Restroom Stall / by Susie Lubell

Tonight we took the kids out for dinner to one of these all you can eat salad and extras places. They like going there. It's sort of cheap and no one cares when you spill. Or shout. Halfway through dinner my son turns to tell me he has to go poop. This is a rare occasion. This is a child who does not poop outside of his home. He NEVER poops at school. Or anywhere besides our toilet. So anyway we head over to the ladies' room and one of the toilets is overflowing so we go into the other one. There are only two. And after some minor insecurity about this whole toilet seat cover business (how will the pee get through? the poo poo is not going in the water!) he settles into his usual twenty minute transaction.

Meanwhile women are starting to line up because there's no other toilet and so I mention to my son that if he's done we need to leave quickly so that someone else can use the toilet. He's not done. Another five minutes passes as he's pushing and groaning and now I overhear women saying can we just use the men's room? And I'm starting to want to hurry him because I've been on their side and I know that time in a restroom is relative to which side of the stall you're on but I look down at this little boy hunched over this toilet while his face turns red and his eyeballs bug out during each push and I take a deep breathe (not too deep. It's a public restroom after all) and we wait. And I chuckle to myself having discovered that restroom stall is both a noun and a verb.