Tuesday Tips: Singing in the loo — create a sense of safety and security

I think a lot of parents are faced with this conundrum: a public loo, two (or more) children, and no room in the loo for the children, the buggy, and all your belongings! (Or something similar.) Sometimes there is the added details of suitcases/travelling alone/sleeping baby, but whatever the situation, it is one of those real mama moments for sure.

What do you do? Do you ask a stranger in the loo to watch your child? Do you leave the kids in the hallway or outside and do the quickest wee of your life? Or do you just squeeze into the loo with everyone squashed against smelly walls. Both of my children are under 6 years of age, so I know this will not be a concern when they are older… and it isn’t about their obedience — it is about the real, gritty, reality of life.

Of course, part of this is the context. Some public toilets are lovely, spacious, clean places. Most I have found (especially when we were travelling for 6 weeks across many cities and beach towns this summer), are not.

I’m not generally a mega worry-wart about all the very bad, and very real things that can happen to children. But I am totally aware, and I believe, sensibly cautious. So instead of worrying or squashing inside a filthy toilet, we SING!

Yes, we sing — that way if I am in the toilet, Beatrice is directly outside of the loo door, and Joseph is with her, I hear her voice, she entertains herself (and others) while waiting too.  I know that if it is just her talking she might run out of things to say, and that would mean I wouldn’t know if everything was ok or not. A pause in song is unlikely from this child!

Our songs of choice, the Lollipop Song, Doe-a-Deer, These Are a Few of My Favourite Things, or Jolene. An interesting repertoire, I agree, but songs I know she loves and knows the chorus of by heart!

In NYC this Summer, on a very sticky, hot day a woman came out of the toilet while I was washing my hands, smiled at Beatrice, thanked us for her singing, and then said, “I don’t have kids yet, but someday when I do, I am definitely using your singing trick!” It was then that I realised this was a good one to share.

Tell me, do you have any clever solutions for this moment? I would love to know.

ps Other tips for travelling solo as a parent!


Comments (9)

November 27, 2018

I second that lady. Thank you for sharing your heartwarming trick! x

Lara in London
November 27, 2018

Thanks Mary! It is delightful and fun! Enjoy. xx

Esther in Amsterdam
November 27, 2018

I absolutely LOVE this tip!!! So cute and so useful! Thank you!! xx

Lara in London
November 27, 2018

Thanks Esther, with your little tribe singing in unison, it will surely be a bathroom hit!

November 27, 2018

Wow, that ís a really great trick!

Lara in London
November 27, 2018

Thank you Eve, and it is a fun one too! Enjoy!

November 27, 2018

I really love this trick! I am the one who squeezes al children with her in the loo.

November 27, 2018

Yes!!! I figured this out a few years ago too! I needed to take my 2 year old to the beach bathroom & had to lug all our gear & my other child. So he stood by the door & sang. I thought I was a genius. And then I was travelling with my 3 kids under 4 & needed to go so bad between flights. I had them the younger 2 in the stroller with my older one standing next to it with the bags & they sang. Even once I left the door open. Times of need & desperation!!

December 7, 2018

We play a word game. I say an animal, she will say the next and so on. But singing might work better, because my litlle one needs time to think for the next animal – quiet time, that makes me anxious!

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