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. Melody Sheppard on April 2, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Having 2 boys myself and a husband who works for a govt. law enforcement agency and hears horrible stories of what has happened to unattended boys in a public restroom, we have established certain rules.
    1. I know every family restroom or the one person per restroom type facilities in the towns where I shop – we go to these. This means, yes, planned potty breaks. As a friend of my husband says, Never pass up free food or the chance to go to the bathroom.
    2. If having to use ladies facilities, I put the boy in a stall and he must stay there until I say he can come out.
    3. Restaurants – we order; then we go – eliminates cold meals and gives them something to do other than crawling under the table looking for a dropped crayon!
    Really – chances are something will not happen to your unattended boy in the restroom, but things do and have happened. Make sure you are aware of the surroundings and situations to protect them. Now that my oldest is almost 13 and is almost a black belt, I can relax —–a little. I still stand very near the door, watch who is going in and out, and if I hear ANYTHING I will go in!
    sign – crazy mom!

  2. Cindy on April 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I think the boys are old enough to hand them over to Dan! Tell him I said so! Ha!

  3. Angie Hott on April 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Melody,
    Thanks for sharing those helpful tips… your “25 Cents” came with interest and some really great ideas. From one “crazy mom” to the next, I would have no problems opening the men’s room door or even entering. I especially like the black belt notion and will consider this training for Isaac and Levi. :-)
    love, a

  4. Angie Hott on April 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Hey Cindy,
    Dan has much experience with the urinal than I, that’s for sure! :-)
    love, a

  5. Lisa on April 3, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I let my 10 year old go in sometimes, depending on where we are and how busy the place is. I am always just outside the door as if I am about to run a race if he so much as makes a peep. I try to teach my kids to be cautious but not judgmental about people and how they look, but one time Sam was in the Walmart bathroom and a man who was a little rough in appearance walked in. Sam immediately came out, Whew! I said, “Did everything go ok in there?” His reply was a very understanding, “Yeah, it was fine. I guess you saw that dirty guy walk in huh?” Ironically my daughter and her friend are the ones who had a problem in the bathroom. A few years ago they went into a dept. store restroom and a lady accused them of peeking through the bathroom door at her while she was using the toilet. They were devasted! She was quite nasty to them. My mom came to their rescue though and sternly told her they would never do such a thing and that she had no right to talk to children like that. As you can tell, this is still a tough one for me. Public restrooms! UGH!

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