I would like to personally meet the person who invented the self-flushing toilet and punch them in the face. Little did they know that this contraption that assists those whose arms are too fatigued to push a lever, or to serve the germaphobes from having to touch anything at all in a public restroom, or that shields us from witnessing a right proper toilet spackling from someone who doesn't have the good sense that God gave a goose to flush the evidence; that this gimmick would scar my daughter for life.
She is afraid? Of noise.
It all started innocently enough one harried morning at the airport in spring of '07; a quick trip to the bathroom for a little girl, who'd just somewhat recently graduated from pull-ups, before boarding the plane. She'd been accident free and was ready for a trip across the country. We sauntered into the stall together and she took a seat. She no sooner finished her business and was all set to, um, tidy up - when a deafening WHOOSHING sound came from beneath her. No kidding, it sounded like a jet, it was that loud. Even startled me. And Girl-Child? Came. Un. Glued. She literally shot off the toilet and clung to me like a lemur. Her feet didn't even hit the ground first. It was as if the self-flushing mechanism acted as a catapult; flinging the user like, you're done, I insist.
The rest of that trip was a series of a screaming 3 year old being dragged into various public restrooms in the greater Richmond/DC area. Gooood times. Many of which had their own self-flushing toilets. They were everywhere! I'd never even given them a second thought before this trip. The trip that nearly scared my daughter back into diapers.
To this DAY I try to only take her to places that I know haven't incorporated this particular function into their facilities. And even still, I have to flush once she's left the stall - where she stands by the sink cowering and covering her ears.
It's not just toilets anymore either. She's graduated to other sounds, such as:
- leaf blowers
- water filling a tub
- water draining from a tub
- vacuum cleaners
- street sweepers
- garbage trucks