10 July 2008

A Dilemma of the Restroom variety!

"that's a thought, do the Wiggles have 5 year old groupies?...I am sure that passing my driving test many many moons ago was less stressful than this dilemma"

A dilemma is an interesting word. It's one that we use to describe certain situations especially if they are of the uncomfortable variety. If you Google it you will find a definition such as "a situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavourable or mutually exclusive".

Well, recently I experienced a dilemma that really was a no win situation. It's not the first time I have had this dilemma arise. In fact, the first time was in London two years ago at the London Eye. Anyway, I had better explain. So if you are sitting comfortably then I will begin....

A couple of weekends ago I decided to take my two daughters to the local shopping centre to see a Disney stage show. They were both excited as they are of that age when all things Disney mean a lot to them. Fortunately for me they haven't really gotten into Barbie or, the Olsen Twins (hurrah there really must be a God!). Anyway, I treated them to a babycino and doughnut prior to the show as I didn't want them getting hungry while it was on. As parents will know its a real skill balancing your child's hunger pangs against an activity.

The show started and there were literally hundreds of children there. As for the show itself, it was really a glorified advert for an upcoming 'Disney on Ice' tour. Normally I find these shows quite interesting but this one was definitely very boring. In fact I would have got more enjoyment if I had clipped my toenails or listened to a Kylie CD (well, maybe not).

Afterwards my youngest daughter uttered those immortal words that all parents hear generally at the wrong times "I need to go to the toilet, Daddy" said my youngest. This was something I was prepared for. As there was a children's toilet nearby we made our way there. When we got to it I was amazed to see the line up. There were more children there than you would expect backstage at a Wiggles concert! Actually that's a thought, do the Wiggles have 5 year old groupies?

My mind quickly analysed the situation. Obviously a large number of children were wanting to relieve themselves especially after a 45 minute show. It was akin to grown ups going to watch a footy match and at half time making their way to the restrooms all at the same time.

We made our way to another level of the shopping centre only to find that there was another big queue for the children's toilet. By now I was thinking there was a conspiracy working against me. My last chance was to go to the Food Court and use the one situated there. My youngest daughter at this stage was getting very desperate. "Daddy, I really really need to go now!"

With this we swiftly made our way to the Food Court only to find that the toilet was not operational. Now my dilemma kicked in. On the one hand I had a daughter who was about to relieve herself, and on the other hand I had the option of taking her to the Ladies or Gents toilets.

Now this is where being a Dad with daughters becomes a huge issue. I cannot really walk into the Ladies toilets with my daughters as any women there will find it strange. However, if a Mother takes a son into the Ladies restroom then that is deemed to be okay. Similarly, if I take them to the Gents toilet someone might think I was being a pervert or worse. Also, I wouldn't want to expose my daughters to how dirty and smelly the Gents restrooms can be.

Beads of sweat were now dripping off my forehead. What could I do? My heart was beating faster and funnily my mouth was very dry. I am sure that passing my driving test many many moons ago was less stressful than this dilemma. I looked at my daughter who was nearly doubling over and made my decision. It was off to the Gents toilet. After all it was the lesser of two evils. I said a quick prayer before I entered and luckily for me it was deserted. We quickly found a cubicle and the smile soon returned to my youngest daughters face. As for me, I was still sweating. We promptly washed our hands and left the restroom.

Once back in the food court I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt like I had won the lottery. I had attacked my dilemma head on and won! We quickly made our way home after that. At least the toilets at home are unisex!!

I suppose the moral of this story is that if you go out with young children ensure that you take your wife or a female relative with you when "I need to go to toilet" is muttered by your offspring!

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