We're at an uncomfortable age with the boys. They're independent. They want to do things on their own, but they're not necessarily old enough for me to feel comfortable with that. They're even starting to get embarrassed to do things with mom (like go to the bus stop). One of those things is the bathroom. I posted a few weeks ago about Ben's new found streak of independence, and this falls right in line with that.
Both boys are now giving me great trouble over going in with me to the women's bathroom. They beg and plead to just go in the men's room by themselves and meet me back outside.
Depending on where we are sometimes I let them do it and other times I drag them kicking and screaming (often literally, in Ben's case) into the women's room.
A couple of weeks ago I was at the Ross Park mall. I was standing just outside the bathrooms arguing with my kids about which bathroom to use. At the same time a father came up to the bathroom with his little girl (who must have been about four) and started having the same argument. I saw him take her in to the men's room and within seconds she ran right back out with him following right behind. As they stood there at an impasse, I looked at him and said "I'll take yours if you watch mine". It seemed a little crazy to ask a stranger to keep an eye out for my kids, but I reasoned that he was also trusting me with his little girl. Two minutes later and everyone was safe and happy.
I felt sorry for that dad. At least when my boys have to go to the ladies room with me, they see nothing and no other women in the restroom give two little boys a second thought. I'm not sure the same can be said for taking a little girl in a men's room, especially one with urinals. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable having my young girl in a men's room.
So for those of you with kids at this age who are demanding the "gender correct" bathroom what do you do? How young do you let your kids go in by themselves?