Last week a woman gained national attention for changing her 16-month-old’s diaper on a dining table at a Chipotle restaurant. She would have used a changing table, you guys, but they didn’t have any and her burrito was getting cold.
While most of us would have made the dreaded trek back to the car to perform the always-awkward baby-in-the-open-trunk diaper change, this mother exercised what she considered to be her right to have her child quite literally sh*t where she and the general public eats.
This isn’t the first time a public diaper disaster made national news. Last August, a Texas woman was booted from a pizzeria for changing her baby’s diaper on a chair in the middle of the restaurant because — you guessed it — no changing table. I’m not saying it’s right, but I am saying at least she used a chair.
If you’re wondering why we haven’t heard stories of dads defusing diaper bombs on bleachers or restaurant tabletops, rest assured, it’s only a matter of time.
California Governor Jerry Brown recently rejected two “potty parity” bills that would have made changing tables as accessible to men as they are to women, according to Reuters. Both bills, which received overwhelming support by the state senate and assembly, would have required public venues to provide equal access to baby changing stations. Makes sense. If it takes two to make a baby, it stands to reason that two should be able to change a baby. But dads don’t change diapers, do they, Gov. Brown?
According to Brown, “At a time when so many have raised concerns about the number of regulations in California, I believe it would be more prudent to leave the matter of diaper changing stations to the private sector.” Mmmkay, how’s that working out for you, dads?
Having raised two diaper-destroying kiddos in the Golden State, I can tell you that the whole no changing table in the men’s bathroom thing is to blame for more than a few mommy meltdowns. As if having a baby permanently attached to my boob wasn’t enough, now diaper changes were my sole responsibility by default? And it wasn’t that my husband didn’t want to handle the dirty work, it was that there was simply no place for him to do it. So either I had to pack-mule my soiled son and all his necessary poop-be-gone accoutrements and wait to use a single changing table in an already too-crowded women’s restroom, or he was forced to make the long walk back to the Honda Civic to showcase our baby’s bits to the prying public. And I’ll be honest; I resented the blatant gender discrimination on behalf of devoted fathers and exhausted mothers everywhere.
What does Gov. Brown suggest fathers do when mom isn’t around? Endanger public health with a tabletop diaper change? Or would he rather fathers ask a stranger lady for assistance? Hey, it happens. Just ask my friend Cate, who graciously agreed to change a stranger man’s daughter in a ladies restroom. Now, Cate’s a nurse and a totally good person, but really? Is this what modern parenting is supposed to look like? Absolutely not.
Modern parenting is men manning up to do what needs doing, and whether Gov. Brown chooses to recognize it or not, that includes changing diapers. Shouldn’t dads have equal access to shovel poop like the rest of us? Sh*t happens; let’s not kid ourselves into thinking only moms can clean it up.
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