All small children go through a stage where they must visit every restroom at every location visited during the day. This can be at the grocery store, the library, the gas station, the restaurant and sometimes even at a park. This doesn’t mean that the child actually has to go to the bathroom, it only means he or she wishes to visit the restroom. It is obviously something built into the psyche of every small child — since he or she will no longer be able to leave a soiled diaper in various locations, something else must be left instead. It’s like a dog or cat marking its territory — only in this case, it’s a child and no stain is left behind.
My favorite part of The Great American Bathroom Tour is when a little boy sees his first urinal! And of course, he has to be told NOT to pick up the urinal cake to see what it is! What a cool thing this must be for little boys — to know that they can pee standing up and not worry about having to put the lid down afterwards! Plus, there is little chance that they will miss the target — after all, there is that large ‘cake’ sitting there as a target!
Now add the wonders of electric hand dryers, faucets that turn on automatically, toilets that flush without having to push a handle — and you have a veritable amusement park for the newly potty trained! No wonder they want to visit every single bathroom within their new realm – and there is the added benefit of being able to get out of that car seat and make Mom or Dad run like the wild, crazy people to the nearest bathroom!
The Great American Bathroom Tour isn’t only for small children — we do get to repeat it when we become old! Only at this time in our lives it is no longer for the joy of seeing how everything works — it is now out of necessity and it is no longer any fun! Maybe we should adopt a child’s attitude towards this part of growing old — make it into an adventure and see if we can irritate our children as much as they irritated us with the same statement — “But, I REALLY have to go this time!”