Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dear Rest Stop Operators,

Is there anything you can do about the smell and appearance of your Women’s Bathrooms? Especially along I-5 in Oregon or thereabouts. On our recent trip I had a humdinger of a time convincing the 3 and 7 year old that it was indeed okay to use the toilets. That the toilets were not going to suck them down or that there were no monsters lurking under the lid waiting to seize my daughters.

The very first time we stopped, Hope eagerly ran into the stall to show mom what a big girl she was by using the bathroom. She then immediately ran out announcing that…

‘That Potty is Evil.’

I of course checked it out and it appeared to be functional although battered and ancient. I saw no signs of it being possessed.

It took 5 minutes of pleading and finally bribing to get her to use the accused thing. The look of terror on her face led me to believe she would be scarred for life. I think she was too nervous to fully do the entire job for which the rest areas were created in the first place.

You might think that my bathrooms are immaculate and she has a high standard. Let me assure you that we do not. She has three older teenage brothers. Nuff said.

Needless to say, about 20 minutes after we resumed our journey. Both Hope and Princess announced that they again needed to use the restroom. So within 10 minutes I again spied another Rest Area) where I could pull over.

The scene of the Evil potty was then again repeated. This scenario happened over and over. Even the restrooms at McDonalds and Wal-mart brought not the full relief which we all were seeking due to the tramatization of the first few experiences.

On a good note – Thank you for providing so many Rest Stops. I realize that the recent downturn in the economy has forced you to make many cutbacks. But really, how hard is it to keep up the appearance of the Ladies Restrooms? Maybe you could spend less money on watering the grounds. If the grass turns brown you won’t need to mow it as often. And it will perk right back up as soon as the rains come back.

Later in our trip we happened upon another Woman’s Bathroom (Not at a Rest Area, by the way), where the stalls were PINK. My daughter instantly thought she was in the bathroom created for a Princess. And she gushed about how heavenly and perfect the accommodations were. And you also might want to contact the person responsible for the Target in Sac, CA’s rest rooms. Whatever they use for air-fresheners there is divine.

My recommendations:

*Pink Stalls

*Replacing the Toilet Seats more than once every decade

*More frequent cleanings

*Have you tried air fresheners?

*Stock your vending machines with princess or rose colored glasses.

There you have it. Now, as a side thought, do you have anything left in your budget that covers the cost of having the car seats cleaned and detailed? You know because kids would rather have accidents than use your facilities. Just Wondering?


The Tired mom who survived a trip that should have taken 12 hours but took a day and a half.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I am an expert on the "good rest stops" and accept NO substitutes. They can be SO grody. And it amazes me how smell can alter my perception of how clean it is.

Trena Doll said...

I avoid public toilets as much as possible. Though, if I'm ever in Paris, I will probably make it a point to check out a Sanisette. Intriguing concept. (Apparently, in London they're called Superloos...which makes me laugh every time.)

princessmama said...


When we were camping my youngest took one look at the wet, dirty floors in the womens restroom (yes, he had to hang out with mom) and nearly walked out again. He decided the handicapped stall on the end was the cleanest and would use no other the whole trip, even though the toilet was nearly as tall as he.

Sara said...

Maybe you're lucky that there were rest areas at all. In VA, they're closing them because of budge cutbacks.

fawndear said...

Sara, You are absolutely right. I was grateful they were there. I noticed several closed along the route and I assume for budgetary reasons.

Rebecca is Thrilled by the Thought said...

Dear Rest Stop Operators,

Please disregard FawnDear's statement about grass, and keep that grass green!!!! Toddlers in diapers don't need to use your awful and possessed toilets, but they do need a place to run around before their parents become awful and possessed!


A mother who recently road tripped through Nevada where there was NO grass at any rest stop.


Tink said...

I have a HUGE phobia of using public restrooms...especially off the freeway. There times I want to puke at the smell or I feel like creepy crawly things are on me. Yuck.

fawndear said...

Dearest Rebecca,

Haven’t you noticed that kids are naturally attracted to dirt. Or maybe it’s just my offspring. They ignore the grass and play in the dirt on a daily basis when given the choice. I do see you point however and will concede to allowing grass at Rest Area’s in Nevada. For there the dirt would be much too hot to play on.
Pleased that you survived your road trip as well.


cking said...

I am a fan of clean and decent restrooms, but I dare say that not every girl would be overjoyed if all women's restrooms were entirely pink. Then again, if they were clean and sanitary, I could probably handle the pink:)