“But Mom, we can’t stop at the Ladies’ Room now; we’ll be late for the train.”
“No, Jasper. We have twenty minutes before we have to get to the platform. There’s enough time for grandma, your sister and I to make a short stop first.”
“But Mom, I can’t go into the Ladies Room!”
“Of course you can. You’re with us,” she said impatiently.
“Mom, this is so embarrassing. I’m not a little kid; I’m eight years old. I can’t go into a Ladies’ room.”
“Jasper, you’re trying my patience. If your dad were here you’d go into the Men’s room with him. But he’s not here so you’ll have to come with us.”
Now the boy was crying. “You don’t understand. I would die if one of my friends saw me going into the Ladies’ room. It’s not fair.”
“Jasper, if I hear another word from you I’ll smack you. I didn’t have to drag myself into New York to take you kids to a Broadway show. You’d better stop complaining.”
“I don’t even want to go to the stupid show.”
The line to the Ladies’ room moved quickly and it was time for the party of mother, grandmother, son and daughter to claim a stall.
“I’m not going in there with you!”
“Then stand right there, where I could see your feet from under the door,” said mother. “Right there!”she screeched.
So I wondered. The mother had a point. She could not in good conscience, allow an eight year old boy go unaccompanied into the huge men’s room of New York City’s Pennsylvania Station’s restroom. But was there a better way of handling the situation to avoid the ugly scene her family was creating in the equally huge Ladies’ room of same train station?
On one hand she didn’t want to frighten the child by telling him about the perverts that can hang around large, anonymous venues, or how a young child could easily fall prey to sick minds. On the other hand the child had to obey his mother’s guidance in certain situations.
I welcome you, my smart blogging friends, to intervene in this situation. What would be a better way to handle this problem?