25 Cents

At what age do you feel your sons are old enough to go to the men’s restroom alone?  My boys are 7 and 8 years old and let me tell you this:  I am holding my breath for the day when I can comfortably send my sons off to potty without dragging them with me to the ladies’ restroom!  Are you?  I’m looking for your 25 cents of advice here, so help me out.

Frequently, I will avoid going out just to miss yet another trip to a public restroom with my boys.  It never fails that the minute a meal arrives at a restaurant, I am traipsing off to the potty with either Levi or Isaac.  I haven’t had a hot meal in years!  Talk about spoiling a time out…I not only didn’t have to cook supper but I also don’t get to eat it hot either.

It’s just that once that door closes, a mom just never knows what creepy things lie beyond.  Are the floors dirty?  Did they wipe the seat before using the toilet?  Wonder what new words could be written on the walls of the men’s room that I will have to explain upon their return.  Sometimes, it’s just easier to keep them with me.  Am I crazy, or what?

So, off we go to yet another Women’s Restroom.  And, sometimes, we find a few surprises there as well.  Recently, on a trip to the Martinsburg Mall, both boys felt Mother Nature calling so we rushed the nearest restroom.  It happened to be J.C. Penny’s.

Located near the hair saloon, it seemed to me that this potty adventure should be uneventful.  Thankfully.  For a change!

Wrong!  On our trip down the hall to the bathroom, I noticed that the floor was unusually clean; to the point that it was still completely soaked.  Sure, I, for one, was grateful for the cleanliness of J. C. Penny’s facilities; especially when we discovered that the entire floor inside the Ladies’ Room was also soaked.

Much to my alarm and warning, it didn’t do an ounce of good to warn the boys of the wet floor!  Why is it that a little man seems to care less about where their undies and pants land?  The second I warned them to make sure that their clothing didn’t touch the floor (wet or not!), there they go, both sets of boys boxers were on the floor AND they were standing on them.  It.just.never.fails!

Now, as we approach the sink to wash hands, enter three more females about to use the necessities.  Since it was my turn, I instructed the boys to wait quietly by my stall.  Of course, the usual chatter and snickers about bathroom conversation erupts.  “Shhhh boys!”  (Again, I am wondering why sound travels so loudly in the restroom.  Another topic to keep me up at night.)  Then, suddenly, I hear Levi explode with what I was sure could be heard all the way out in the J.C. Penny’s Hair Saloon, “WHAT!  25 CENTS?!”

Oh great.  Now, what tragedy has Levi upset.  I sure hope he didn’t pick up a quarter off this stinkin’ wet floor!

“THAT’s crazy!  25 cents!  Isaac.  Can.you.believe.it?!”  yells Levi.  For a first grader, he sure is expressive.  At least he didn’t swear.  “Levi, hang on.”  “MOM!  What ‘da?!”  (He says this all.the.time.  I can’t stand it!)

As I emerge from the stall, Levi and Isaac are standing next to a stainless steel box near the sinks waiting for mom.  Levi sees me immediately and exclaims:

“Mom!  Mom!  25 cents?!  For a NAPKIN!?  That’s ridiculous!  Who would pay 25 cents for a napkin?  How stupid… napkins are free and,… like everywhere!  25 cents?  Gheez!”

I hear giggles from the stalls.

“WAIT!”  By now, I am trying to quickly wash my hands and escape.  “What’s this, Mom?  Can I have a quarter.  It says here 25 cents, again, it’s 25 cents.”  (Like the biggest bargain in town!)

“Come on Levi.  Let’s go find Daddy,” I am almost to the door.  “But Mom!  Hummm… 25 cents, Can I get one mom?  It’s just 25 cents, Mom, for a, wait, for a… (as he reads the sign that just happens to be at the height of a seven year old)…  tam poon.”

“Mom?  What’s a tam poon anyway?”

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

Laughing, I think the woman in the second stall fell off the toilet.

Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved


  1. Angie Hott on April 3, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Hi Lisa,
    You’re right. UGH! Sometimes, it’s easier to stay home! But that can never happen. Seems like my family provides the extra bathroom entertainment. That’s crazy about a stranger accusing your girls. How terrible! Horray for Grandma though.
    It is still a tough one for me too. Hang in there!
    love, a

  2. dan on April 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Angie–my sister-in-law wrote a very dear children’s book about a boy who cries over everything. It is aptly named The Boy Who Cried Over Everything by Betsy Childs. I also illustrated it. We would love to send you a complimentary copy for your review. And if you think its worth recommending–that would be a bonus. let me know….

  3. Angie Hott on April 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Hi Dan!
    Thanks so much for commenting and yes! I would love to read your book! Ours is a house full of readers and even criers… I look forward to sharing it with my children too.
    love, a

  4. Laura @ Cornerstones for Parents on April 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    My son is 9 – I allow him to go by himself. I stand outside the door and I will shout in if he seems to be taking longer than I would like. He does not use public urinals – EVER. Always a stall. He is extremely responsible and aware of his surroundings. We talk all the time about safety (eye contact and talking to strangers, etc) and his personal space/boundaries. I feel comfortable doing so because of what I know of him. This is one of those areas that parents need to make a prayerful judgment call based on the situation AND the child. And honestly, we don’t even go shopping that much anyway. Why fight the crowds when you can shop online! Blessings . . .

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