I traveled across the state over the weekend and we stopped at a rest area on the New York State Thruway. What happened next was truly shocking and I wasn't sure how to handle it. There was an older woman who was the bathroom attendant and when we walked in with our ten-year-old son, she started to motion for him to get out. She kept saying to us, "No, no men's room, men's room" while pointing to our son.

Jenn and I both froze and looked at her like she was crazy. We didn't quite know what she was saying at first. We were the only ones in the women's bathroom. We then realized that she was trying to tell us that Ryan, who's almost 10, needed to use the men's bathroom and that he wasn't allowed in the women's room. Jenn looked at the woman and said, "Oh no, he's with me." Then she snapped back a bit louder with a "No, no, he can't be in here." Jenn replied, "He can't go into the men's room alone." At that moment, the woman stood there using the end of her broom to point at the door. Jenn directed Ryan to use a certain stall and the woman gave up.

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Jenn and I picked a stall as did Ryan and we told him to wait for us outside of either of our stalls. When we were all done, while washing our hands, the bathroom attendant told Ryan he couldn't use the paper towels and that he must use the hand dryers. Jenn stepped in once again saying that they are filled with germs and that he will dry his hands with the paper towels.

I don't know why this bothered me so much. Maybe it's because I have a huge fear of Ryan being taken. The rest areas are the places that I fear this the most. So when she challenged us to send Ryan into the men's room alone, we went into full "mama bear" protection mode.  What would you have done in this situation?

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