The Evolution of Restrooms

“You can’t go in there!”

I overheard this as I was eating a sandwich at one of our fast food places. I know fast food isn’t good for you, but this blog isn’t about eating!

When I looked up, I noticed a mother, accompanied by her two young daughters and their brother, heading into the ladies’ restroom. It was the littlest girl who made the warning, adding, “Boys aren’t allowed.”

That took me back a dozen or so years to the time when My Favorite Domer was little and I, too, faced the dilemma of “potty time.”

Back in the day, there were only two choices — the Men’s Room or the Ladies’ Room.

A little boy is on the way to becoming a man, but he’s not there yet. He still needs mom’s help, her warnings not to touch anything “because it’s not clean” and her focus (“this-isn’t-time-for-playing-in-the-water”).

And he needs to be protected from all those perverts lurking in the Men’s Room.

Because mom knows that’s where they are.

So she takes him with her to the Ladies’ Room.

As a youngster, he doesn’t particularly care one way or another. He just has to potty. But somewhere around elementary school age, he knows boys use the Men’s Room and girls use the Ladies’ Room.

He balks at having to go into a room for girls and do that. “I can do it myself” is his war-cry.

So mom sends him into foreign territory alone. Standing sentry by the door, she waits on pins and needles for her charge to emerge. Her biggest fear is when some big, burly guy approaches the door and attempts entry.

Should she simply smile and tell him the room is occupied?

The entire room? Nah, that wouldn’t work.

So as he opens the door, she hollers, “Are you finished in there, honey?”

Son dashes out wearing a red face; big, burly guy chuckles, and mom races with son to the car.

To await the next time.

This isn’t any easier on dads who escort their young daughters on jaunts outside their home. I can remember at least once being asked by some blushing dad to watch his daughter for a few minutes while she pottied in the Ladies’ Room.

Guess that’s why there are family bathrooms now. What a cool idea!