Were customers right to complain after these parents let their toddler use a travel potty in the dining room of a restaurant?

We all know how tough potty training can be. Trying to get your toddler to communicate when they need to go. Getting them to the potty in time to avoid yet another accident. And being ready no matter where you are—that might be the hardest part of all. Seriously, any parent who solves that struggle will be a millionaire. But suffice it to say it’s not these parents, whose solution to the challenge of potty training readiness has fiercely divided the internet, and for good reason.

A Nextdoor user in south Kensington, west London wrote on the neighborhood social media site about an incident that happened at Cacciari Asia, a local restaurant.

“We went there for lunch today, and while having our meal, a couple sitting nearby pulled out a potty for their kid to use right in front of other customers,” their post read. The user also implied that the kid did more than go #1, which, ew.

Shouldn’t this kind of be common sense? Like, we empathize with those parents because potty training is a nightmare, but also, the restaurant has a bathroom, and it’s meant to be used for things like this. Plopping your kid on the potty in the same room where strangers are trying to eat is kind of an insane thing to do, no matter how badly potty training has been going for you.

Strangely, the restaurant actually came to the defense of the parents.

“The toddler only urinated into the potty,” they wrote. “The table was at least 3m away. I do think the diner overreacted. The child was about two years old and was with his pregnant mother.”

Listen, whether the kid pooped or not is not the point here. What matter is that 3 meters (or about nine feet) is not far enough away for a kid to politely use the toilet when, and we cannot stress this enough, people unrelated to that kid are trying to eat food in a restaurant.

As the original Nextdoor poster put it, “They were not asked by the waiting staff or restaurant manager to take the kid to the toilet. We found this such a put off as this wasn’t overwhelmingly respectful to fellow diners or a display of respect of hygiene in a public dining space.”

No kidding. If your child needs to do things that should be done in a bathroom, just take them (and their travel potty) to the bathroom. End of story.

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