Hello! September proved busy on the home and work fronts. Back to school, activities, homework (blog entry coming on that subject!) and an array of special sections occupied much of this mom’s time. Time to start October with some blog entries!
Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed Monday evening (Oct. 1, 2018), a link from BuzzFeedNews’ page caught my eye. A Florida father of three shared a photo of himself trying to change his infant son’s diaper in a restaurant restroom.
No Koala changer here, however. This man straddled his child across his lap as he squatted on the bathroom stall floor. The man’s 7-year-old son snapped the photo, and they shared it with the man’s wife/children’s mother and other son when they returned to the table.
While the photo amused the family, the man’s wife raised a poignant point: Most times, moms have changing stations at their disposal, but “you have to get a ninja squad” to change the child’s diaper, she told her husband.
That stated, the man, Donte Palmer, shared the photo on Instagram with the caption, “What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom (sic) as if we don’t exist!! Clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is.”
The post generated comments, several of which came from dads relating to the diaper-changing dilemma, and got shared across social mediums.
With families traveling with the littlest family members, changing stations in public places, from amusement parks and restaurants to fairs are definitely needed. (Schuylkill County Fair expanded a nursing and infant care station in 2017. See the Aug 2, 2017 blog entry, “Place for parents with lil’ ones appreciated.”) Mr. Palmer’s situation reminds me of diaper dilemmas with each of my children.
While at a church picnic with my daughter 14 years ago at a fire company picnic grove, the adjacent hall was closed, and the restrooms lacked changing tables. I asked firefighters in the truck garage if they had a spot available where I could lay a blanket and changing pad down to change my daughter. The two men led me to a table at the back of the garage. I was grateful.
Six years later, my family went to an area high school football game. The ladies room lacked a changing station or table. I changed my infant son on a concrete block beneath the home bleachers. The following day, I dropped an email to the school district’s athletic director, suggesting installing a changing station or table in both the men’s and ladies’ restrooms. Later that season, I a table had been placed in the ladies’ room (not sure about the men’s room).
When an infant or toddler needs a changing, a feeding or even just time to cuddle while traveling, changing and/or nursing stations help fulfill these needs. They are a definite welcome and respite in many a public place for families.