Recently my five year old son told me that "he's a man" now. As a result he will only use the men's restroom when we are out somewhere. Before this declaration of manhood, I would take him into the ladies restroom with me. So now I've become the men's room stalker. I go over the list of do's and dont's...You know the typical things
Flush the toilet
Wash your hands...with soap
If someone comes up to you, run out
While my "man" goes off where my eye can't see, I wait at the men's room door, stalk, so to say. I've had a few men give me funny looks, but many give me that empathic look to acknowledge that I'm the mama bear waiting for my cub. Sometimes I hold the door open with my foot and I've been known to go into an empty men's room to assist my independent man reach the paper towels.
In this new found territory of my son's independence, I've been trying to come to terms that he's becoming more independent and I'm not as "cool" as I used to be. I cried and moped around for a few days missing the little boy that would hold my hand and freely give me kisses in public. Then a ray of sunshine broke through my gray cloud of mopiness when, in the middle of the night, my son woke up to go to the bathroom and called out for momma, "Momma I need your help! It's too dark in here, I'm scared". I smiled, rolled out of bed and accompanied my "man" to our bathroom, realizing that he's still my little boy.