Three options exist for me when my daughter needs changing, the car is too far, and there is no family bathroom. They include: (1) walking her by a bank of dangling adult penises, only to discover there's no changing table anyway; (2) risking arrest by entering a women's room myself; or (3) assigning a stranger to escort her inside, based on the theory that having female body parts makes one entirely trustworthy.
I have perfected the male women's room entrance. Without going inside, I push open the inner door to announce, "Is anyone in here? It's a dad with his little girl!"
Story time at the library last week began like many of these missions. A high-pitched voice answered my announcement: "Just a minute!"
No problem. Skylar and I waited for the occupant to exit. A woman smiled, indicating not only appreciation that I inquired, but sympathy with my quagmire. Then we entered to do our business. (By the way, a place that's forbidden for your entire earthly existence allows some misperceptions to build up. And your bathrooms are not nicer than ours. They're only cleaner and have vending machines.)
As most of you are aware, the point of no diaper-changing return occurs after the old vessel is unfastened to reveal its biological wonders. There is no sticking something like this back on a person that you love, no matter the emergency. So, for at least four more minutes, you are potty-committed.
Of course, the second woman we didn't notice picked this precise moment to exit her stall, buttoning her skirt and leering at me as though I had just entered her bedroom window in a ski mask. What transpired next was a Seinfeldian conversation in which I noted that "Just a minute!" is a limit-one-per-customer response good only for the utterer, and the woman mentioned something about alerting security.
Luckily, my daughter walks fast.
How would you react if you saw a man with his little girl in the women's bathroom?
Image via Bob Jagendorf/Flickr