We’ve all been through it, and it’s not easy no matter how many kids you have. But with multiple children, navigating a public bathroom is no fun. Check that – it’s torture. It seems however to be the place that’s most intriguing and exciting to our girls. It doesn’t matter if it’s a restaurant, store, Disney World, or any other place we are visiting, inevitably within ten minutes of arriving someone announces, “I have to go to the bathroom!” And then the other will chime in, “me too I really have to go.” Regardless of the fact we went right before we left the house 15 minutes prior.
And then it begins, the hunt for nearest potty spot they can’t wait to check out! What sort of soap dispensers will they have? Hand blowers or electric paper towel dispensers? Are the toilet’s automatic flushing or do they get to push the button? Public restrooms are all the rage, (if you aren’t in the know) and though they are fun for the kiddos, moms in particular groan when they hear those seven words. And apparently men’s bathrooms are so hideous, it is always the mother’s responsibility to handle this particular task. (Either that or my husband totally has me hoodwinked.)
Since I seem to have perfected the art of potty problems,
- Stop your kids from running to the bathroom, “It’s not a race, no running in the restaurant!”
- Arrive quickly to learn all the stalls are taken.
- Wait impatiently for the ‘big’ stall, which usually is occupied by someone who is taking their sweet time fixing their hair and makeup.
- Calm your kids when they start whining they really have to go. “I know baby, it will just be a couple more minutes. I’m sure whoever is in there is REALLY HURRYING.” (you gently prod hoping they can hear you.)
- Finally get in the stall and break up the argument of who gets to go first.
- Start putting the seat cover on when you have to remind urgently, “don’t touch anything!”
- Go back to putting the seat cover on and grab your child to lift up onto the potty when the seat cover falls in.
- Put toilet paper on the seat instead, and finally lift child number one onto the potty.
- Yell at the other one, “get your hands out of there now!” What is the fascination with the feminine disposal bucket?
- Wipe or get the toilet paper for number one.
- Stop number two from pulling all the toilet paper off the roll.
- Get child number one dressed and situated and start step six again.
- Lift child number two onto the potty.
- Try not to lose it when she says, “No pee pee’s! I’ll try again later.”
- Through gritted teeth remind child number one to lock the door and don’t open it again.
- Gently tell child number two that she has to try again.
- Watch child number two genuinely try to go, including real grunts, but then nothing.
- Get child number two dressed.
- Go potty yourself because you are here and you might as well go.
- Yell at child number one when she open the door as you are trying to pee.
- Get yourself dressed and take kids out to wash hands – unless there’s a sink in the bathroom you are currently occupying.
- Lift up the kids to get soap, they still can’t reach.
- Wash each of their hands then point them in the direction of the paper towels or dryer.
- Clean up soap puddles left behind that are dripping down the sink on to the floor.
- Clean up excess paper towels strewn all over the floor.
- Watch in awe as they put their faces up to the dryer to get their “crazy hair”.
- Clean up toilet paper that’s been unraveled for no good reason.
- Grab a paper towel to open the door with now that your hands are actually germ free for a nanosecond.
- Start walking back to wherever you came from – and hear from child number two whine, “ I have to go pee pee – for real this time….pweeeease….”
- Turn around and start all over again.
These are the things you don’t read about in baby books, and never anticipated when starting this motherhood journey. But potty breaks in public could be one of the most annoying things we moms have to do…especially with newly potty trained toddlers. Though I cherish the baby and toddler stage…some days I can’t wait until the days we can rid our cars of car seats, and they can wipe their own damn bums!
which step did I miss? moms of boys – is it easier than this?
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DREADING potty breaks with a girl. With the boys, I can lift them up and hang them over the seat so they don’t touch a thing.
Also, my parents owned a campground for years and years and my dad would clean the bathrooms. He said the women’s room was ALWAYS worse than the men’s. Your hubby is faking you out.
Liza | @aMusingFoodie says
Oh…this brings back memories. LOL!! Now I’m struggling (with kids who are 10 and 6) with when they want to attempt the public bathroom solo – especially my son, who doesn’t always prefer to join me in the women’s restroom.
Janine Huldie says
Yes, yes, yes to all of the above! As a mom to two little girls, I have been there and done all of this with having to take them to the restroom when we are out and why quite often I truly loathe going out to out just because of the bathroom visits, which almost always occur just as my meal is being put on the table – it is like they just know!
Herchel A Scruggs says
I am so glad we are over that stage! I spent the first few trips to Disney changing diapers the whole time and then during the potty training years we were constantly in there for one or the other. Funny thing is that last time we went my husband was the one that had to keep running tot he bathroom and the kids complained.
Oh man I hate the public potty breaks it’s especially hard when you are in a place like Disney World where you are bound to have a line for the potty or worse the need to go when you are in line for a ride.
Kathy Radigan says
Yes I remember it well!!! This is the one thing that makes me glad my kids are a bit older!!
Yes, and my kid has to use every bathroom of every place we go to… It’s a chore, and it’s not fun! Sometimes I think to myself that I just should kept her in diapers until she was 5! Oh, the life of a Mom!!
Right?! It isn’t fun, and is the worst chore ever!
The Dusty Parachute says
#20- Every time! Why kids, why?
Right!? I mean after giving birth I’m totally ok with the whole world seeing my vagina…but not at Disney!
We are in the midst of this right now with a potty trained 3 year old and for some reason, she always, ALWAYS has to go potty at every public place.
right?! How is the BATHROOM better than the teacup ride?!
you got it lady! so…. boys are much easier to take number 1 than girls… have “enjoyed” that much more!
Tara Newman says
#20!! And no, boys aren’t easier! Mine has to poo in every single bathroom. And now he’s at that awkward age where he can’t go in the ladies but I am panicked about him going into the men’s by himself.
yeah, I wouldn’t be thrilled about sending my little boy into the big boys bathroom either…
I have to admit that after 13 plus years of taking my children to public bathrooms I might have a small case of PTSD (Post toilet stress disorder). There are entire bathroom experiences I have had to block out or I might end up shaking in the corner 🙂
OMG! you have to write PTSD! I have that and never knew it was a ‘real’ thing before now…but it TOTALLY is!
I’ve got to believe that it’s easier with boys. The only issue is that sometimes he will pee all over the floor (or very very very close to my shoes) when I’m trying to life him up. I’m not nearly as prepared as in the past, so without handy wipes or extra clothes, we sometimes end up cleaning the sides of our clothes in the sink then hanging out under the dryer.
ewwww..pee all over the floor? Ick! I sometimes wonder if I could handle boys!
Are you stalking us? Whew… I am glad that I am not the only one that has to go through this just to take kids to potty. I dread the “I have to go potty.” while in public because I know I am about to either put on an epic comedic skit or become the reason for birth control for all the childless people in the bathroom.
I am not stalking you but yes, I am the poster child for birth control! Wish I would have written that!
This is so true! My son ALWAYS has to use the bathroom and usually its number 2 for some reason!! (its like the sight of a public restroom makes him have to go!)
M from K&M: The Stay-at-Home Life says
I am so not looking forward to this. It is the downside of potty training.
Alice Young says
This makes me dread when Amelia is potty trained! I’m bad enough with public toilets myself let alone with a little one! Thanks for linking up #MummyMonday x
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
LOL awesome. The feminine products garbage drives me nuts!!! Stop touching it! I have two girls so I nodded along to this the whole time. Yes, I wonder if moms with boys have the same issues.
Thanks for the chuckles.
I assume you needed it too after your weekend! Glad everyone is ok!
This made me giggle. My daughter ALWAYS seems to have to use the bathroom when we are out.
Amanda @ queenofthelandoftwigsnberries says
I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard while reading this. Scheduling to share this on my FB page. Hope you had a great trip!
Thank you so much and yes it was lovely! Sad it’s over and we are back to real life!
Try being the man who needs to use a public bathroom that is being guarded by the mother of the little boy who walked in just ahead of you.
I have had two different mothers suggest I wait for their kids to finish before I entered.
But I also know what it is like as the parent, especially with my little girl who would deliver specific instructions as to how to get things ready like mommy does.
Nice perspective…would be weird though huh!?
Katy Blevins says
Oh man…this could be an excerpt from my life. Word for word. I swear, kids want to go potty just so they can mark off some secret bathroom list that gives them points for visiting every restroom on the planet at least once.
It’s the like bathroom bucket list!
Ok this is BRILLIANT!!!!! They all DO IT!!!!! URGH!!!!! Several years ago up a mountain at Yellowstone National Park with bears and lord knows what else the teen and tween had to go, so once they were situated in secret hidy places I thought why not…. So off I took my British bum and went to do my little tinkle. That ROTTEN tween followed me and pushed me over mid stream!!!!!
I know have stage fright and can’t in public!!!!!
Tweens and Teens SUCK!!!!!!!
That’s a blog post you realize right?!
Joanna @ Motherhood and Merlot says
These are great! Public bathrooms gross me out so much. I would almost want to deal with them at this point because that would mean my stubborn oldest child would be potty trained!;)
Got to get cracking before those beautiful babies get here!
Aubrey @ 53weeks says
Great tips! I still need to get mine to learn to use a restroom….BUT, I recall while growing up that it was my little sister’s thing..to visit ALL the bathrooms wherever we went!! HAHA! Must be a natural curiosity for kiddos!!! 🙂
Love this list! It’s amazing what an obstacle course some public events are when you have kids!
I can tell you that it is NOT easier with boys! Our 8 year old wants to go to the men’s room – and I just can’t stomach sending him in alone… so he goes to the ladies room with me and HATES it! My favorite is trying to keep the toddler from opening the door while you are peeing! They can’t pull up their own pants – but they sure can figure out how to unlock the door!
Right?! They’ve got us trained!
I must have Cassidy hoodwinked because he always takes Scarlet!
I wish I could tell you what it’s like with boys, but we’re not there yet. I don’t even know what it’s like with two potty-trained kids yet. So on one hand, diapering can be easier. It can wait. Maybe not too long, but it’s generally not an emergency the way Scarlet has us believing every time she has to pee is!
Celeste | Leapfrog and Lipgloss says
Hahaha #20 made me laugh.
Also, the coats! What do we do with all the coats during this time! UGH! Set them on the counter to sop up all the water, obvs!
We don’t wear coats that often, but I think that would be a whole other post! Especially with so many layers!
This is my life! People must think I am crazy with all the things I yell in public bathrooms. It is not much easier with my newly potty trained son because we are still working on his aim so there is always the potential for a mess. I also have to say that you and some of the other commenters have me terrified for our trip to Disney next week!
Deva Dalporto says
HA HA HA!!! Love it!
Makes me wish we could affix potties to all our children with duct tape. Maybe we can start a new fashion trend. Potty pants??
um….genius! Let’s do it!
OH my gosh…yes, yes, yes. So funny!
Gentle Joy says
When I saw the title of 30 easy steps… I thought that was ridiculous… but clicked on it anyway… and laughed. I have 6 kids… been there…. done that… many times. I could write a similar post on getting kids bundled to go out and play in the snow!! 🙂 Thank you for the smile.
I would LOVE to read your snow story! So would my kids…we are missing cold weather down here in Florida! Thanks for clicking on my silliness!
Beth McIntire says
Great list, although I usually would have to add, Shush child as she yells loudly “THAT LITTLE BOY SHOULDN’T BE IN HERE! This is the girls’ bathroom!” 🙂
ooooh good point!
Lisa @ Fun Money Finds says
LOVED this post because I live it every day with my two! I pretty much relate to every single point. My biggest pet peeve is the person (by themselves) who passes all the empty stalls to use the big one!!! I also do the audible “just be patient, we have to wait for the big one so we can all fit”. Sometimes it works, sometimes I doesn’t. Thanks for the laugh…I’ll be sharing this with all my mommy friends!!!
Number 20!!! Yes! What is it with the lock? I would add, “Please don’t look under there,” as my infant peeks at the lady in the next stall.
Oh that’s a good one…I forget about looking under and crawling under! We could expand this to 40 couldn’t we?!
Jenny @ Unremarkable Files says
Stopping by from Wonderful Wednesday and I loved this. I think we took this EXACT trip yesterday!
This is hilarious! I must admit that I have been there and done that way to many times. Once, after the third trip to the potty in less that 15 minutes (at least it felt that way…) I said, “OK, now we are done going potty for the 15th time, let’s get our shopping done!” As I left the bathroom, I heard the women in the bathroom burst out laughing. Ha! We can all relate.
Joy @ Joy Love Food says
This is too funny. I’m in the midst of potty training my twin 2 year old girls and am dreading public bathrooms. I think it was easier with my now 7 year old son, but that was probably because there was only one of him at the time! Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday morning 🙂