Thursday, December 30, 2010

Locker Room NO.

The downside of working the week between Christmas and New Years is that you are working the week between Christmas and New Years, a week generally reserved for lounging and resting and doing jigsaw puzzles and eating.

The upside is that the gym is pretty empty, and you can take a little bit longer over your lunch break because you're the only one in the office and you've received one email so far that day.

So I went to Spin class at lunch, and I was surprised that it was almost full. BUt yay me! That's two Spin classes this week, and last night Gary and I went to the gym and I put in 40 minutes on the elliptical. I can feel the perogies burning off my thighs already.

I walked into the pretty busy locker room and standing in front of me is a 10 year old boy and his mother.

Now, I am going to preface this by saying that I don't have children. I'm sure I don't understand how hard it is to have someone depending on you at all times, and I won't until I'm there myself.

But honestly.

The gym downtown is (as far as I understood...) an adults-only facility. If you have a membership at the downtown club, you can use any of the gyms in that chain across Calgary OR Edmonton.

Your sitter cancelled? Plenty of those clubs have free child care services.

Only one family car? And someone else has it downtown? Plenty of those clubs are accessible by public transit - in fact, one if them is basically beside the c-train station.

Why did you bring your ten year old to the adults only gym? And if you did, fine. But why did you bring your ten year old son into the Women's locker room?

I don't care if your son isn't uncomfortable with this. I am uncomfortable with this. Sure, there are family change rooms at most pools and I expect to see little (like, 3 - 5) boys in the locker rooms when I go to the Y or a public swimming pool. I expect there are little girls in the Men's with their dads, too.

But ten?

Ten is old enough to make me feel uncomfortable about dropping trou in front of your child. Ten is old enough to sit in the lobby by himself and wait for Mom.

Am I out of line? I almost complained to the manager, but I felt that was a bit much. There's not much he could have done, anyway. I almost turned around and left, I was so uncomfortable.

7 comments:

Chicky said...

To shed some light: I am a substitute teacher for my school district once and awhile: Ten year old boys have already starting thinking about THAT kind of stuff. There is no way I would be undressing or showering in front of someone that age, I have heard the comments that can come from their mouths.
So, to sum up, you have total and undeniable agreement. Though I feel empathy for someone who might worry about their child in a lobby, but there needs to be some solution when they are at an older age. (Lobby sounds fine with me, but like you, I have no kids so technically no opinion yet).

Lady Churl said...

While I don't agree with Chicky's broad brushstrokes, painting all ten-year-old boys as lecherous little hooligans, I think there is definitely some poor decision-making on the part of that ten-year-old kid's mama. I have an eleven-year-old son (no potty mouth or lecherous disrespect of women going on here), but I would never, EVER put him in such an awkward/potentially embarrassing situation. As much as you felt awkward, imagine how that poor kid felt! And what is that mama thinking, anyway? If he's not mature enough to wait in the lobby while she changes, is he also going to be tethered to her treadmill while she runs? If you feel the need to squeeze in the exercise, why not go for a walk with the kid, or do a tape at home? Sheesh.

spotlessmind said...

Ew. That is so gross. People with children are vile. I'm kidding, of course, but at times... I'm not. People are so bizarre.

Deb said...

I have children and I agree that is completely inappropriate. I think our pool has a sign up that says children over 5 need to either use the gender appropriate change room or the family change room.

I wouldn't want my son in a womens' change room at the age of 10. Even if the kid looks old for his age, I wouldn't want my son in there at the age of 8.

And yeah, there is no good excuse for bringing a child that age to an adult only location. I don't think you would have been out of line complaining to the manager.

Meg said...

It's a tough call. I mean, I understand not wanting to leave your child unattended in the lobby area - this is a big city!

I told G this and he was aghast. He said that if it was reversed - a 10 year old girl in the men's room - all of those men would be charged with sexual assault. A bit extreme, but still.

I don't know the situation that mother was in, but still. UNCOMFORTABLE!

Rapunzel said...

I'm sorry, this was totally inappropriate! If the mom couldn't find proper child care for her child, she should have foregone her workout that day, for the safety & comfort of her child as well as the fellow gym members. I have three daughters and would *never* have put them in that position just so I could work out!

Anonymous said...

This can obiously be uncomfortable.
I never run into this, but when I was a little girl we went to many places including the park pool with an older male relative and he took us into the mens locker room with him. My mom agreed with this because my mom told him to not let us out of his sight, and I was almost 9 years old. But he kept a huge beach towel over me like a blanket to hide I was a girl so guys would not be embarrassed. The mom in your case should have done that at least.