There are more than a few things that, I think, most parents would agree are less than fun. Sleepless nights, having a sick kid, and pretty much anything that has to do with diaper changes. However, I'll take it one step further and suggest that most parents definitely don’t like public changing tables, though we’re rarely talking about it I also suspect that there may be some common things that go through every mom’s mind when using a public changing table because, seriously, I have to do some mental gymnastics just to get up the courage and commitment to go for the diaper-changing gold.
Now, I’m not trying to hate on the person who engineered them because yes, I get that they are a necessary evil in modern society. But seriously, they are also the worst. Sadly, since so many public places don't have changing tables in the men's restroom (thank you, sexism and gender stereotypes), moms are usually the ones that have to use these contraptions. Sure, I guess they're better than a bathroom floor, but they're not easy to use and if you're a first-time mom, they can even be a little scary.
If I’m being completely honest, I much prefer to use the back of the car, and I suspect that my toddler does too because, hello, he can climb over the seats and jump up and down. However, circumstances don’t always allow for a car retreat, so on plenty of occasions, we’ve had to make it work in a public restroom. Thankfully, we’ve lived to tell about it. That doesn’t mean that the thought of public changing tables doesn’t make me sweat a little bit, though. So, with that in mind, here’s what it’s like to be in the thick of it:
"If Only It Wasn’t Raining So I Could Do This In The Car. Curse You, Clouds."
Who am I kidding? I probably would pick a rainy car situation over a public changing table. I'm from Western Washington, so I can't help it.
"Grant Me The Serenity To Accept The Things I Cannot Change..."
For some, it's a prayer or a mantra that can get you by. For others, it's a silent pep talk. Whatever your belief system is, sometimes it takes a higher power to help you through these trying moments.
"Why Aren’t There More Changing Tables In Men's Rooms?"
A big tip-of-the-hat to all the places that do make changing tables available so the guys can help (looking at you, locally-owned restaurant near my in-laws' home that's now my current favorite). But really, more places should have and provide changing tables in men's restrooms. And by "more places," I mean "every place."
"You’d Think We’d Have Found A Better Way By Now"
I mean, we're inches away from self-driving cars. Surely finding a technological way to hack public diaper changes is on someone's to-do list, right?
"I Wonder If Anyone Would Notice If I Used A Broom Closet Instead"
At least a broom closet door would close, so strangers who need to use the restroom aren't hovering over your shoulder and cramping your style.
"Please Oh Please Oh Please Oh Please Cooperate, Kid"
Many of the problems I associate with public changing tables actually wouldn't be that big of a deal if my little one was laying calmly on his back. However, as most other toddler parents know, that's a tall order. Those little tables are anything but comfortable, they're kind of scary (because they're somewhat high off the ground for a little one), there are strangers everywhere and very loud toilets are being flushed every few seconds.
A really, really tall order.
"I Don’t Want To Think About What’s Happened On This Changing Table. Ever."
I mean, it's possible that it's brand new and we're the first ones to ever use it, right? I'm just going to keep telling myself that.
"Of Course, Today Is The Day That My Toddler Rejects All Toys From The Diaper Bag. Of Course It Is."
Because I'm definitely not going to pick your toy truck up off the public restroom floor and hand it back to you. Nope.
"Are Paper Towels A Good Toy? Here You Go!"
Have at it, little man. Go to town. Whatever it takes to give me five more seconds with these wipes.
"No On Paper Towels? Here’s My Wallet."
OK, four more seconds. Then I'm taking it right back.
"No On My Wallet? Here’s My Hair. Go Ahead, Play With My Hair."
I'm almost done, please hang in there. These straps are the only thing standing between us and hand soap.
"If You Need Another Diaper Change Before We Get Home, I Will Cry"
Not that I expect this to stop you, but I just though it was worth mentioning. Please and thank you.