There is an easy solution for the parent, but not the bystander. If a father has his girls and he needs to use a restroom, the staff at a store, restaurant, etc. can reasonably be trusted to sit with the children for 3 or 5 minutes. This is not too much to expect from the staff. If they refuse, just ask to speak with a manager, this should take care of it. Nothing is going to happen with a staff member patiently waiting outside a restroom in front of everyone for a few minutes. I used to baby sit a 5 year old boy. And when we went off on our daily summer adventures, this used to happen. If I had to go, I would ask an employee of the establishment to watch for 2 minutes, and it was never a problem. If he had to go, I would ask one of the male staff members to accompany him to the john, while I hovered outside for the two or three minutes. People have to pee. People need privacy. Bystanders should not have to feel uncomfortable. Nothing is going to happen in the time needed to take a leak. And you are right there if it starts to take too long. We all must rely on the kindness of strangers from time to time...some are more trustworthy than others, employees with name tags and a pending paycheck are not going to take off with the kid. Shoshana
Little girl, is this man your Daddy?
SaintSatan....nothing wrong with doing what you did. And any personal embarassment on your part is far better than the alternative, if it were the case. BTW, everyone knows you're supposed to hang the kid by the coat hook on the door to avoid any problems or escapes...*LOL*...I agree w/Lady Lee...community bathrooms are a great idea....I was just thinking of my kids...they used to have this fascination with when I went to go pee...They would just sit and stare....eh...I turned the tables on them after they got a bit older and would bug them while they were in the bathroom...*LOL* It didn't take em long to figure out the rules. *LOL*
Nothing is going to happen in the time needed to take a leak
. That is SOOOOOOO WRONG in the 60's a little boy had his penis cut of and in the time needed to take a leak. His Mother was too trusting. A small boy had his throat cut in California in the time needed to take a leak and so on and so on. I wouldn't give nor did I give a flying flip who I made uncomfortable my responisblity was in protecting MY CHILDREN not insuring the psychological comfort of a stranger. I will be the same way with my granddaughter/
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.
I'm not trying to imply that I don't think child molestation happens to boys, because I know it does. I was just pointing out that we cast a suspicious eye over males far more readily than we do females.
I don't have a feasible solution to the dilemma of what happens when Mom or Dad needs to "go" when they have kids in tow. I used to use the wheelchair access washroom when my kids were small and used a stroller (hey, it is a kind of wheelchair, isn't it?) and face them toward the door. I never once had a handicapped wheelchair bound person waiting on the other side when I came out either.
Most commercial establishments do not want to use a lot of space on public restrooms. A family stall - a kind of stall within a stall with shorter partitions with one side for the loo and the other side as a "holding area" for kids - might work, but there are hygiene regulations and space restrictions that make it unreasonable in our bottom-line-driven society. A lot of businesses will also not allow their employees to "babysit" for a few minutes while a parent takes a potty break either, it's not part of their job description nor is it what the store owners pay their employees to do.
If you're going to target washrooms, you better target fitting rooms too, because those are also areas where adults can get naked in front of their kids while they try on clothing. And they can bring kids clothes in there too and make the kids get naked at the same time.
Being a parent is a tough job, especially if you have a couple of toddlers/preschoolers in tow while you shop. Between potty breaks, temper tantrums and other assorted misbehaviour, it's amazing that parents actually come out of it with any semblance of sanity whatsoever. Adding possible suspicions/ accusations of child molestation to the mix is well intended, but likely misdirected. I absolutely hated shopping with my kids when they were little, not because they were bad, but because they were normal kids who liked to climb out of their stroller or the shopping cart and take off in different directions. How do you chase after two kids running in opposite directions? How the hell do you do it? If you put a harness on them, people stare at you like you're some kind of freak and tell you how cruel it is to put a leash on your toddler. If you don't and they end up running in the mall in different directions, they give you $h!t for that too. I gave up after a while and only went shopping with one at a time while their dad looked after the others, or went alone.
All I'm trying to say is that good parents are doing the best they can, with what they have to work with. The books out there don't cover stuff like this, so we just have to do what seems like the right thing to do at the time. The guy that Nathan encountered was likely doing just that and probably felt like a real dork having to be asked what he was doing in the stall with his little girl. I'm glad Nathan asked, but as a parent, so much of what we do is questioned, picked apart and criticized by everyone and their dog practically, including those who do not have children. Sometimes it feels like it's not worth the personal sacrifice that we make for our kids as parents, when it means being under the constant scrutiny of outsiders.
Love, Scully (back-to-school shopping, shopped out class)
Nathan, you did the right thing. In this day and age, one can never be to sure. I bet when the father had time to think about what you did, he was greatfull that someone took the time to make sure that his daughter was ok.
Don't you worry about it being the right or wrong thing to do. What if you hadn't made sure and then found out later that the child had been abducted? It's always better to ask. After all, there is no harm in asking.
As a parent, I've no problem being challenged or questioned (same thing happens when you take your kid to casualty dept.)
If it saves 1 little kid somewhere then ask away. I think most parent understand that and can join the dots in their head ... "hey, if my kid had been taken, this guy would've maybe saved 'em ... thanks fella"
It would be short sighted and selfish to make someone doing this feel uncomfortable and not thank them.
You did something, sir. And that's more than 99 percent would have done. You did a good thing whether it was enough or not enough. My highest respect for you sir, with many thanks.
Sometimes, we must go with our gut feeling on something. Obviously, something was not quite normal, and you acted upon it. Good for you.
And good for the dad, who did not go nuts at you.
Nathan, I'm proud of you! I agree, what you did was not too much and not too little. You now have a peace that you did SOMETHING! How many times have we walked out of a situation wishing we had done something, but it was too late? This way you have no regrets. Kudos!
Nathan, you did great. All you can do is your best and you checked out the situation without giving in to paranoia.
Actually this circumstance happened to me once, but it was when Jennie was an infant. There was literally no one to leave her with so I did pretty much what this gentleman did. I don't know what the "right" thing to do in such a circumstance. From his point of view, by taking the child in with him was keeping her as safe as he could. It's not ideal but considering the circumstances it is probably the lesser of several evils.