Public Restrooms & Toddlers

restroom

After the birth of our daughter, there were a number of hang-ups that my husband & I had to let go of. Things such as crumbs on the floor & never having an empty laundry basket were a difficult reality. One of the hardest things for me was getting over my slight germophobia. With a poop covered baby, pacifiers on the floor & a wardrobe riddled with spit up & drool, I had to learn to control my phobia in order to save my sanity. I have come a long way, but still I have an extreme distaste for public restrooms. 

The repulsiveness of public restrooms is just too much for me to handle. I can barely handle my own bathroom never mind entering a room with crumbled up toilet paper & paper towels on a floor puddled with urine. For some reason, I always seem to end up in a stall next to a woman with explosive diarrhea. While one of her feet makes way into my stall during her release, my super sensitive nose & gag reflex kick in. She miraculously makes it out of the bathroom before me, timing it out just right so that the next person that enters is welcomed by me washing my hands & the pungent smell of some 80 year old woman’s bowels. She looks at me in disgust while I slink out holding my pants up so that the hem does not fall into the land mine of puddles.

When my daughter was born, my fear of the public toilets was elevated by nearly triple. I stopped using them almost all together because I did not want to subject her to my restroom hell. I put up a good fight, but I could not keep her out of them forever. Now that she is exclusively peeing in the potty, I have had no choice. 

Today while out to breakfast, she spoke those dreaded 5 words. “I have to go potty.” We made the mad dash for the bathroom. It was a single stall. We entered the room & were greeted by the signature puddles.
“Don’t step in the puddles.”
“Don’t touch the walls.”
“Don’t touch anything.”
These were the words that I hollered as I frantically laid toilet paper on the seat one square at a time because the roll was stuck. All the while I kept thinking about the diaper in my purse. 

“Just put in on her.” I thought as I placed my daughter very carefully on the paper.
She screamed out “No paper under my butt! Take it off!” 
Mai began bucking herself off the toilet while grabbing onto the sides of the germ filled porcelain. The paper fell off and she regained her composure & peed. My little girl slid off the toilet and began to pull her pants back up.
“Wait, wait, wait!” I grabbed her and cleaned her hands & bottom with soapy water.
My confused child asked “Mama, what you doing? Why you wash my bummy?”.
What was I doing? I guess my germophobia has not quite gone away after all. I never thought I would actually wish that my daughter was back in diapers.

About The Pinterested Parent

I am loving wife to my best friend & mommy to our smarty pants little girl, who loves to learn, craft & play. I am an artist, a crafter & I am Pinterest addict. When I first started my blog it was meant to be an outlet for my Pinterest addiction. I was looking to inspire & be inspired. What it became was a wonderful journey for me & my daughter in which we chronicle our activities, crafts, lessons & a hefty slice of our life. Please join us as we navigate through this wonderful thing called motherhood.
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35 Responses to Public Restrooms & Toddlers

  1. Oh god do I remember the first time I had to deal with the public restrooms with Emma and pretty much summed up what I felt back then and still feel each time I have to brave a new restroom with both my girls now.

  2. pjmcc2014 says:

    I’m not at that stage yet, thankfully i think, must admit though that some of the changing tables for toddlers can be pretty disgusting too..i now ensure I’m never to far away from a “clean” place.. Lol..

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    Public bathrooms make me so happy I have boys. They are beyond nasty sometimes and some of them are so bad I have had to hold it because I just couldn’t go.

  4. aviets says:

    I totally get this phobia. Even clean public bathrooms give me the creeps. All that germ-worry is bad enough, but then comes the stage (if you have a boy) when Daddy’s not there, he’s too old to go into the women’s bathroom with you, and you’re terrified to send him into a men’s bathroom alone. No right answer. I remember standing outside men’s room doors, keeping an eye on my watch, and glaring at every man who came out as I imagined potential abusers. Yikes!

  5. Tiny Steps Mommy says:

    I was traveling with my kids over winter break and we had to use the bathrooms at the airport and on the plane. I was a mess. “Don’t touch anything” was my mantra too.

  6. Megan Elford says:

    Too funny!! My daughter and I have perfected the acrobatic feat known as “Mommy holding daughter over toilet” so that she can pee into it from mid-air, lol! Most of the washrooms we encounter are pretty safe, but some are just nasty!

  7. rmanea says:

    Its not easy even when they get older cause they know how gross it is to go in public. But i remember those days of cleaning them off in public, almost like scrubbing them.. lol

  8. If it makes you feel any better, the following things have been shown to have MORE germs (and far more dangerous ones) than the seat of a public toilet: Door knobs, light switches, restaurant menus, restaurant ice AND the absolute most disgusting public thing to touch — shopping cart handles and seats. Shopping cart handles/seats are covered with fun things like salmonella, botulism, the flu virus, norovirus etc. The bacteria on toilet seats are short lived and unlikely to actually cause infection
    (Source: various sources of peer reviewed literature and publicly available news sources)

  9. Haha!! They gross me out as well. I just hold my boy up over the toilet. I have yet to figure out what to do if he has to poop!! GROSS! Its good that you did not give in to the diaper.

    • Lol! I have tried holding her over the toilet, but she freaks out. We are still struggling with pooping on the potty in general, never mind in public. Oh boy! That will be a traumatic story for another day. LOL!

  10. justamom8225 says:

    I fear the day that I have to take her to use a public restroom. Ugh. I can’t stand them myself.

  11. We live in Mexico and many public restrooms don’t have seats… or toilet paper. You just squat and go! Fortunately my girls are older and we always have wet wipes in the car 😉

  12. 3sonshavei says:

    I was gifted some toilet seat covers for toddlers that I took everywhere with me when my son was younger

  13. listen2mama says:

    You are not alone. I was dreading the public bathrooms and that’s why I was not in any rush to potty train. I’m a huge germaphobe!

  14. maggiesblog2 says:

    This makes me happy I have boys! I don’t use public restrooms either!

  15. freebutfun says:

    I don’t even think I have a huge phobia about it but it was so disgusting when i had I two small ones and had nobody to leave the other one to: when you help the other one go, it is so hard to keep the other one off touching everything. And usually they always headed for the rubish bin. Yacky! I quite quickly learned where the clean and practical (big enough)toilets in the city where!

  16. Rosey says:

    My son used to want to lift the seat and sit on the porcelain part. Talk about a mom freaking out, ew ew ew. Just remembering it gives me the willeys.

  17. kerihans says:

    Public bathrooms are the worst! Not looking forward to the day i have to take my son in one.

  18. I am not alone! Haha! Its my nightmare going in the potty w my 18month old. Shes now discovered climbing under the stall door while I try to pee quickly. The floors make me gag trying to grab her and not pee on myself makes me want to die haha! Oh the joys of mommyhood.

  19. Eliz Frank says:

    Oh boy! A kindred spirit…. I avoid public bathrooms like the plague and if things get desperate, I’d drive to a hotel and use their rest room. Like you, everything about them gives me the creeps and yep, I made sure to have a portable changing table when my kids were younger.

  20. LOL – you contemplated the diaper…oh noooo. I feel the same way you do about public bathrooms. One of the best inventions ever was that paper toliet doilie (or whatever you call it) that fits perfectly on the seat. I try to avoid them at all costs, but you got to do what you got to do when you’re traveling. Plus, I have another phobia about public restrooms…I am paranoid that there are cameras in there, watching me as I do my tissue placement-squat routine, especially the public restrooms at gas stations.

  21. Cringe worthy post! I always have the same experience! My tot is potty training and I actually don’t mind keeping her diapered for longer to avoid her needing to use public toilets.

  22. ugh…hate public restrooms. Although, I don’t know how…But my daughter has mastered peeing standing up. Comes in sooo handy! I wish I had that ability as well. LOL

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