As a parent of a 3-year-old boy, I have been nagged over and over again by the lack of changing tables in most of New York City’s restaurant bathrooms. It is really a pest. This city is not a child-friendly place, but there is something called “customer convenience” that restaurants may want to keep in mind to attract parents to their venues.
In the last three years I have encountered many awkward situations in restaurants, but these are what I call “The Five Most Ridiculous Scenarios”:
1. No changing table is the Men’s Room: what is a single dad or “daddy out with baby and the boys” supposed to do?
2. The advent of kid-friendly restaurants without changing tables: many Burger King and Pizza Hut restaurants market play areas and kid meals but provide no changing tables in their restrooms.
3. Apple Stores without changing tables: Steve Jobs declared that they had not had many requests for them, and then went on to add that they collect a “pungent odor.”
4. An innovative restaurant in Greenwich Village serves gourmet baby food but only has THREE high chairs and NO changing tables.
5. A restaurant in the East Village that has a toilet at the top of three steps without a seat cover: How is a parent supposed to implement “guerrilla parenting” techniques like changing the baby on top of a closed toilet seat when not even that is provided?
…and then people complain about parents changing baby diapers in public. Sometimes the circumstances leave you with no other choice!