So it’s about time I wrote about toilets. I’ve been meaning to write it for the past year. Toilets are a surprisingly annoying part of parenting. Annoying may not be the right word. More an inconvenience that shouldn’t be one. Our eldest daughter has been reasonably toilet trained for about a year and a half now. This blog isn’t about toilet training though. It’s about public toilets and how shit they are when it comes to having small kids.
First things first. I’ll do some generalisations about public toilets. The standard public toilet in shopping centres, train stations, parks etc are designed solely for adult use. Some will have a changing table in the women’s toilet. Often they’ll have a changing table in the disabled toilet. This situation is shit, so to say and what follows is why.
For starters, if the changing room is only in the women’s that excludes me, not a woman, from easily changing my kid’s nappy. Don’t blame me if you have to see a baby getting their nappy changed on the floor in a shopping centre. Secondly, the disabled toilet? Seriously? On the one hand it’s at least an attempt to acknowledge that dads do change nappies but it’s a disabled toilet. If you make it the place parents change nappies then you are making it busy. My wife’s dad is disabled and he gets pretty pissed off about disabled toilets being busy. So just give me a changing table in the men’s toilet and be done with it.
So your kid is toilet trained now, no longer in nappies but wait, theirs no toilet for them. That’s right, we often just had our toilet trained kid in nappies when going out because using the toilet was such a pain in the arse. Notice in my description above I said toilets designed for adults. Did you know there is such a thing as a kids toilet? Yeah, shocking isn’t. They are the perfect size for a toddler. Literally scaled down to their size. When I see a public toilet with one of these I am very happy and that much more likely to go back to that place. There was one of these at the park near our old residence. It was in the women’s toilet and thus I had to break taboo to allow my kid to use it but they had one and it made me happy knowing I could take my kid to the park without worrying about the toilet. The number of public toilets that have kids toilets is very low. Most of the time they’ll be adult sized. You may wonder why that is an issue, can’t you just balance the kid on the toilet or bring around you’re own kids toilet extension to put on the adult toilet? Honestly I don’t want to have to carry a toilet around with me. That’s what public toilets are for, so I don’t have to. As to the first point. It’s really annoying balancing a kid on a toilet. They are that much more likely to be too uncomfortable and not go. So just give me a kids toilet. I can’t imagine it’ll cost that much more to put one in and it’ll see a lot of use.
That’s all I really had on the topic. Two things to make a public toilet toddler friendly. That’s all I want. They exist too, these ideal public toilets. This platonic toilets. They have a little kids toilet section as well as the adults and they aren’t just lumped in with the women’s.
I will sign of with an anecdote. I’m very proud to say that my eldest daughter, 3, can pee standing up at a urinal. Doesn’t get in on the floor at all. Absolutely fantastic. Why can she do this? One she saw me do it and wanted to mimic me. Fair call. Two because often she didn’t want to use the sit toilet or the squat toilet. So yes, while I rant about how shitty public toilets are I will say that it helped teach my daughter how to pee standing up.