and bump into my darleng who's unrolling massive amounts of toilet paper and is hollering about my personal hygeine like it's an autcioneers showcase. Meawhile I'm saying as calmly as possible that the germs will not kill my blonde sweetheart and I'm asking her to please stop helping so well, just please wait a minute. Great story.

Great story, but just when you think you couldn't get any worse than a public bathroom, say hello to port-a-potties at older siblings football games...

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I am so glad that I am not the only one who has had an embarrassing moment in the bathroom. I am the mother of 3 and all actually grown now, however I have had my fair share. My kids think the sound of peeing, pooping and farting are extremely funny and they never hesitated to make almost a sportscasters announcement on what is going on in the bathroom...

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Wow, you've had way more trouble with the bathroom than I have. I guess it depends on the kids. Mine will stay where I tell them to stay for the most part, which solves most of the problems in this post by itself.

I always wash my own hands first, dry them, then assist the baby to wash hers. Her sister can wash herself, though she sometimes has trouble reaching the soap or paper towel machine.

Although nobody wants a toddler crawling into their stall, allowances are given for children...

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For goodness sakes!
1.USE A STROLLER. If for no other reason than to keep your children contained. If they protest they are too big,let them out when your out of the bathroom and use the stroller for your packages.
2. Wash both yours and your childs hands at the same time by holding their hands in yours. Then use hand sanitizer.
3. Mostly what I do is HOLD IT.
') LOL

Love this post - very funny. Been there for sure.

Now fast forward several years when both kids are potty trained and the real fun begins. I spend what seems like HOURS in public restrooms! It is especially fun when both children need to go #2 and you are in the restroom for literally 20 minutes or more...

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Oh my gracious! The giggles I've just had remembering those days. My favorite story was when I was at the hospital for the kids' blood tests or shots or something. I had a double stroller. A 10 month old and a 3 year old. I pulled the whole contraption into the handicapped stall so I could pee - Hey, I was desperate.
When I came out a very short time later, a lady in a wheel chair berated me for using the handicapped stall. I turned to her and said, "The handicapped stall is not reserved for you...

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I just got back from a 2 day road trip alone with 3 under 5. Since only one in ten thousand bathrooms has hooks on the doors, much less BABY SEATS (especially where my kids have to go real bad and we HAVE to stop NOW), etc, and I don't hand off my kids to strangers at truck stops, I've decided that humans would have died off long ago if potty germs were lethal...

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This hits just a little too close to home! Steve commented he hopes you are joking and don't let your kids crawl on the floor. That poor man has obviously never taken 2 kids for a potty break....He is in for a very rude awakening and I wish I could see it (he he he!!)

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