I am incredibly grateful for the fact that all of my needs and the needs of my family are met – roof over our heads, clothes in our closets, and food on our table. We can pay our bills and while we might not have much left over for material indulgences, I can’t really think of much that I actually want on top of what I already have been given. I don’t take this for granted and I thank the Lord for these realizations every day. But, there is this one thing that I want more than anything else.
I just want to go to the bathroom alone.
I’m not trying to be gross or inappropriate, but being able to sit down and take care of your business by yourself is one of the simplest life pleasures. And it is a simple life pleasure that has eluded me for the past four years.
I have always had bathroom issues. Case in point, my high school class once took a train from Pennsylvania to Florida and back for our senior trip. I had to be drugged with Dramamine so that I could relax enough to use the bathroom on the train. I kept thinking, ‘What if the door jiggles open? What if it didn’t lock? What if someone bursts in to see me?’
Then I became a mother and all of these things happen every single time I try to go to the bathroom.
It started out innocently enough – put the baby in the infant seat right in front of the toilet. They aren’t going to go anywhere and they won’t remember what’s going on. Soon I found myself multitasking in every facet of my life and the bathroom was no exception. Let’s face it, nursing while pooping is weird, but sometimes necessary. I felt weird about it with one kid, then when I added the second kid, I would be nursing, going to the bathroom, and trying to stop the other kid from dumping (pun intended) Q-tips and cotton balls all over the floor.
Once the nursing stopped, I still didn’t find myself with bathroom privacy. Now they will just storm in and verbally ask for things.
“Can I have a snack? Can you get me a snack?”
Ummm. How do you suggest I get you a snack? I am otherwise occupied and pretzels are going to have to wait for a few minutes.
This is when I hear the kitchen chair being dragged across the floor so that my kid can climb up and get the pretzels himself. Heaven forbid we have to exercise any patience in this home.
Even worse, the minute I sit down on the throne the kids begin to fight. Not just little fights, but they start to scream and push each other and come way too close to the edge of the stairs. Pull up your pants and get out there to break up Friday Night Fights, Mama!
The kids don’t seem to realize that they need me for anything or want to be by my side until I feel that nature is calling. They will knock, but despite this polite gesture, they do not heed my instruction to wait outside of the bathroom until I have finished. First I spy little hands reaching under the door. Shortly after that they will just bust down the door and come in to see what I’m doing. What do you think is going on in here?
Lately, my youngest one comes into the bathroom and wants to sit on my lab while he enjoys a lollipop. Is this real life? Should we have a conversation or just sit here in silence and pretend that this isn’t incredibly awkward? Why don’t we open the window blinds and invite the neighbors to this bathroom pow-wow? Sometimes he will bring a book with him and we will read for a little bit. So you’re telling me that you won’t sit still long enough for me to read to you in the living room on the recliner, but when I’m sitting half-nude on the toilet reading suddenly seems like a good idea? Ironically, he often chooses the book ‘Everyone Poops’ for me to read.
I could shadoobie at work, but there might as well be a revolving door on that bathroom. It is Grand Central Station in there – not exactly ideal for such a private act. So I hold it in all day, take care of everything I could possibly take care of at home, then at 9pm it hits me that I still haven’t had a bowel movement and it’s probably why I have been so miserable for the last 4 hours. By now everything is practically impacted and even though the kids are in bed and I can use the bathroom alone, it is a less-than-pleasant experience. Good luck passing Stonehenge!
Honestly, all I want to do is wake up and take care of business first thing in the morning. If things work out this way, I will literally skip from my car into the office because I will be in such a great mood. It just never works out that way. The life of a mother means that you are endlessly side-tracked from morning till night. So, if you have to go badly enough, you just adopt the open door policy and roll with it.
In a few years, the kids will realize that it’s not cool to barge in on someone in the bathroom because they will want their privacy in there as well. When that day comes I will rejoice and reclaim this precious alone time.
At the end of the day, if using the bathroom alone is all I really want then there is no room for complaints.