Sunday, May 6, 2012

Time for Change

So, again, it's been a while.  But, lately, I just can't find the time to post, and it's kind of irritating.  But I'm making time this week.  I'm making time because I can't believe that I haven't written about this subject before. It's discriminating, unsanitary, inconvenient, and just plain wrong.  It's something that Mama Bird and I have encountered many times in the past, which is why I can't believe that, in over a year now, I have yet to write about this myself.  Let's talk change...

...Diaper change.  We decided to take the munchkin to the Zoo this past Friday, and boy was she excited!  This was her first trip to the Zoo and longest car ride since potty training began just after Christmas.  No potty problems for Little E all day, and that makes Mammy and Daddy proud.  But I did have a potty problem.  No, I didn't have a need for a change of underwear, but, upon our arrival (and after 32 ounces of coffee), I chose to use the restroom after Mama Bird took Little E to the ladies room.  And, as I walked in, I heard someone say something about 8,000 kids and a lack of a changing station.  I then noticed a gentleman sitting a child on top of the trashcan saying "This will have to do."  Now the trash can was located in a small corner hidden inside the door where it couldn't be seen from outside, and it was a fairly large, plastic "park" trash can.  You know, one of the square ones that is about two feet on each side.  Well, the boy couldn't even lay down on it to be changed, he was probably two, closing in on three, years old.  After I washed my hands and witnessed a moment of this struggle, I mentioned to the gentleman, "You know, the sad thing is, there's probably a changing station in the ladies room."  When I got outside, I asked Mama Bird to go back in and check, and , sure enough, there was a changing station.

As I said, this is not the first time we have encountered this situation.  But we almost always travel together and, anytime we ever came upon the lack of a station in the Men's Room, I've walked out and had Mama Bird do the deed.  Why doesn't she just do it in the first place, you might ask?  I'll tell you.  Mama Bird is a whopping 4'-10" tall, although her Driver's License will tell you lead you to believe she's 5'-0" (I guess she looked taller to the DMV attendant from the seated angle).  Her height makes it difficult to reach the changing table surface comfortably.  Therefore, I was the default diaper changer when we were out and about.  This prompted some research on my part, but, unfortunately, I didn't do said research until about 20 minutes ago.  I wanted to find out if there are any regulations regarding Public Diaper Changing Station installation.  Turns out, they aren't regulated at all.  Just as a store is not required to have a public restroom, if they do, they don't need to install a changing station.  Why?  Well, it turns out that it's the same reason for both: It's a matter of convenience, not necessity.  And I disagree.

It is necessary to change your child's diaper when they crap their pants.  When they are wearing diapers and not potty trained, that could be any where, any time, including when mommy isn't around.  Am I supposed to just waltz into the Ladies' Room to use theirs?  Try getting out of that one when the police show up.  On top of that, there's no regulation for how high they should be mounted.  According to the installation Instructions for a few that I found on the Internet, by their recommendations, the table ends up sitting at 33" high when properly installed, which, apparently, also makes them ADA compliant.  I think we need to initiate change.  We need to get someone to regulate changing table installation.  I know two things, there are both single dads and short women in this world, and we need to accommodate them both.  I've started a petition that, should enough signatures be attached, could be taken to State Legislatures, or even Congress.  Follow this link to sign and tell every one you know.  My goal is to get 10,000 signatures, but I don't know if it will be enough, so let's do our best!


  1. A-men. I've had to change diapers on the floor of gas station restrooms and I'm amazed we're all still alive with all the germs I'm sure got on the babies. I've also changed diapers on the floor of the car/van in order to avoid the restroom floor. The baby doesn't like that in March! I can't believe more people aren't loud about this.

  2. YES. Oh so many issues. I know men's rooms are a problem--they pretty much never have changing tables and I have to take our kids when we're both out--but what happens when my husband is out alone?! AND I am always in awe at the number of women's rooms I encounter that don't have any changing tables! What are we supposed to do?! Once, the changing table was in a stall. There was literally no space once the table was down, I could barely raise my elbows to change the diaper, let alone get in my diaper bag, etc. And if it is just a matter of convenience, then I'll change the diaper where it IS most convenient, thankyouverymuch. Next time, I'll just put my child's blanket on the middle of the store floor and change the diaper there.

  3. Good call, Emily. We've done something similar to that on a few occasions. But, like you, Janelle, we usually just changed her in the back of the car (sometimes backseat, sometimes trunk) just to avoid nasty bathrooms. And to think, our parents never had changing stations. How did we survive???

  4. I really liked your post about Time for Change