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Unchartered Territory: The Public Men’s Room

mens toilet

mens toilet

You know how parenting problems just seem to pop out of nowhere? One day you are sailing along thinking you are finally getting the hang of this parenting gig, and the next thing, out of nowhere a new issue that you hadn’t foreseen rears it’s ugly head.

Lately I have been faced with a problem of the public toilet variety. You see, when we are out and about, and the call of nature arises, the Woo has begun to object to being taken into the ladies toilets with me.

Understandably he wants to go into the mens room – it is  a rite of passage that all young boys reach.

Understandably, the thought of my baby boy going into a room where I have no ‘right of passage,’ and have no idea what lurks on the other side, fills me with nothing short of horror.

The Woo is five…almost six. He started Prep this year, and is starting to want to become more independent. I get that. I love that. It is such an exciting phase. He is my eldest. We are learning together. He is learning to move towards doing more for himself and I am learning to trust him and allow him to do this.

It’s is not always easy, but there is an enormous sense of pride (for both of us) when we reach a new milestone in this process. For example, although we do not live far from the school, I am not prepared to let him ride his scooter to school alone. We compromised, and once or twice a week (if I am not doing reading in the classroom with him) I will walk to the end of the street and watch him scoot up to the crossing with the lollipop lady (do you call them that in Australia or is that a Pommy expression?) and into the safety of the school gates. He is happy with this arrangement. I have allowed him to feel more grown up, whilst my maternal urge to ensure his safety I satisfied.

But the toilet thing…I don’t know…I am just really struggling with it, and up until now I have insisted that he comes with me and his siblings to the ladies toilet.

So I’m asking…so don’t be afraid to tell me, am I being unnecessarily cautious and over-protective? Have you faced this challenge with your son? What age did you feel comfortable to allow him to go off into the unknown territory of the men’s room unaccompanied?



Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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