Why I Hate Public Restrooms

Today, I was guilt tripped invited to go out to lunch with my Gram to meet my great-aunt's granddaughter (I am still not clear on what that makes her to me? third cousin or something?). Gram, having the crazy old lady impeccable taste that she has, picked a crappy little diner with a menu chock-full of bacon. You know the kind of place, I suppose you'd call it a "greasy spoon," the seats stick to you, the waitresses are old and cranky, and if the food isn't good, you pretend it is anyway. 'Coz you don't wanna get shanked on your way out.

Now, considering the grimy texture of the table and chairs, I could very easily guess what the bathroom was going to look like. I was secretly praying that I wouldn't hear "Mommy!! I have to go potty!" during this little adventure. I mean, it was only going to be an hour or so. Surely my children could make it an hour without needing to use the bathroom.

But no. That would be too easy. A sudden foul smell from Jacob told me I was going to have to visit the nasty restroom, at least to change a diaper. And of course, when I got up to excuse myself to do that, James decided he also had to go. Perfect.

We enter the restroom. On the surface it's not too bad, except for the terrible decorating choice of peach-colored paint, dusty fake flowers, and an overabundance of brass. It definitely had that I-haven't-been-cleaned-in-a-while smell, but the fruity air freshener hiding somewhere in the room covered it up a little. Actually, the worst thing I noticed when I walked in to the bathroom was no changing table. Oh, God. The floor certainly would not do, and there wasn't even enough counter space to stick him up there to change him. There were two stalls, so I thought, hmm, maybe the changing table is in the handicap stall?

Of course, it was occupied. No problem, I can wait a minute, I thought to myself. James went in the other stall, and I thanked my lucky stars that he stands up to pee, because I didn't even want to think about how gross the toilet seat was. By the time James was done going, I was still waiting outside for the second stall to open up. I was starting to think it was a lost cause when I heard a flush!

No one came out.

Now I didn't want to go in THERE either, because if that lady had to flush before she was even done...yikes. I was considering just going out to the car to change Jacob's diaper, but of course, The War On Pants had already made my decision for me--Jake had his diaper half off already. And it was...probably about as disgusting as what the lady in the other stall was doing. No pulling it back up and taking him outside.

Changing a diaper while a child is standing up is a fine art. For some reason, it's extremely difficult to wrap my mind around the way their little butts look standing up compared to when they're laying down. So many little folds of baby fat! What normally takes one wipe takes at least three when I have to do this. And then there's the part where you have to put a new diaper on. It always bunches and never goes on straight. You'd think it would be a simple task, but it isn't. At least not in my world.

Add to this the fact that I made James stay in the tiny stall with us, and he spent the entire time yelling, "Look, Mommy! My pee is bigger than Jake's! His is tiny! Mine is bigger! Look!" (I can only imagine what the woman in the other stall was thinking).

This was, to say the least, one of the worst public restroom experiences I've had in a while. It very nearly tops the time I was a housekeeper and discovered a toilet tank--the TANK!-- full of brown chunks (don't worry, it turned out just to be a chocolate cookie. But it was an awkward few minutes until I figured that out).

When I finally managed to get Jake cleaned and re-diapered, we thoroughly washed our hands and left. The second stall? Still occupied.


M said...

You are quite talented changing that diaper in those circumstances.

Heather said...

When Lucy was little, I perfected changing her on my knees while squatting against the stall door.
Desperate times=desperate measures.

Melissa said...

I'm glad to hear you all survived, which is more than we know about the woman in the other stall.

And now it's over, and you never have to do it again! At least, until the next time...

AmandaRaeShelton said...

All I can say is EWWWW!!! You'll have to teach me how you change a diaper with the kid standing. That is true talent.

Amber said...

Ok. That is pure talent. YECK. I HATE public restrooms.

Rebecca S. Mullen said...

It was the air freshener that covered the rank mode of the room that let me know where I was. Yes, I've been there.

I know because I stuck to those seats.

Very funny.

MidnightCafe said...

Oh, I know exactly those kinds of diners. Blech. Glad you managed to change the kiddo standing up. Yikes!

ck said...

I can't do the standing diaper change either.

And Stall Lady? I probably would've stared at the bathroom door from the table just to catch a glimpse. Not that it would matter, or that was any of my business, but I'd be so curious!

Aging Mommy said...

I still cannot do the stand up diaper change either - can't figure it out as you describe so well.

I hate public restrooms - when I hear a toilet flushing I imagine all the germs flying at lightening speed towards me.

Rudri said...

When my daughter was small, we often did road trips. Instead of changing her in a public restroom, I often changed her in my car. We drove through small towns and I have seen my share of those little holes of yuck.