The volatility of Robert’s urination urge is just plain funny. He’ll be tootling along totally normally, and then his bladder will suddenly declare DEFCON 1. Once the launch sequence has been initiated, he knows he has about 30 seconds to evacuate. Many times, my wife and I have been in the kitchen, preparing dinner or whatever, when Robert has thud-thud-thudded in from the living room, shouting “Pee! Pee! Pee!” and holding his crotch, and scampered past us into the bathroom. And each time, we’ve stood silently and listened for Clank! (Seat goes up.) Zip! (Pants go down.) Whizzzzz!
When we’re not at home, it's a different story.
Whenever the three of us go out to eat, we case the joint, mapping out direct and auxiliary routes to the toilet(s). Because the bladder wants what it wants, and when the boy sounds that sweet little high-pitched cry, there’s no time to think. Instinct takes over; it’s wet or be wet. You take him by the hand and proceed calmly but briskly to the restroom, all the while praying it’s free. And when you gain access, and your son waddles up to the bowl, and the sound of liquid against porcelain caresses your ears like church music, the last thing you’re thinking about—as you decide “When in Rome” and casually unzip your own fly—is whether you locked the door.
This is how I would have explained the situation to the young hipsterette who barged in on us at brunch on Saturday and got herself an eyeful. (Naturally, I also would have tried to console her, because it must have been tough to grow up in a strange, alternate world that disdains knocking on the closed doors of public, unisex bathrooms.) But she fled, like Cinderella at midnight.
Then she reappeared— returning, of all places, to the table next to us. And frankly, it was a little anti-climactic. She grabbed her coat, dropped a bill, and left rather abruptly. For some reason, she avoided eye contact.