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Updated: Aug 22, 2022

When someone decides to eat out, they usually consider the ambience, food ratings, staff behaviour, and other similar things of the restaurant before heading out.

In my case, I have to check things about the toilet.

Is it good? is it clean?

It is not an exaggeration to say that since becoming a mother, I have seen the washrooms of practically every restaurant I have been to.

Now you may wonder why that is the case.

Well, my son, who is now 4 yo has to use a loo whenever we head out.

I have tried everything. Using the loo before heading out, keeping an eye on his water, and food intake when we have a plan of going to a restaurant. But nothing works.

When we were travelling to Dubai, I vividly recall using the lavatory four times.

Toilets on planes are the tiniest of cubicles.

Not only is there barely enough room to turn around, but the ceiling is slanted, making it impossible for me to stand up straight.

Furthermore, my kid does not want to simply finish the task and get out of that lavatory. He wants to EXPLORE things. Imagine me in that tiny cubicle with him cleaning him up when he keeps putting his hand in the ashtray!

Earlier, I used to avoid going to public toilets like anything but after becoming a mother it has become an indispensable part of every outing.

Two weeks ago, we went out for dinner. The Government authorities lifted up some of the restrictions as there was a drop in the Covid-19 cases in our city.

We were going out as a family after almost 3 months.

I was really looking forward to getting out after such a long time and having delicious food with my family. The restaurant was bustling with people of all ages.

We ordered our food. My son had his Pasta and now was becoming restless sitting in the same place. I gave him some toys I usually carry to keep him busy.

Soon our food arrived and we dived in immediately. I was in a dilemma trying to decide whether to eat another naan with the scrumptious butter chicken or have jeera rice with the heavenly dal makhani.

That's when my son declares he wants to use the loo!!

My son's bowel movements have an antagonistic relationship WITH MY MEAL TIMES.

When I'm in the middle of a meal, his intestines get really restless.

Not before the meal, not after it, just when I am halfway through.

The taste of the butter chicken lingered in my mouth as we walked up to the washroom. I was feeling dejected. It was a less-than-ideal way to finish off a lovely outing.

On the other hand, my son was ecstatic to use the restroom. This child was chuckling as if he was in his favourite toy store. After cleaning him up we came outside to wash our hands.

The wash basin had sensor faucets, the ones from which water gushes out as soon as you place your hand under it.

My son was stunned when he saw the water coming out automatically.

He started shouting "Magic, magic, magic"

I'm sure he's used such a faucet before, but our outings have been fewer since the pandemic, so he must have forgotten about it.

The tepid adult in me started explaining to him that it's no magic. I explained to him how the tap worked in minute detail. But all he said, in the end, was "No mom, it's Magic!!

My husband had finished eating by the time we returned to our table, and our son dragged him to the washroom to show some magic.

I was sitting alone at the table, attempting to finish the food on my plate, wondering when I would be able to eat in peace.

I was attempting to focus on my food, but the word MAGIC kept repeating itself in my head.

While thinking about it, I realised how simple it is to amaze kids; even a modest faucet may bring them joy. Why as an adult do I need an expensive, oh-so-perfect meal to make me happy?

And that revelation washed away all my rage and frustration. As I walked out of the restaurant with my newfound wisdom, I couldn't stop grinning when I saw my husband describing how a fountain operates to our son.

It was, without a doubt, the perfect night out.

Of course, we had ice cream on the way home.

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