The kiddos and I went to the public pool & fitness center yesterday (part of our regular routine). When we arrived, all the 'family changing rooms' were occupied and there were 3 families already waiting in line. As we were simply going to change out of our street clothes and into our swimwear [a quick 5 minutes or so - we're not up to triathlon transitions just yet], I opted to use the women's changing room rather than wait and have to hassle with potential issues of my son running off, getting into other people things, etc. He is just 2 so you can imagine how he likes to wait. Besides, we were planning to meet a friend and her boys for a playdate and we were running a little late as it was.
When I entered the locker room, there were two elderly ladies just near the door who were engaged in a conversation. One says to the other, "I just don't see why they can't use the family changing rooms?" We had just walked in, so I knew they couldn't have been talking about us but I chose to interject anyway - we were right next to them on the bench so it was impossible to pretend I didn't hear. "All of the family rooms are occupied and there is a long line."
Other than glance in my direction, neither woman responded to me. So the kiddos and I proceeded about our business. Their conversation continues... one says to the other, "Well I wouldn't think they'd want their boy to see other women nude." I choose to interject again - "My guy is only two. He is too young to really even know there is a difference." The woman who made the comment walks to the mirror (behind me). The other woman peeks around the divider on the bench and says, "I've had 3 children and I'm not concerned. I think it is healthier now how children are raised. When I was little, I never saw my parents naked and that created issues for me later. I think it's good that the younger generation is more open."
The other woman pipes up again and says, "Well I didn't have children and I am just not comfortable with children seeing me naked." I chose to keep my mouth shut again - perhaps I should never have spoken in the first place. I start to talk with the kiddos about 'nothing' just to distract myself. A few moments later, DD starts to sing softly (I don't recall her words - I think it was mostly humming) while DS is beginning to follow suit. Neither of them are being very loud... acceptable indoor voices... when this lady speaks up again, "Can you please just be quiet? This old lady would just like some peace."
Again, she is behind me. I don't see who she is talking to directly. However, I can only assume that she is referring to us... I hurry the kids along and try to get them to shush. DD doesn't understand... I ignore her questioning and I explain to her when we get outside the locker room and walk to the pool.
This interaction really bugged me. I don't know why I always back away from confrontration not knowing how to react, what to say. Later... the scenario plays back through my head and I can think of all kinds of responses. I'm kicking myself. Wishing I had said something else to stand up for myself and other parents.
This is a public facility!! If she wanted privacy, go to the Athletic Club or.... wait in line and use the family changing room yourself ! There is no regulation that requires families or small children to NOT use the women's (or men's) changing room. Besides, it is not like I brought in a teenage boy to oogle her? Both of the kids were well mannered. They did as I asked them and used indoor voices. This is a multi-generational facility supported by my tax dollars. If you don't like it... pay the premium to go elsewhere.
Am I wrong?