I had an uncomfortable experience yesterday.
I was in a Barnes and Noble Bookstore when nature called, so I walk into the men's' room. There are two stalls - one for wheelchair access, and one regular one.
I can see that in the regular stall there's a guy, and it is obvious that he is seated, but I am also seeing what are obviously the feet of little girl, and is is also obvious that she is facing the seated man.
"Oh my gosh," I thought. "What is going on here?"
I remained silent, not speaking. Both stalls were occupied, so I paced around a bit and then left to go back into the store.
I knew I just couldn't walk away from this - I was NOT going to "leave it in Jehovah's hand.". At the same time, I wasn't about to become irrational or hysterical. I re-entered the bathroom and listened. There were no sounds of distress from the little girl, and the man was talking to her as a father might. I still felt is was awfully weird that she was in the stall facing him. (I don't have kids myself and have never taken care of someone else's kids - I have zero kid experience.) I looked around the bathroom, wondering if I was going to be fighting in here soon.
I waited until they came out.
I said, "Little girl, is this man your Daddy?"
She seemed scared of me - or maybe she was embarrassed about being in the men's room..
"Is everything OK?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm her father, " the man replied. "I couldn't just leave her out in the store while I was in here. Thanks for your concern."
The man's voice sounded sincere and not panicked or threatening.
I said "OK" and left the bathroom. I thought for a moment about following them when they came out a few seconds later, but decided not to.
Did I do the right thing?
Should I have done more? Less?
Little girl, is this man your Daddy?
I had an uncomfortable experience yesterday.
Nathan, that IS a poser....it's difficult to say....I know that as a parent, I, too, had to take my young sons with me into a public restroom, but I never took them into a stall with me.....but then, there aren't urinals out in the open in a women's restroom, as there are in a men's restroom, so maybe the father was doing his best to protect his daughter without having her exposed to men exposing themselves as they used the urinals......I'd hafta say that you did the right thing by checking the situation out as you did, since, if the man had been a perv, he'd have probably "run for it" or come back with a more offensive tone....the little girl's reaction being one of apparent fright when you approached them was probably due to her startlement at being approached in a situation in which she was aware of the inappropriateness of her being in a public men's restroom. I think you did the best thing you could, Nathan...
Nathan, you did great. Not too much, not too little. Maybe this was a visitation day for dad, and a trip to buy a new book was part of the deal. Some dads wouldn't think twice about leaving their kids (no matter how little) outside the washroom while they answer nature's call. Some would bring their daughters in the washroom and let them stand outside the stall so they can observe other men use the urinals. The guy obviously didn't have a lot of options, and none of them ideal. At least he chose to do what he had to do (assuming it was emptying his bladder) while seated.
Food for thought: Would anyone have given it a second thought if this scene had been played out in a women's washroom, with a little boy in the stall with her, and a female patron entering the washroom and seeing the two pairs of feet (mommy seated, with little boy facing her)?
Good job, Nathan. I always pay attention to whats going on around me. You just never know if your going to be an eye witness of a crime, or spot a missing child or someone being abused. Given the same circumstances, I would have done the same thing that you did, not much else you could do.
I have taken my son in to the bathroom with me when he was little, all the way in the stall. I didn't have a choice he couldn't stand still and was always in to everything. I had a hard enough time trying to keep him in the stall, many times I was still seated pants around my ankles and one hand on his shoe while he's trying to crawl under the stall to get away from me. Laughing the whole time, like it was some kind of game.
It sounds like what you did was good. If he there was total silence or some noises to make you concerned when you were listening I think further action might have been called for. But from what you say - wow I wish someone had done that for me when I was a kid.
It is an odd situation for a dad to be in. - odd as uncomfortable. I'm glad he didn't leave her outside the washroom or the stall. He kept her with him. Perhaps asking her to turn around might have been appropriate but then again do we want children to think going to the bathroom is un natural or shameful that we need to hide in situations like this.
I am glad we are slowly developing "family" washrooms for situations like this but then an abducted child would have no opportunity for someone to overhear. There are no easy solutions.
Your point about mother taking her sons into the washroom is interesting. Sadly we still live in a society that thinks this doesn't happen to boys.
my hubby, papa, has to take our girls to the bathroom occ , if i'm not with him. They are getting to the point that he says he just hates to do it, b/c of the situations like Nathan described. For himself, he'd probably wait to use the bathroom, but the gjirls can't.
Yes Scully, it is very acceptable for a woman to take a little boy in a bathroom. however, by age 6, they are too old. the difference, of course, woman go into stalls, and aren't exposing themselves in a public restroom. also woman takes care aof all her business sittng down.
It is one of those things that u play buy ear, knowing when i child is too old to go into the restroom of the oppisite sex. Knowing when the child is too old for the parent to be in any stage of undress around them. (back in the 60's parents were encourged to bond by being nakede arond their children_ugh)
u did great nathan, beter to be concerned than very sorry.
It never hurts to ask nathan...it takes alot of guts to do that.
For me I usually have to go into the stall with my daughter when she has a pee and then I get her to wait while I use the urinal..sometimes thats not possible but I have found she asks all those numerous questions about my manhood everytime she catches a peek so I try to keep peeps to a minimum. When were in a stall you can usually sit so that its not a real peep show and for her she would rather look at me and talk then stare at the door a few inches from her face. My daughter is a real chatterbox and I'll tell you some of the questions she asks when I'm stuck in that stall with her must make my neighbours in the next stall blush, it does to me.
You did good Nathan, although if I was the father, it would have riled me to be asked. But I'd get over it. This poor guy, I'll guarantee you, when he heard you come in, was just wishing his daughter would go stand in the farthest corner of the stall away from him.
Being a father, I might not have asked anything, if there was talking and no signs of distress when they exited.
I have found she asks all those numerous questions about my manhood everytime she catches a peek so I try to keep peeps to a minimum.LOL, this could set up all kinds of embarrasment! I think my ex and I made the right decision by letting our daughter see us nude when she was a baby and toddler; she didn't seem to have any curiousity about it later!
I think you did just the right thing and showed a lot of guts in the process. It is a difficult situation for a parent of either sex to be in, but better the little girl be with her daddy, than be outside the stall where a true pervert may enter. What a world we live in.
Nathan I think you did great....Yea you. I do know that I am amazed at parents that just point at the bathroom and let their child go by themselves. I applaud the man it must be SO dang hard for single parents in this situation