Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

My dearest restaurant, gas station and store owners,

I am writing to address a very necessary problem with your public bathrooms. I am the mom of twin boys and a four-year-old. The twins are potty-training.

I don’t know if you have ever had to squeeze four people in to a one-person bathroom stall, but I am here to tell you that it is not easy, much less fun.

The problem with your public bathrooms, dear owner, is that, despite all efforts, they are not child friendly nor are they clean.

And this, my dear owner, is why:

My three small children and I enter the public restroom. Most public restrooms have the toilets lined on one side of the room and a hallway to enter each stall opposite. I have to shepherd all of my little boys down this long, narrow space, to the very end, where the biggest stall—the handicapped stall—is. I pray the handicapped stall is open when we get there. (I have long since abandoned all feelings of guilt for occupying this stall.) Along the way, my small boys are peeking under every stall, at each occupant’s feet. “Hi!” they wave enthusiastically.

“Get up,” I whisper.

“Keep going,” I hiss.

“That is so rude! We don’t peek at people when they are peeing!” I direct.

We finally arrive at the coveted big stall, and I rope all three little guys in.

This is normally chaotic, as there are fights and complaints over who is going in first, who gets to use the toilet first, etc. Usually one of the twins throws himself on the (ugh! sticky, urine covered!) floor, refusing to go any further, because he has just been outwitted by his older brother. We step over him and continue to move in. We leave the door wide open. There is no room for all of us if we shut it.

Often, if the handicapped stall is smaller than most, we can’t fit at all, even with the door open. This is when my preschooler will opt to pee in the stall next to me. Again, with the door wide open. Why not? He has nothing to be shy about. And I’m too busy to care.

Once I get the twins in to the stall, the shoes and pants have to come off. They are potty-training. Little boys cannot be encumbered by all these clothing articles while they are concentrating on where to shoot their urine stream. Hmm . . . where to put the shoes and pants so that they remain clean?

Oh, and, my dear owner, have you ever had a small child naked on a public bathroom floor?

It goes something like this:

“Don’t touch the potty Brent! It’s dirty!”

“Alex, get up off the floor! You are sitting in pee!”

“Brent, we have to get your shoes on again before you flush the potty—the floor is covered in pee!”

“Alex, pick up your blankie . . . you are dragging it through the pee!”

“Oh good Lord ALEX! You just dropped your sippy cup in that puddle of urine!”

“Brent, puh-lease! We have to get your shoes on first! I know you want to flush the potty, but do you see all that pee on the floor? You will get your socks all wet!”

“Alex! You just sat in the pee again!”

“Richie, back out of the stall please! You are freaking Brent out! He thinks you want to flush his potty!”

“Brent, get your hands off the potty!”

“Richie! Back up!”

“Okay, Alex, it’s your turn . . . ”

And so it goes.

Until, finally, “Richie, can you shut the door? Mommy has to go potty, too.”

“Poop or pee?” inquires little Richie.

“Pee, Richie.” Mommy answers. Because let’s face it, even if mommy does have to poop, she’s not announcing that to the whole bathroom audience.

And then, “No, Alex! Leave the door closed! Mommy has to go potty!”

This is usually where Brent starts crying and demands, “Mommy hold me!” So up on to Mommy’s lap he goes, while she pees.

And then Mommy yells, “No, Alex! Stay in here! You can’t crawl out under the door! Someone might take you!”

So Alex gets up. Then Richie yells, “Shut the door Alex! Mommy doesn’t want everyone to see her butt!”

True, true.

When my business is done, the three boys fight over who gets to flush my business down the toilet. I usher them out of that stall as fast as I can. “Here, Alex, let Mommy hold you. I don’t want you to drag your blankie through the pee again!”

“Sorry, Brent Baby, I have to hold Alex.”

I shepherd them down the long walk again, to the sinks. We HAVE to wash our hands after all of that. Only . . . the sinks are amazingly high. With no place to perch a small child. I awkwardly pick one up, prop him up on my raised knee, and lean him over the sink. His gut or thighs—I can’t tell which—get crushed in to the edge of the sink and he complains. No matter. I force him forward further, to “catch” the soap at the back of the sink. After a few tries, he catches it. We wash his hands the best we can.

The other two are jumping up and down, antsy for their turn.

“Boys, get away from the door! Someone is going to open it and hit you!”

One of the twins is crying in frustration because he wants so badly to be next.

And then we have to dry hands. Only . . . there are no paper towels. Only a blower.

Dear sweet public restroom owner, have you ever tried to put tiny little two-year-old hands under those high-powered blow driers?

It totally freaks them out! Your skin all but separates from your hands, and they are supposed to willingly subject themselves to that?

After a few fearful mal-attempts, we give up and shake our hands the best we can. This doesn’t work. I show the twins how to wipe their hands on my pants instead. Because no one, dear owner, provides paper towels anymore. They are, apparently, unsanitary.

With still wet hands, we . . . err . . . graciously exit the restroom. My preschooler literally whoops with joy and runs down whatever hall led us to the bathroom in the first place. Once we reach our destination, I become aware that every eye is on us.

We must have been extremely loud.

So you see, dear public restroom owners, your bathrooms have seriously malfunctioned.

They are neither clean nor family-friendly.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could address the above-mentioned concerns in your restrooms.

Thank you,
Shannon Lambert

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Shannon Lambert

Shannon Lambert lives with her husband and six boys (Yes, SIX!)  in Northern Minnesota. Her days are an interesting combination of chaos and fun (with a touch of occasional sheer panic!).  When she's not busy laughing AT her boys you can find her writing ABOUT them at www.makingmommas.com.

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s www.herviewfromhome.com

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How to Stay Married For (at Least) 10 Years

In: Humor, Relationships
How to Stay Married For (at Least) 10 years www.herviewfromhome.com

In July, my husband and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary. We got married back in 2008 following my college graduation. I was only 22 at the time and him? Well, he was all good-looking at the prime age of 30. There were may vocal skeptics who chimed in, unasked of course, to share with us their belief that we would “never last” and that it would “never work”. To them, I say, “You were wrong! Na-na, na-na, boo-boo!” Just kidding, of course; I don’t talk like that. I am a respectable mother, not a four-year-old child and thank goodness...

Keep Reading

How to Put Your Children to Bed in 46 Easy Steps

In: Humor, Kids
How to Put Your Children to Bed in 46 Easy Steps www.herviewfromhome.com

It was time. It had to happen. We’d had a good run at pouring our children into bed at 11:30 p.m., sweaty, sticky, and exhausted from their head to their toes.  But bedtime had to get back to its (somewhat) regularly scheduled program.  When we had one kid, bedtime was a breeze.  Each night, we had a 10 step process. And the steps were simple. And very, very routine. 1. Toys away at 7:10 p.m. 2. Up the stairs at 7:15 p.m. 3. Change into pajamas 4. Brush teeth 5. Read two books 6. Say prayers 7. Light off 8....

Keep Reading

Welcome to the Dreaded Man Cold Season

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to the Dreaded Man Cold Season www.herviewfromhome.com

Your husband has a mere headache, but he automatically now believes that he is going to be a chronic sufferer of cluster migraines. Or, maybe he got a small splinter, but he now believes that he is, without probability, going to end up with a staph infection. And, well, that cough of his (cough, cough) is going to have him laid up in bed for the next two days because he is just feeling so terrible. Sound familiar? It is all too familiar to me. What am I talking about? How men are babies when they get sick. Yes, I said it. I...

Keep Reading

Wanted: Imperfect Friends

In: Humor, Relationships
Wanted: Imperfect Friends www.herviewfromhome.com

Is anyone else as sick of the facade as I am?  Because on social media, everyone seems to have their crap together. But I sure don’t.  Scrolling through my feeds leaves me feeling inadequate and lonely, desperately lonely.  I know social media is only the high points. I know there is always more going on behind the scenes that I don’t know about. But at the end of the day, I just feel like there’s no one who would want to be friends with little, imperfect, insignificant, me.  So, I’m placing an ad.  Wanted: Imperfect Friends A kind, but quirky,...

Keep Reading

51 Reasons a Mom Might Be Late

In: Humor, Motherhood
51 Reasons a Mom Might Be Late www.herviewfromhome.com

I’ve got a question for all you moms out there: Have you ever been late? Yeah, me neither. Just kidding! We’ve all been there. We have an appointment, a meeting, an event, or just a playdate, and we want to be on time. In fact, it often looks and feels like we’re going to be on time. We’ve planned ahead. We have everything in order, and we are ready to head out the door. But then, without fail, the inevitable happens. Actually, it seems that a good number of inevitables happen. And we’re running late, again. Being on time is...

Keep Reading

5 Ways Boy Moms Always Ruin Our Fun

In: Humor, Kids
5 Ways Boy Moms Always Ruin Our Fun www.herviewfromhome.com

We know Mom loves us, don’t worry about that . . . but sometimes it seems like she’s just making up a whole pile of rules to ruin our fun. For instance, we’ll be in the middle of a huge independent project and she’ll come along, usually shriek, and be like, “You can’t use water guns to fill up the bathtub! And why are you shooting water into the toilet? Ewwwwww.” And just like that, we have to pack it all up and return to a clean orderly activity. A controlled activity. A zero fun activity. We’re not even sure...

Keep Reading

Should Grandparents Get Paid to Babysit?

In: Humor, Journal
Should Grandparents Get Paid to Babysit? www.herviewfromhome.com

While swaying in side-by-side hammocks, my daughter paid me the ultimate compliment: “It gives me enormous peace of mind while I’m working, to know you’re watching my son and that he’s in the most capable hands.” Then 10 seconds later while I was still orbiting in happy mode, she insulted me by offering to PAY me for this glorious privilege. We engaged in a little tit for tat tug of war with no clear winner. And the debate rages on, at least in our household. How about yours? To pay or not to pay the loving grandparents who bless us...

Keep Reading

Kids Today Will Never Know the Joy of a 90s Summer

In: Humor

So you want a good old fashioned 90s summer, huh? I don’t blame you. The 90s rocked! (Literally, thanks to Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.) I’m not going to lie—I take slight offense to the use of “old fashioned” and “90s” in the same sentence, as I’m pretty sure the 90s were like 10 years ago, but I’ll still help you out. If you’re really doing this though, you’ll need to ditch some of your modern conveniences, like your phone. I know, I know, but it’s a requirement. You may bring a beeper or clunky flip-phone, but no internet allowed...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is Not An Uber

In: Humor, Kids
Dear Kids, This Is Not An Uber www.herviewfromhome.com

Paid automotive transportation is pretty simple. You hop in the backseat of a cab, share the address where you are going and aren’t required to speak any longer until you arrive at your destination and pay the driver. The same primary rules apply to taking an Uber or Lyft.  The unwritten rules have been in place for some time. Your trade-off for taking paid transportation is a ride in the backseat, where you don’t have control over the music, the temperature of the car, the route the driver takes or how fast the trip takes, not even the amount of...

Keep Reading