Dear Crabby, How Do I Deal With Public Restrooms and Kids?

Dear Crabby,

My kids always have to go to the bathroom when I am out in public places.  It drives me crazy!  How can I deal with this properly?

Sincerely, Sanitary Mommy

Dear Sanitary Mommy,

I remember having those issues as well when my kids were little. Now I have the distinct pleasure of watching my grown daughter deal with them instead!  We always had the rule that they needed to line the potty chair with toilet paper first and not touch the thing at any cost.  Oddly enough my son did great with this arrangement, but my daughter was a very free spirit.  She was always the one that would forget to line the seat, or would touch her hand to everything she could while in there.  Thankfully it was Mrs. Crabby that had to deal with that more than me in those days.  Now, however, the good Lord has seen fit to send her a couple of kids that are twice the handful she was, and we love it!  She has told us a few stories that made the missus and I laugh so hard we had tears rolling out.  First, she told us a story about her oldest boy.  I guess right after he was potty trained, they were in this little restroom at a quaint little store downtown.  The store manager said they did not normally allow the public to use their facilities, but they would make an exception since the little guy seemed to really need to go.  She walked back to the dark restroom.  Not seeing a light switch, she told the little guy that she would just lift him up over the potty and use the light from the hallway to see.  As she pulled his pants down, she heard what sounded like a fire hose shooting across the little bathroom and hitting the wall on the other side.  She didn’t even know what was going on at first, she just heard the noise and then realized what was happening!  Oh, I still laugh when I picture that scene!  A second great story was when her youngest was learning to line the potty seat and he kept touching the seat itself.  She thought she could enlist the help of the pediatrician on her next visit and convince her son that a potty is full of germs.  So she asked the doctor at her next visit to explain how dirty the public restrooms really were.  To her dismay, the doctor said that the water in the toilets found in public restrooms was probably cleaner than the sinks, due to the fact that germs are mostly spread by hands.  She did not realize the profound impact this would make on her four-year-old until she heard him splashing around one day and walked into the bathroom to find him “washing” his hands in the toilet!  She demanded that he stop and asked him where he got such an idea.   He simply replied, “The doctor told us it was cleaner than the sink!”  So as far as dealing with the cleanliness, I think that lining the seats and avoiding contact is still the best policy out in public.  Today they are making that much easier with motion sensor flushing and even stocking the seat liners in most places.  However, I think it will always be the age old battle for the parents to teach their young ones.  Take it from me though, the satisfaction of watching that little troublemaker try to teach their young is well worth your efforts!  Happy training!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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