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by Abigail Van Buren

Changing Tables In Men's Rooms, Too, Please

DEAR ABBY: I just finished reading the letter from "Cafe Crazy" (Jan. 4), about the woman changing the baby on the restaurant's table. You advised that she should have taken the baby to the ladies' room to change it on a changing table there, and if there wasn't one, there should be.

I am a stay-at-home father and many times have had to resort to an awkward changing table alternative to accomplish the task (though never a restaurant table) as there are very few changing tables in men's rooms. In these dynamic, diverse and changing economic times, the ability to stay home and raise my children has been awesome, and I would do it over again in a heartbeat. It has been hard, however, because society still assumes that raising children is a woman's job. Not only should there have been a changing table in the ladies' room, but also one in the men's room.

Abby, please help us proud papas to raise our children with the same facilities allowed the mommas of the world! -- GRANT IN SUNNYVALE, CALIF.

DEAR GRANT: I apologize, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to not only help fathers everywhere to raise their children, but also to raise consciousness where it is needed.

Since the letter from "Cafe Crazy" was printed, I have heard from parents of both sexes, as far away as Denmark. Although some men's restrooms are equipped with changing tables, not all are -- and they should be. Another solution is a "family" restroom; however, many establishments have neither the money nor the room to install a third one.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics | Health & Safety