My sons are bathroom tourists.
Anytime we go to a restaurant - and we go to a lot of restaurants - both boys find some excuse to visit the bathroom.
This would be less irritating if I had no plan to, say, eat at these restaurants. Unfortunately, I usually wait until I'm hungry to visit a restaurant and eating is pretty much the foremost thing on my mind. I might even go alone, but society pretty much demands that I feed my family, too.
Instead, like most parents of young children, I spend only 25% of my time at restaurants actually eating. Another 50% is spent repeatedly visiting the bathroom. The final 25% is spent yelling.
"No. You cannot go to the bathroom. I don't care if your bladder swells to twice its usual size and then explodes; you are not going to the bathroom again."
And then I usually take them to the bathroom again because I see fellow diners are dialing 911.
I know why my sons like going to the bathroom. It's those frickin' paper towel dispensers with the laser-activated mechanisms. My kids enjoy washing their hands and then waving them like a wand under the dispensers until the box magically rolls out a sheet of gritty paper.
I get that. I really do. I myself frequent exactly one movie theater in Florida and I do it for one reason only - the theater has the new Dyson Air Blade machines that actually squeegee your hands with air. Sometimes, I lose complete interest in the movie and spend most of my time in the bathroom. Sometimes, I'm forced to stand in a line of like-minded guys, each one tearing himself away from the Dyson with an embarrassed laugh.
I swear to you right now that I will have one of those Dyson Air Blades in my home - right next to the immensely practical urinal I'm planning to install.
Occasionally, I don't mind the frequent trips with my kids to the bathroom. My favorite trip so far was to an older diner attached to a drug store. We visited the bathroom, and after the boys finished their business, 5 year-old Julian walked expectantly to the paper towel dispenser and waved his hand under it.
When nothing happened, he waved his hand again. Still nothing. 9 year-old Gabriel took a swipe, apparently under the impression that Julian had waved his hand incorrectly.
I reached over and pulled down on the black old-style lever on the side of the brushed metal dispenser. One sheet advanced and my sons' mouths fell open.
They liked even better than the lasers.