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Let’s talk about toilets

16 Jul

I’m talking public restrooms for either the disabled or baby changing family toilets. The stalls or self-contained rooms designed to make specific lives easier.

If you run into myself and Maura in a public restroom, ten to one, we’re coming out of the handicap stall. When available, we will take advantage of the family toilet room.

Being in a small European country, public toilets can be even smaller and even more amazingly cramped for space than the average American restroom stall.  Most are designed to comfortably fit a small child. And sometimes, barely even that.

Now, for me myself, this isn’t a problem.  But when I’m out with Maura – who is not toilet trained – and she’s in need of a change…well…things can get interesting.    Changing her pull up requires things like shoe removal, pant removal, weird yoga positions for both of us, a garbage can to disperse of the evidence and what is probably some interesting dialogue for the people outside.

So we opt for the largest changing area possible, going for the handicapped/baby changing toilets.

And because of that, we get the fish eye from people waiting for it.

Oh, no one has ever actually said anything to me.  Yet.  I am prepared for if it does happen and will happily explain to any accuser that my daughter meets any handicapped or diaper changing requires necessary to use those restrooms.  I actually may have given the “Say something, I dare you!” look to people giving me the stink eye while waiting for the coveted bathrooms.  No one has dared yet.

But this came across my Facebook feed today, courtesy of another blogger, and I was all “Yes!  I was thinking about this just the other day as I changed my daughter on a towel on the handicapped bathroom floor!”

What is this?

A handicapped public bathroom that truly fits all the needs.

I wish I’d known about this before we went over to the UK.  And wondering why no one has thought of this before now.

And next time you see a mother with a tall school aged child coming out of a handicap toilet or baby changing room, take into consideration that there could be a very valid reason why they’re using those particular toilets.

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7 Responses to “Let’s talk about toilets”

  1. Gail Jones July 16, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    LOVE this! So glad I am not alone changing my 18 year olds diaper while she is laying on a towel in the handicap bathroom stall! =/

  2. Courtney F July 16, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Sigh, same here. Waiting and frustration with inadequate bathrooms. We really get looks when both my husband and I go into a family restroom with our daughter who is nine.

  3. Ginny Blasi July 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I think this makes total sense. At one point I was in a boot for 7 weeks and using a cane. Not thinking about it I went into a regular stall which I soon discovered was too small for some of my machinations. Mind you I am only one person not two! There needs to be a place that respects both you and your child’s dignity -no matter their age.

  4. Vicki Lorraway July 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    I got an insight into this problem when visiting the zoo with my friend and her son. She wrote about it on her blog http://thisisnoordinarykid.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/disabled-toilets-frustrate-me.html

    • phoebz4 July 17, 2012 at 7:21 am #

      Thanks for sharing this! We’ve been in similar situations ourselves.

  5. Jessica July 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Sometimes “normal” people are amazed at what disabled people can become overwhelmingly happy about, be it good restrooms, restaurants that without raising an eyebrow makes accomodations to fit a wheel chair. Just general service really.
    I have some allergies and when I find an accomodating restaurant that do things just right (they tend to be in the higher price range though), I spread the news to all my friends with similar allergies. One would wish that more places would realise that people with disabilities have the same needs as others and that the money spent is the same.

  6. Joy July 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Wow, I wish they had these restrooms in the US. My mom had ALS and we could take her out but had to time trips to be home before she needed a restroom. ALS does not cause incontinence and she wasn’t comfortable with the idea of Depends, but a fully furnished restroom would have solved the problem.

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