Being a dad who likes to actual parent his kids, I find that the world is a strange and somewhat gender biased place. As if public toilets were designed everywhere with a view that only the mother would ever take their kid to the loo out in the real world.
What prompts such a strange musing I don’t hear you ask because this is a blog post and I am not telepathic nor ‘live streaming’ (a thing I am told is popular with the young folk these days). Well what prompts this is what happened to me over the weekend.
See sometimes, just sometimes, myself and the ladyfriend have this rare thing called ‘disposable income’ after the Irish Gubberment steals most of it and then we pay all the bills. On these rare occasions we like to do things that perhaps we did before the two bundles of energy and joy that are our kids appeared. Saturday was one such day. While herself went and got whatever mystical thing she likes to get done that I don’t understand, I went off with Nugget and Jellybean for a stroll around the shops and a coffee and cake.
The kids love daddy coffee trips because they get the cake that mummy doesn’t let them have. Although the frosting on Nugget’s upper lip generally gives the game away pretty quick.
Anyroad, the scene is now set. As we sat there having the chats (Nugget is now three and some change and doesn’t shut up from morning to night…sometimes not even then) I was being told about dragons and monsters by the eldest.
Then comes the declaration, at the top of her little lungs, “I need go toilet!”
Tis grand, I say, don’t panic.
I get the board out that she can stand on the back of the pram and off we walk at a brisk pace ( brisk here being I don’t give a shit about anyone else in the world at the moment of time and am using my 11-month old’s pram as a battering ram to the ignorant who don’t get out of the way when I say ‘Move’ ) to the loo.
Only to be hit with the modern world’s architectural conundrum: the kid changing facilities and toilets are in the women’s bathroom.
Now, it’s 2019, I know things have changed. But I don’t think I could pull of strolling into a female bathroom and declaring that it is ‘Okay, I’m a dad’ without having to explain some stuff to law enforcement later. The problem is I am a dad and I have a little girl who needs to use the loo. I decide to go against my normal standards and be one of those jackasses who uses a disabled bathroom: but I can’t.
They are all locked.
Not engaged, locked. Security has to come and actually open a room for people to use disabled bathrooms.
Now the declaration has gained in speed.
Tis grand, I say, just close your eyes.
Because now we have to go into the belly of the beast.
Now I have to take my two kids in the men’s.
I’m a man. Born that way. Not identifying at the minute as non-binary or a toaster or whatever other hipster thing is used these days. So I can say this without prejudice: men be a bunch of filthy bastards in the loo.
It doesn’t matter if it is the one at home or a public one, we cannot keep the damn things clean for love nor money.
As I marched in I spied one cubicle free and thanked the Norse Gods that this was the case because Nugget couldn’t wait any longer. Then I found out why it was free. It looked like a Scottish stag party had had there way with the toilet bowl, and that is keeping the description clean and family friendly. After I did my best to scrub it down I plonked my poor girl’s posterior on the porcelain and then stepped out of the cubicle. Now I had to manage the art of keeping the door close over to give her privacy, but not so far over that she could lock it, while also using Jellybean as a sort of barrier in the pram.
Deposits were made, butts wiped, and the world was right as rain once more.
But it did get me thinking. What the hell would a single dad do in a similar situation when he might not be as two-fingers to the world as myself. Oddly enough dads are parents as well, they generally like to have their kids go to the toilet without any hassle. But the world seems to have built up places that don’t factor this strange thing into the equation. I honestly believe in this modern and enlightened world we live in now, that it is time for the kid toilet to be taking out of the women’s bathroom.
Or at least let dad know the super security password to get into the disabled loo a bit quicker than a three-year-old can shit her pants.