So, I saw a recent headline about a comment Ashton Kutcher put on his Twitter account, saying something about there being a lack of changing tables in MENS restrooms. My initial thought was that I have been saying this, and living this for over two years. Why did it take a “celebrity” saying something for it to hit the news?!?
Now, my daughter is potty trained now, but between August 2012 and December 2014, I had this very issue. Not just once or twice, it was an ongoing issue. It did not matter where we were, the emergency always happened when daddy couldn’t help. There were times I actually had to go in and change her, bring her out to daddy and then go back in so I could use the bathroom…all while my husband patiently waited outside for me, because he didn’t have to go and had no way to change her in the men’s room.
Let me recap an incident for you that really made steam shoot from my ears. Not only for the lack of changing tables in mens restrooms, but also for the lack of parental guidance I saw at the same time.
I was attending a cheerleading competition in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. This place is huge, it has all different levels and wings and you can easily get lost. It holds some of the largest conventions around. This was a busy competition, with kids from toddler ages to teenagers competing along with their friends and family there to watch. My daughter was not even a year old yet, I remember well because she was still on special formula for her sensitive tummy. Unfortunately this formula also made for some NASTY bowel movements.
We are just a few teams from my niece and her team to go on. The next thing I know, my daughter has an explosion. Its all over. On her onesie, shorts, legs, everywhere. The smell is rancid. I pull her from the stroller, grab my husband and the diaper bag and tell him to hurry. We rush to the closest bathrooms and guess what? The women’s bathroom is FULL of teenage girls getting ready to compete, their parents strewn about the bathroom and the halls outside the bathroom. I send my husband in the men’s room to check for a changing station. He comes out with a sad look and tells me there is nothing.
Now, I am standing outside the bathrooms holding an infant away from my body, trying not to get poop on me. It’s obvious to anyone who looks at me what is happening. I squeeze my way into the bathroom and through the masses of girls. Go figure, the only changer is in the handicap stall, which is literally full of teenagers and locked closed. I tried knocking, pacing, knocking. I get nothing. No one helps me; no one alerts them to the lady outside the door with a poopy child that needs tending to.
I am furious, I am about to miss the 2-minute routine I specifically came for and no one will get these girls out of the stall! I had no idea what they were doing in there; I could see several sets of feet not even moving. I came out of that bathroom livid. My husband could tell it wasn’t time to say anything to me. I sat down, right outside the bathroom in the middle of the hallway right where everyone could see me. I wanted people to see what was happening. My intention was to maybe open people’s eyes to what was happening. That and I was just plain MAD.
I stripped her down, shoved her dirty clothes in a bag, cleaned her up quickly and slapped a diaper on her. We rushed back into the area where my niece was about to compete, with my child in only her diaper. I got a few funny looks because my child was naked now, but I wasn’t missing that routine!
Until Next Time,
The Not-So-Single Mom
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