So yesterday I was out with my 3 boys by myself and we were gone a while at a popcorn fair. I JUST realized that I don't usually go far by myself with the boys.. at least, not far enough where I have to pee. I'm 30+ weeks pg though, so it doesnt take much.
Anyway... I crammed all 4 of us into a handicapped stall so I could pee because I just didnt trust leaving them in the bathroom outside while I was inside (there were 2 doorways - one from the store/one to the outside). I'm not sure what I thought would happen for the 3 minutes I coudln't see them... (they're 2, 4, 6) ...
How do you do it? (Im just realizing now how many of our outings are with friends/family... ) Do I just get over it and trust that they're ok in the bathroom while I'm in a locked stall?
Well... I'm not a mom of many, but I do have 2, and yes, I have brought them both in the handicapped stall on many occasions. I think only you can judge when it would be ok for your kids (or 1 or 2 of them) to wait outside the stall. For me it depends on where we are (familiar family restaurant vs. bathroom at a busy amusement park), and how old my kids are. At 2yo there's no way I would have not brought ds in with me, but now that he's 4 I do sometimes leave him outside the stall (at a familiar friendly place). My dd is 7yo and I trust her to wait in the bathroom, or at a familiar restaurant I'll let her wait at the table. Each kid is different and I don't think there's a "magic age" or anything. You just have to go with their maturity level (they'll stay in the bathroom, answer if you call to them, etc).
Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010
Mine are 5, almost 4 and 1. Usually I am wearing the baby, and the girls like to go in stalls by themselves. So I wear the baby into the bathroom with me and let them go in the stalls on either side. When they are done or if they do not go, they must stand outside the stall I am in so that I can see their feet. We play a game with it, talking all along, so we are engaged the whole time. I came up with this solution when the handicap stalls were all in use. Yes, it requires that they are not directly in my line of sight, but they are together, and we are talking so I feel somewhat at ease. Still on guard but at least able to pee.
(6), (4.5), (2) and IT'S A !!!! ~9/24/12~
I have 5 boys ages 10,8,6,4 and 2. I make thetwo youngest come in the handicap stall with me. They tend to run, destroy, grab, etc.....lol My other 3 I allow to wait directly outside the door of the bathroom. I taught them to line upagainst the wall and STAY. lol (I HAD to. I used to be a single mom of 5 and though I pretty lax about alot, some situations call for order for safetys sake) Plus they know the rules on talking to ppl they dont know and I can hear them since they are right by the door.
My oldest is 8 now. When they were littler, they all came into the handicapped stall with me (or the "family bathroom" if the place had one). When my oldest was 7, they "graduated" to standing by the wall near the entrance to the bathroom, as I thought they were getting old enough to make the other ladies uncomfortable. I'd put them by the wall, pop into the nearest stall, and figured that 30-60 seconds of that was safe enough, especially since I could hear them chattering the whole time, and see their feet. :D
Now, if it is a small or local place, I will have them stand against the wall just outside the bathroom door. The reason for the small and local qualification is that the people there know me, and know the kids are with me, and are there and aware enough to realize something is going on if someone tries something and the kid's make a scene (and the kids know how and when to make a scene, lol). If it's the zoo or the mall or an airport or something, I still bring them at least into the entry way of the bathroom, so I can hear them. In those places there are too many people, too much separating me and the kids, and too much potential anonymity for predators.
at 6 1/2 and four, my three are old enough (and we've been doing this about a year) that each pick a stall in the same restroom I'm in. The older two meet me at the sink, and little sister stands outside my stall when she's done, where I can see her shoes. Sometimes, I take little sister in with me.
I have 2 kids and we use the handicapped stall too. Or if it's not a busy restroom DD1 (3) can stand outside the stall, with her hand on the stall door, and talk and talk until I'm done. I love Target b/c they have a huge unisex bathroom near the pharmacy that I just bring the whole cart into if there's no merchandise in it yet.
obstruct livery vehicles
The handicap stall is my friend. I normally only go to Target or the grocery store by myself with all three. I'll take all three in to the bathroom with me and have my 6-year-old and 4-year-old stand outside the stall where I can see their feet. I bring the almost 2-year-old in with me. At the grocery store we frequent, it's just one stall, so I bring them all in. There are some creepy people at our grocery store. Thankfully, I don't go there often by myself with all three (I usually go when the older ones are in school.)
i will have three soon, come april, and my oldest will be 3. Right now at 2.5 i there is no way i can trust him to stand outside the stall so while i am trying to pee i have two toddlers trying to escape/pulling toilet paper out/trying to get into the trash can. im sure in 6 months he wont be any different. when the handicapped stall isnt available we still cram into a small stall because i can only imagine what would happen to the bathroom if i couldnt see what they were doing. i have parked our double stroller (ds2 is too big to wear full time now! :( waah) outside the entire bathroom hoping someone doesnt steal it. when thats the case, i have to bring the entire purse/diaper bag which just adds to the chaos. i generally try to wash my hands but when the toddler saids "no wash hands. no dirty." i dont even fight it, i just want to get out of there! those days when i need to pee, ds1 pooped his chonies and ds2 pooped his diaper are the complete worse, but i always feel like supermom after :)
you know when you walk into a stall and toilet paper is hanging off the seat, mud is tracked all over the floor and youre not quite sure if the toilet is flushed? yeah, we do that to the stalls. its craziness. sometimes i forget to zip my pants.
Coffee, Vintage and Kids. My Life.
I would bring the 2 yr old for sure with me...the others in the bathroom would not bother me. my just turned 7 son has been going into men's rooms with me outside the door for a year now at his own insistence. We've had no problems.
lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!