Several days ago, when The Visitors were still in town and we were wandering around Philadelphia, Max told me he needed to use the restroom. Actually, he wasn’t so tactful. He said, “I need to go poo!” It was said with a certain amount of urgency, so I left the group at the Liberty Bell and walked across the courtyard to the public restroom with him hopping along beside.
After locking ourselves in the private family restroom (those are my all-caps FAVORITE), Max plopped himself on the pot and within a few seconds it was clear—what he was working on was no ordinary poop.
How do I put this delicately? It was a…….personal struggle, if you will, a test of determination and endurance. We’ve all been there, right?
He was in labor for several minutes. I helped him with breathing exercises. I helped him focus when he wanted to give up. Eventually the hard work paid off with a simple splash in the water below. After taking care of business with the toilet paper, Max hopped off to pull up his pants and I ever-so-helpfully flushed the toilet.
Max flipped around with a look of surprise.
“You flushed it?” he cried.
“Yeah,” I said with a shrug, “sorry. I didn’t know you wanted to flush.”
He peered down the porcelain bowl, deep into the tunnel, hoping to catch a glimpse of what he surely believed to be a ten-pound boulder. Suddenly I understood.
“Did you see it?” he asked.
“Was it BIG? And SPIKEY?”
Make that a ten-pound jagged boulder. The truth was irrelevant at this point. Why not help him develop a strong sense of personal accomplishment?
“Was it big like this?” He made a six-inch measurement with his hands, “Or like THIS?” His arms stretched out at their full span.
I nodded. “It was huge, Max. HUGE.”
“I thought so.”
We washed our hands, put his coat back on, and walked hand-in-hand back to the group as we discussed the benefits of fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber as part of a healthy lifestyle.