Mamas, don't follow your babies into the men's room

The level of hysteria about molesters who supposedly haunt public restrooms waiting to prey on male kiddies has been reinforced - by that noted guardian of the public welfare, Dear Abby.

First, DA advised mommies to stand outside the men’s room door and loudly announce their presence (to deter the sleazeballs who undoubtedly are within). This apparently was nowhere near good enough for some mommies, who wrote in to protest, like Vigilant Mom in South Carolina:

*"As a mother, I think that the advice you gave Lisa will give her a false sense of security and put her child in danger.

I would have told Lisa that before they go anywhere, she should make sure her son goes to the bathroom at home. If he has to go while they are out, she should go to the men’s room, knock on the door and announce that she is with a child.

If there is no answer, go in and be sure no one is inside. If she’s uncomfortable doing it, ask an employee to check. Then wait outside the bathroom. If a man needs to go in, she can explain the situation.

Never assume that standing guard outside the door will deter a molester. They couldn’t care less."*

Great advice, Mom! What are you going to “explain” to men needing to use the john? That they need to hold it until Precious is done in there? And how nifty that you’re making Baby Snooks go at home before venturing out anywhere. Except that young kids, uh, tend to need to wee a lot, so that’s going to be one unhappy child if you attempt to keep him from using public restrooms. Maybe that explains some of the cranky, noisy kids we see out in public, gradually turning blue while Mommie gabs away on the cellphone or looks at her 500th pair of shoes.

I ran into one of these hyper-protective mommies one time at a restaurant, pacing up and down in front of the men’s room door. I could tell she wanted to stop me from going in but didn’t have the nerve. Instead, as I walked in she shouted “Mommie’s right here, Bobby!!!”. Boy, that put me off my game, I can tell you. :rolleyes: I was tempted to reply (in my deepest basso profundo) “That’s OK ma’am, we’ll take good care of him.” I’m glad I didn’t though, because she probably would have come charging in to protect her nestling.

Vigilant Mom also had this gem for Dear Abby readers: “Children have been violated in a matter of seconds in the play areas of fast-food restaurants with the parents right there.” Oh yeah, no doubt this is an everyday occurrence in Amerika. And if you see someone dressed up as the Hamburglar near your kid, kick him in the crotch just to be on the safe side.

If you’ve gotta go out with your sprog in public, Ma and he needs to go, you can wait near the men’s room door, and that should deter all but the hardiest of molesters (you can tell who the remainder are by their hairy palms and foaming at the mouth). Stay the hell out of the men’s room yourself, and (on behalf of Mrs. Jackmannii) keep your male post-toddler out of the ladies’ room as well.

Or just stay home, locked behind the door of your panic room. And look out for Dad. You never can tell what he might do.

Don’t see the issue: very young boys can go in with mom in the ladies’ room. Women are less likely to object to the presence of a toddler in the ladies’ room, than men are to object to a grown woman in the men’s room.

I dislike the stranger-danger paranoia myself, it is excessive and seemingly getting worse.

The issue isn’t toddlers–it’s school-age kids, mainly. They’re old enough women really don’t want them in the ladies room, but young enough that Mommy still frets about the kid being stolen and violated in the time it takes to take a leak.

The Dear Abby Column talks about 7-year-old boys, though. That’s a bit old to be in the women’s room, I think, unless the mom has more than one young kid who all have to go, and so does she, and she’s alone and has to keep track of them.

I also balked at the comment about “kids in the ball pit at McD’s have been molested in seconds!” Way to buy into the fear, lady.

Since women are hidden behind closed doors in the women’s room, there’s far less problem taking a very young boy in there than there would have been if I, as a father with a very young daughter, had taken her into a men’s room. “Daddy, what are those men doing there holding their wee-wees?”

My mother took me into ladies’ rooms with her until I was about 5-6, I think, and nobody ever seemed to mind. This was in significantly-less-prudish Britain, though.

Yes, but the"very young" boys referred to in cases like the OP are 7-year-olds these days.

Very young, sure, but you get the problem of the older ones starting to peep into the cracks in the stalls to see the other women. They’re probably just being curious or obnoxious, but speaking from experience, it’s still unpleasant.

I’ve been seeing this at the movie theater a lot. Boys that have to be about 10 in the ladies room. I think that’s old enough to go to the men’s room alone and be aware of “stranger danger”.

How common is strangers molesting children in restrooms? Everytime I hear about molestations on the news it’s someone the kid knew, like a counselor at some church camp.

There are units for that.

In English units. The pedosecond.

In metric. The molosecond.

Slang. “The blink of an eye”

Political Slang. Opportunity.

Thank you for starting this thread. Sometimes I wish Dear Abby would man up a bit. That really peeved me off.

And yes, I have seen older children - 7-8 - being brought into woman’s rooms and then peeping or attempting to peep.

I’ve also heard that the stats are far in favor of someone that knows the kid molesting them, and often a family member, than some random guy in a restroom. Boys are molested in seconds?! Puh-lease!

I am so tired of people seeing molestors everywhere. It’s starting to seep into my consciousness, too, and I don’t like it one bit.

So what do you do with your young daughter? Send her to the womens room alone? I always took my daughters into the mens room with me when they were 3 or 4ish - simply because they weren’t totally able to take care of matters themselves in an unfamiliar bathroom. No big deal.

Now of course, I have to wait outside the womens room while my daughters are in there. That’s fun. Haven’t quite had security called on me yet, but lots of dirty looks.

And yeah, if some overprotective mom tried to tell me I couldn’t go into a multi-user mens room because her son is in there, I’d blow right past her.

I personally don’t care if mothers come into the men’s room with their youngster. I think if they did so that they’re being overly cautious and a bit paranoid, but I don’t care. So long as they don’t stand at the front and try to keep me out of there while little bobby is doing his business.

Just tell her that the glory hole is in the stall on the end.

Right, your standard perv is going to hang around the men’s room, which often has more than one person in it, and do he preverted deeds though a kid may scream and though he’s basically trapped in there.
BTW, when my girls were very small, I took them in with me. I’ve never noticed men waving their dicks around at urinals, but maybe I’m going to the wrong men’s rooms.

<cheap shot>Of course all this advice is invalid if a Republican Congressman has been sighted in the area. In that case, run! </cheap shot>

Don’t do it little Jonny ! You’ll put your eye out with that “red rider”

Geez, won’t someone think of the children…and their eyes?!

I hear if you stand in front of that hole and say “Red Rocket” three times, a gigantic throbbing sand worm comes out and rips out your eye. I read it on Creepy Pasta.

You misspelled “Ralphie.”

I have to wonder where these people are getting their statistics on how many children are getting molested and abducted within nanoseconds of being away from mommy. Perhaps the National Center for I Heard It From Someone?

This is why there should be “family rest rooms” in public places. Single full bathrooms with the usual handicapped accoutrements. Or a regular bathroom with multiple wheelchair-sized stalls. This would serve parents with opposite-gender children, people who may need assistance to use the toilet and the usual folks with mobility issues.

My son is 7, and whether I take him into the ladies’ room with me varies with the venue.

In Penn Station? Hell yes! If it’s me that has to go, there’s no way he’s waiting outside alone, and if he has to go, there’s no way he’s going into that mens’ room by himself. And he doesn’t peep, BTW. We go into the wheelchair stall so I can see what he’s doing. Unfortunately he can see what I’m doing as well, but them’s the breaks. He usually turns around and stares at the door.

At Target, no. I just wait outside the door. And of course I don’t yell into the mens’ room or shoot eye-daggers at random men who have to take leak. What am I supposed to do other than wait for him outside the rest room?

You and me both. I was going to advise that boys should be taught never to tap their foot in a public bathroom. :slight_smile:

That’s the one good thing about all the AIDS-infected needles in McDonalds’ ball pits. Keeps the molesters on their toes.