Why 'Have you been?' isn't the only toilet-related question we should be asking

Continuing her series tackling socially unacceptable questions, Christine Manby says when so many are still struggling to access public facilities, it’s a conversation we should all be privy to

Wednesday 02 January 2019 11:02
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Councils around the UK would rather save millions of pennies than have us spend one
Councils around the UK would rather save millions of pennies than have us spend one
L

ooking after children involves the answering and asking of many questions. Anyone who has ever spent time with a three-year-old has answered the question “why?” to the point of “because I said so”. They have also almost certainly in turn had to ask that old classic: “Have you been?”

As in, “Have you been to the toilet?”, ordinarily asked at screeching pitch just as you’re about to head out the door to catch a bus, train, boat or plane with moments to spare. Something I wish I’d known, before I agreed to babysit my nephews when they were small, is that if you ask this question of an under-five that you’ve just wrestled into an anorak, you shouldn’t expect a truthful answer. If they say “yes”, then you will still be looking for a public convenience within three minutes of leaving the house. Nothing brings the need for good, clean public loos into focus like hearing a thin, high voice announce: “I need a wee wee now.”

“What? Right now?”

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