Only in Seattle

I’m sitting in the Washington Stye Department of Licensing, waiting to get my WA driver’s license. A random woman just came in and asked if she could use the coffee table next to me to change her baby’s diaper. I said yes but scooted to a farther seat as the rest of the people waiting looked on in confusion.



  1. says

    *shakes head* It’s not like there aren’t probably bathrooms equipped with changing tables there. I never change my son in public like that. If there’s not a bathroom, a blanket draped over the back seat of the car works just fine.

  2. Gus Snarp says

    You gotta do what you gotta do. I’ve changed diapers in all sorts of places. You’d be surprised how many places don’t have changing tables. I personally would be surprised to see one in the DMV. I usually prefer the car over some strange place, but it’s not always a reasonable option, and I’d definitely use the coffee table at the DMV before I used a scuzzy bathroom floor (though I’ve been reduced to that too). Wait. Your DMV has a coffee table? That’s the “only in Seattle” part, right?

  3. Brian says

    No, I think the “only in Seattle” part is that we have a Washington Stye Department of Licensing.

  4. Jacob V says

    I’ll go with inconsiderate and kind of gross unless the diaper was only wet. And I’m thinking most all WA state offices have public rest rooms with changing stations.

  5. says

    Jen just got DADOWNED!

    I wonder if my generation will ever start taking care of our cars without our parent’s pestering us. I certainly haven’t started yet.

  6. Jaki says

    I know you don’t always have a lot of options sometimes, but it’s a “coffee” table – meaning something you put drinks, food, magazines on. People touch it, it’s not an appropriate place to be changing a diaper full of human waste on.

  7. AsqJames says

    Who needs a table anyway? I always found it easier to change my daughter on my lap. On any flat surface the wriggly little tyke would always manage to roll over or otherwise find some way to make a mess. With my legs slightly apart I could keep her in the groove.

  8. sc_36dfdf084205ad592bcdcbdbde691e2a says

    Yeah, not just in Seattle. I’ve seen people do it on restaurant tables.

    I don’t get it. I managed to always find a private place to change both my kids. Between the smell and the sanitation issues – come on, a bathroom floor isn’t ideal, but we are talking about whipping out a diaper full of feces and/or urine after all. If the floor is any dirtier than that, you probably shouldn’t be in that facility in the first place.

  9. Azkyroth says

    Avoid Jiffy Lube. I have yet to see a car come back from one of them without the oil pan bolt rounded off.

    Hell, changing it yourself would probably be affirming and empowering and it’s not that difficult. ^.^

  10. Angela says

    No, that could happen anywhere. The only surprising part is that she asked if it was ok with you.

  11. Eric RoM says

    Second on that: Jiffy Lube is a disaster, and even dangerous sometimes. I have an anecdote to demonstrate, but too much typing….

  12. says

    Unbeleivable. And I thought that only happened in Sweden.
    A table where people are supposed to eat is not a proper place for changing diapers.

  13. Joshua Fisher says

    Lol, people are so damn sensitive. It makes me kind of sad how much society has indoctrinated us to fear biological processes. Yes, poo is kinda gross, but it happens. If that mother cleaned up after herself properly that table was probably more clean after the changing than before.

    Think of all the people who had the decency to do their number 2 in private and then didn’t wash their hands and touched everything on that coffee table. Don’t kid yourselves into thinking that the table was clean before and dirty after.

  14. Tom Singer says

    I once saw a truck fall off a lift at the Firestone by my house, just as I was handing over my keys. I went to the Mobil that day, but I go back to the Firestone now. I figure, what are the odds of that happening twice?

  15. geocatherder says

    It’s not just in Seattle. The geology department at the university that I will soon graduate from (December) in the
    San Francisco Bay Area has a student study room. They also prepare food in there for the weekly Geology Club meetings. One day a chemistry student, who had been occupying the place for awhile, decided to change her baby on the same table where food was being prepared! After all, it wasn’t her food. AAAAGGGGHHHH!

    The following semester we managed to get a cipher lock put on the door. Geology students are issued lock numbers every semester. Nobody wanted it to come down to this, but…

  16. geocatherder says

    Of course, we didn’t install the cypher lock just over the baby incident. We had problems for months with chemistry students locking us out so they could study in quiet.

  17. mario says

    Come on people! Have a heart! The smell of baby poop is nothing compared to loosing your place in the line at the DMV.

  18. lobotomy says

    Well at least you didn’t end up with a baby!

    One day, when getting ready to teach as a grad student, a woman from the lecture hall next door came in with her fussy infant. She left her lecture to keep the baby’s crying from annoying the other hundred students in her class (good call). After junior calmed down she realized that there was still ten minutes of lecture left and she was missing it. Then she looked at her baby and then at me and (I am still freaked out to admit this) I knew exactly what she was going to say:

    “Would you mind looking after my baby while I catch the end of my lecture????”

    I heard myself say, “Of course!” and immediately found myself with a stange woman’s baby.

    I suppose I would like to feel that the collegial atmosphere of a university and my status as an (almost) profesor enabled this woman to so easily give me her child. Then again, fifteen minutes later, as my class was about to begin, I still had a stranger’s infant and the mother was nowhere to be seen. At that point I realized that I may have an abandoned baby on my hands! How was I going to explain that to my wife?

    Fortunately for all involved, the woman reappeared, thanked me profusely, took junior and disappeared. I never saw her again.

    Interestinly, that child could be starting college this fall or next…

  19. Lena says

    When I was in high school, I worked at a Barnes & Noble. One day, a woman came in with a ~4-year old and an infant in a carrier. Without a word, she set the carrier on the floor where I and a few other employees were standing, and walked to the children’s section with the 4 yo. We must have stood there for five minutes, just staring at the baby and each other with WTF? expressions on our faces, before it occurred to us to track this woman down and tell her that we don’t provide babysitting services.

    People are crazy.

  20. jacobfromlost says

    I live in a small town in WA. People used to drop their children off at the library (very small library) all the time, and tacitly expect the librarian to babysit. The problem came to a head when some parents actually told the librarian to monitor the kids so they didn’t get on the internet to surf porn–in fact, they wanted filters put into all the computers to filter out any objectional sites (filters that just so happened to filter out a lot more than porn). The librarian said that it wasn’t her job to monitor all these children–if people didn’t want their children surfing porn, they needed to stay with them in the library and monitor them themselves.

    The response? Some in the community were up in arms (it’s a very conservative town, and the mere mention of porn made brains shrivel up into tiny little nubs). The mayor tried to shut down the library. He said anyone who goes to the library could go to the high school library and check out books if they want (which to me, seemed to say, “No one goes to the library to read books anyway. If the librarian refuses to babysit children, why have a library at all?”).

    Ultimately, the library stayed. But there was an undercurrent of conservative “personal responsibility” (ie, “watch your own damned kids”) that finally overpowered the conservative “anti-porn” hysteria.

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