I have a theory: Babies ‘R’ Us does not provide toilette seat covers in their restrooms because a mommy-in-a-hurry doesn’t have time for nit-pickeries. And even if she did, where does she put her baby while she takes out the cover and breaks the center portion from the outer lining that sits on the seat (which by the way requires delicacy and two hands) – hang him/her on the door? Now who would think up a crazy thing like THIS?
But, this post is not about The BabyKeeper and how I plan on purchasing this interesting apparatus as soon as it’s officially on the market. This post is about toilet seat covers and how they are one of my favorite things about living in the U.S.A.
I’m from Venezuela. Venezuela does not have toilette seat covers. Anywhere. In fact, I have a vivid memory, and I hope I do it justice here, of one of my most interesting public bathroom experiences back home. We were on our way from Caracas to Margarita Island (which involved a full-day road trip, plus ferry boat ride). This meant wake up at 3:30 a.m., grab the hard-boiled eggs from the fridge and a pillow, jump in the pre-packed car for a 6-8 hour drive to the ferry boat dock, wait for 2-hours in a long hot line at the ferry dock, then spend another 2 or so hours out at sea. All COMPLETELY worth it. The 6-8 hour drive to the ferry boat dock was usually dependent on how many pee stops we had to make. Between my mom, sister, and myself, my dad had no choice but to stop on the side of the road or at a public restroom every hour so we could “go.” Thank goodness I wasn’t pregnant then, or it would have been twice every hour.
So we stop at a gas station, and the three of us girls (I must have been no older than 7, my sister a tiny little thing, and my mom a few years older than I am now) walk over to the restroom, which is outside. There were so many people trying to enter what looked like four exposed gray-brick walls with tin for a roof, that it felt claustrophobic even from the outside. The floor was completely covered in soaking wet cardboard and I remember thinking to myself – Is it soaked in pee? From the smell I remember, I think the answer was yes. There is a kind attendant dressed in washed out clothes sitting on a chair at the “entrance” to the girls “bathroom” on the left, handing out bright pink toilette paper that she’s pre-rolled and pre-portioned. I again remember thinking to myself – I might need more that one roll, I wonder if I can have two? My mom hands me a portion and tells me not to touch anything, to just go in and hover over the toilette, to not sit or touch the rim, and to come right out. I can’t remember if the stall had a door, since some of them didn’t, but if it did, it certainly didn’t have a lock so this meant holding the door shut with one hand and trying to maneuver with the other, without mom’s help because she was holding onto my little sister. I do remember successfully completing the operation and coming out holding my breath.
Then, I remember dunking my hand in what was a cleaned out half-gallon milk carton that had been cut in half and filled with powdered blue detergent (probably used for clothes not people), and washing my hands with it under running cold water. I exited with a sense of utter relief.
I don’t remember how many more of those “public bathrooms” I encountered in my young life back in Venezuela, but there were A LOT of similar experiences, just not so vivid in my mind as that one. I didn’t know what a toilette seat cover was back then, but I can assure you there were none. Anywhere. So, when I came to California 9-years ago and noticed toilette seat covers EVERYWHERE I went, I was shocked. That would be the first thing I would look for the moment I opened a bathroom door, and was never disappointed. I got so used to them, that when I went back home to visit I would think to myself – wow, how something so simple can make me so happy and so miss the U.S.
But then, then there was Babies ‘R’ Us.
The first time I went to one I searched inside all of the bathroom stalls. I’m not kidding; I went into all of them looking for the darn covers and there were none. Then, I thought I’d go to a different Babies ‘R’ Us to see if their bathrooms would have them, and nope, no covers. I couldn’t believe it! Of all the places I would imagine would need seat covers, it’s a place where children attend at all hours of the day. That’s when I came up with my theory and decided to document:
I really hope there’s a reasonable explanation for this. But until then, my theory still stands: Busy mommies just hover. Am I right?