Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Let's Hear it for the Golden Arches

Last Friday I was eyeing the LK Bennett at Royal Exchange Buildings, debating whether or not to ask one of the busy City people or shop assistants for help hauling LLC’s stroller into the shop when it hit me – I really needed to pee! There was no way I was going into that shop; I had to find a bathroom and stat.

Why I invited the inevitable by failing to use the bathroom before leaving lunch with my two friends is beyond me because when I need to go, I need to go! This seems to be an annoying trait that I’ve carried with me from pregnancy. Fortunately many a train journey exercising my kegels has done justice to my pelvic floor and even after birth it’s in pretty good shape. Still, it was only a matter of time until desperation turned to embarrassment.

So there I was, near Bank station, in the heart of the City with many an office and small, grab-your-lunch-and-go sandwich shop in sight but nowhere that I knew of with a bathroom that would accommodate both me and LLC. Even Starbucks and the like in the City are often small, some without handicapped toilets on the ground floor.

I frantically walked off with no clear destination in mind in hopes of finding somewhere/beating off the urge with motion. Then through my haze of desperation, emerged the golden arches of McDonald's. My eyes lit up and pace quickened. I’m not a fast food lover but McDonald's never looked so good, for in that moment I knew they would have the toilet I so urgently needed.

And they did. On the ground floor, big enough to accommodate LLC’s stroller and it was actually even relatively clean (and I’m also not a fan of public bathrooms).

What it generally lacks in nutritious food, McDonald's makes up for in family friendly practicality, particularly for mamas with babies and strollers in tow. I guess many City establishments cater for their primary customers, City professionals, but that doesn’t help moms on the go like me who often venture into the City.

I never even recognised that my local shopping area has toilets big enough for mama and pram. I never paid attention to the fact that baby change stations are often located in the handicapped bathroom at restaurants and coffee shops. Why would I? But now these are vital nuggets that give me much needed comfort when my bladder decides it has had enough.

So now I take stock of where I can find a mom/baby friendly toilets. Spitalfields has some good facilities. Train stations have locked handicapped restrooms that staff let you into upon request.

For those around London, can you direct me to any other central restaurants/etc other than McDonald's where I can run to when I’ve got to? But for today, I must give the good old golden arches credit where credit is due.
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