My daughter is three.
She’s my only child so I’ve been lucky enough to be extremely involved. Or rather, I’ve been lucky that she’s cool enough to become extremely involved in my life. She does everything with me. We watch baseball together, she sits on my knee while I write code and we go everywhere together.
Taking her out in public has created some troubling situations in bathrooms. I can’t count how many times she has needed a change, I’ve taken her into the men’s room and discovered there is no place to change her. If I’m lucky, I’ll get 25 cm of wet-with-who-knows-what counter space between a urinal and a sink, but a frustrating amount of the time, I’m stuck choosing between taking her home early, balancing her on my lap, or changing her on the floor.
Everything is easy (for me) when we’re out with her Mom. If the three year old has a bathroom emergency, her Mom invariably takes her to be changed. It’s not that I don’t want to be involved (quite the opposite), but because women’s rooms are almost always better equipped. Why fight the tide when you can row with it?
However, hope is on the horizon. Pampers and Koala Kare have teamed up to provide 5,000 change tables for men’s rooms in the US and Canada. It’s a great start and hopefully it spurs other organizations towards similar types of activism.
And another kind of hope is on the horizon for my daughter has reluctantly begun potty training. It’s not going very well but I hold out hope.