On Thursday, I took my three girls and my friend J's daughter, M, who'd stayed overnight with us on a holiday sleepover, to a local park next to a lake. The kids played hide and seek, swung on swings, ran up and down hills, and watched people fishing the lake with great interest. We had a picnic lunch on the grass in the shade, and all was well.
After lunch we decided to walk a little along the lakeside to see if we could spot more water birds. And that's when we found what all four girls unanimously declared to be the highlight of the day:
The Toilet of the Future.
I've seen these kinds of automated public facilities before, but obviously none of the kids had. They all approached the sleek metal door with its flashing lights and buttons with caution, like a pack of timorous cats.
"What is it?" wondered E, brushing her fingers over the smooth surface.
"Press the button, let's see!" said her sister, and they all poured inside when the door opened, filled with curiosity.
As the door shut behind us, the music started playing, much to the kids' amazement and delight.
"It's like a show, while you wee!" exclaimed one gleefully.
Another had plunked herself down to avail herself of the facility. "Hey, look!" she chorused. "You don't even have to pull the loo paper - it just gives it to you by itself!" She waved the wisp of paper in the air excitedly.
The real amazement was reserved for when they discovered that the toilet flushed automatically when one placed hands under the taps (which also turned on automatically). "That is, like, super clever," breathed one child reverently. "How does it know?"
A, my 8 year old, spoke up, christening the loo: "It's as if we're in a book or a movie! Like in the future! It does everything for you - it's the Toilet of the Future!"
"Toyet of da Future! Toyet of da Future!" chortled C gleefully, jumping up and down.
"It does do everything," agreed E, eyes shining. "I bet the Queen has a toilet like this. I bet the Queen doesn't have to do anything for herself when she goes to the loo."
There was a pause.
"Well, except the actual weeing and pooing part," said A meditatively, shoving her hands under the (automatic) hand dryer.
"Yes, you can't outsource that bit," I put in, and they all giggled.
As we headed back across the lakeside path, the four girls ran ahead, singing, "Toilet-of-the-FUTURE! Toy-toy-toy-let of the FEWWWWWWWW-CHA!" at the top of their lungs.
It was a fun day :-)
4 hours ago