Sometimes as parents we have no choice but to take all of our children everywhere we go. This was the case on a weekend camping trip where Peyton had to join myself and a group of girls as we spent a few days in a cabin in the woods. This particular cabin had a single bathroom with multiple stalls, much like you would see in a target store. Separated from that are showers but everything is in one big room. I very, very closely supervised bathroom routines. This means that Peyton did not enter the bathroom when girls were in the bathroom and girls did not enter the bathroom if Peyton was in there. I guarded the door at all times. However, Peyton is 5 and like most 5-year-old’s, when you have to go, you have to go. There was a girl in the bathroom washing her hands and I asked her if Peyton could enter and go to the bathroom in the stall. Her reply was yes as she was about to leave and Peyton really had to go. Peyton quietly went into the stall and I stood guard. He finished and went on to wash his hands. Another girl entered the bathroom and she said she needed to wash her hands. I said okay to this. She however flipped out that Peyton was in the bathroom because he is a boy in the girls bathroom. I showed her the sign on the door which showed that the bathroom is for both girls and boys and reassured her that I was in there so it was okay. It took her a few minutes but she finally acquiesced and allowed Peyton to finish without further issue. This incident however left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. What happens when I am not there to help Peyton regardless of which bathroom he is in. The bathroom quandary is a very real issue to which there does not seem to be a right answer at the moment. And I am not sure why it can not be resolved. I do understand that there seems to be no easy answer, but, I also feel that something has to be done.
There are a lot of people in the world. Some of which have mental health issues as is the case with the little girl in the bathroom. And sometimes, there is no way to reason with a person with mental health issues. At times, their brain only sees one thing and there is no changing that mindset. Signs on doors however, appear to be something that helps individuals understand that yes it is okay for both sexes to use the bathroom at the same time. Things are easy at the moment because is just finishing kindergarten. But, what happens next year when he is in first grade or worse, what happens when he is in fifth grade? In a world where racial slurs and discrimination appear to rampant, how do I make the world a safer and better place for Peyton?