Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Importance of Underpants

This morning as I helped my girls get undressed for swimming class, there was a little girl on the other side of the locker room having a bit of a meltdown. She was all done with her lesson and was getting dressed, but quite upset that she had not packed any undies in her swim bag. She couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 and was not accompanied by her mom, just 2 other girls roughly the same age. I walked over and tried to calm her as I instructed my girls to make one more pass through the bathroom before their lesson. I tried to calm her down and suggested she just dry up and get dressed without undies, but she wailed louder. I asked the other girls with her if there was an adult along. The oldest girl said the crying girl's dad was waiting outside. Go figure!

There was nothing more I could do. I offered to help her get dressed but she was still inconsolable. I left the locker room feeling terrible for the little girl. I scanned the hallway for her father, but he wasn't there. This little girl probably would have been fine on her own during normal circumstances, but this was too much of a deviation from the normal swim class routine. And where was her dad? Come on parents! It's not another parent's responsibility or right to calm, dress or console your child. I was willing to help but she wanted her dad and not some stranger, understandably.

It would have been fine if her dad had come in to help her once things got out of control. By that time the locker room was pretty much cleared out and left were only small children being helped by their moms. Definitely not child porn, no men allowed type of environment.

At the end of class when I went back into the locker room to help dress my girls, she was gone.

9 comments:

Shady Lady said...

That just breaks my heart! I don't understand some parents. I would NEVER leave my daughter alone like that. How horrible! Bravo to you for stepping up and trying to help. You are awesome!

AmyG said...

Poor thing! It's hard for me to understand why parents think it's ok for a child to be alone. Now adays, they have family dressing areas, for this reason. But even so, the father could've asked someone in charge, if he could go in with his daughter.

Out in Them Sticks said...

poor girl! they need more family changing rooms for this very reason. little girls shouldn't be left alone. i can see how men might be a little hesitant to go inside. Still, isn't it like 80% of sexual assault happen in bathroom/locker rooms or something? I don't know the exact statistic... but if I remember correctly, it's way too high.

sheila said...

I was gonna go to bed until I saw your comment on my site with the comment luv "Importance of Underpants." And I had to come and see. lol.

Now I'm sad. That poor little girl. I hope the father understands that this was traumatic and at least feels bad. That's nice though that you tried to help. And I agree, that's totally shitty parenting by the dad. totally

Such Lovely Freckles said...

My child alone in a locker room? NOT going to happen. My oldest daughter in Germany unfortunately had an encounter in the girls' locker room once. She did the only right thing. She screamed from the top of her lungs and ran.

Heather said...

Our sports center doesn't allow kids of the opposite sex into the changing room when they are 5 or older, but they do provide a family changing room. Sometimes I think people have no common sense!

leigh said...

poor kids. Dads just don't think along the same lines as moms. Let's hope underware is still this important to her in 10 years!

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.

Fiona said...

aww, I can see why she'd be so upset though. I've forgotten to put my own undies in my gym bag before and it makes me want to cry too!

Sidhe said...

Definitely a trauma in a young girl's life. I teach swimming lessons and I'm constantly amazed by the parents that just drop their kids off, not the parents of the teens (I can dig that) but the parents of 3-5 year-olds...

Family changing rooms & bathrooms are the best thing since sliced bread. They built a new library down in Kenosha (on the south side) with a family bathroom and I'll tell you my comfort level went up a billion %. I still cannot relax if my 7-year-old son is in a public bathroom by himself, he probably thinks I'm weird for constantly reminding him to scream his head off like Freckle's daughter (I can relate a bit, I swam on a swim team in Germany and spent quality time in a large number of locker rooms there, not that I'd consider Germany more dangerous than the US at all...).

Okay, Aliceson, the verification words are totally out of control tonight...huphoo???