Talking in the Bathroom: The Difference between Men and Women

It’s dinner time and we are at a restaurant.

As soon as the first bite of food hits my lips, my daughter taps me on the leg and whispers in my ear, “Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom.” The timing of that statement every single night at dinner is beyond coincidence. I smile at her as if to say, “Of course you do honey.”

I push back from the table, grab her little hand, and we walk to the front of the restaurant. As the door opens to the bathroom, we are flooded with sights and sounds that must all be pointed out AND commented on by my very observant child.  There is paper on the floor and a bulb is blinking; the music is loud, it’s freezing in there, and it smells like fruit. “Which door should we go in?” she asks. “How about this one?” I answer. “No, let’s go in the big door” she replies. “Okay, honey, just go in” I said. “No, I want you to go in with me.” I stand inside the stall door as she prepares to sit down.

With her elbows on her knees and her hands on her chin, she begins to carry on a very LOUD conversation, sometimes with me and sometimes with herself, her tiny high-pitched voice bouncing around the room. Someone else enters the room and she says, “who is that Daddy?” I look at her with bulging eyes and quickly shake my head back and forth. “What?” she asks. “Nothing” I whisper.

She doesn’t understand….partly because she is three, and partly because she is a female.  You see ladies, men have a very long and technical list of rules to follow upon entering a bathroom.  I know it doesn’t make sense and it may even seem petty and immature….I didn’t make the rules, I just follow them. My daughter was breaking rule #1: You do not talk! This is followed very closely by the other rules: You don’t look around, you don’t make eye contact, you don’t stand particularly close to anyone else in the bathroom. When you enter the stall, you enter a guarded space, a quiet space; you certainly NEVER carry on a conversation with the person sitting in the stall next to you!

The gentleman enters the stall beside us, and I see my daughter staring at his shoes. I raise my finger in the shhhhh position, but it is too late. “Who is that?” she asks. “I don’t know honey, are you done?” “I like his shoes” she says loudly. “Okay, are you done?” But she is not done, and she won’t be done for another 10 minutes.  Someone else enters the bathroom and pulls on the handle to the door of our stall. Adeline, looks up with her mouth open, I reach out and put my hand over it. She pushes my hand away and yells, “Who’s there?”

I am dying inside.

“Be right out” I said. “I’m going poo poo” she informs him. At that point, having followed my brave daughter into the unknown world of talking in the bathroom, I start to laugh uncontrollably.  “I’m done” she says with a smile. “Oh thank you” I reply.

We wash our hands and head back to the table, exhausted.  As soon as we get back to our seats my Son says, “I have to go to the bathroom too!”.  Before my Wife can even respond I shout, “I’ll take him!”

We walk back up to the bathroom….in silence….the way God made us.

10 thoughts on “Talking in the Bathroom: The Difference between Men and Women

  1. This is SOOOOO my life with Micah right now except in the women’s bathroom! Even in the women’s bathroom, we don’t need to talk that much! Micah also inquires about who is in the next stall or comments about what HE is doing or about how stinky it is in the bathroom. Nice! Love it!

  2. You are right on, my friend. You experienced that uncomfortable realm of bathroom laws, broken right before your eyes. As if someone was watching and listening through a camera, or maybe the guy with the nice shoes would report you to the bathroom manager, And now, EVERYONE knows your deepest, darkest secrets. I think most dads go through this. Which, if it happens more than twice, God sends a messenger to let you know there are new rules for dads. They aren’t defined yet but they exist too. Prepare yourself for the next “changing daddy moment” when they want to know why the man in the elevator smells and has an ear ring!

  3. Oh, Bryan, this is so funny. A little different story, but equally embarrassing, happened to Tommy. He took the girls Christmas shopping for a gift for me when they were 7 and 4. Mary Catherine was playing around inside one of the clothes racks (surprised? I thought not), and in her exuberance the whole rack fell over, clothes cascading to the floor. She began to cry. Loudly. Tommy went over to pick her up and she struggled in his grasp as he lifted her up, saying,” I want my MOMMY!” People were staring at my husband, with his wiggling, screaming daughter. He said, ” She’s my daughter! I promise!”

  4. That is hilarious. My boyfriend has told me several times that there are rules that men follow in the bathroom. I always think he’s silly but now another man has said that there are men bathroom rules! My daughter always talks to me in the bathroom and I am so used to the moment of sitting down that she has to go to the bathroom that I am almost ready to stand up and take her before she even asks me. Great read and thank you for sharing the man rules!

  5. What a fun post. I remember a restaurant moment when my 4 year old went running back from the bathroom telling the whole restaurant how well she’d gone! Even mommies can get embarrassed! Thanks for the smile today.

  6. Adorable. I landed beside you at the Faith Filled Friday blog hop, and have laughed since I began reading. My husband and I have always talked about gender rules, and how whether or not we understand them, they must be followed…My beloved only suffered to take our daughter to the bathroom when i was traveling, so there were few such stories for us, but I always appreciated them more when she told them…
    Blessings to you.

  7. In one trip to the bathroom Reed went from discussing our outing at the mall to how Campbell got in my belly.

  8. I love it!! This is absolutely adorable.  Are you keeping all of these in a journal.  Will you someday publish “Moleskin”.  What the world made you call it Moleskin?  You are so creative.  Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  Kitty

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