(Author’s last name withheld by request.)
If you can’t get your kids to give you the attention you desire, and you are permanently hoarse from screaming, “come here, NOW!”, then here is THE way to get their undivided attention; go to the bathroom!
Every time I go to the bathroom and shut the door, seconds later I hear endless knocking and, “mooooom! What are you doing?? Let us in!” And they do not leave, or stop knocking, until I open that door.
No matter what I am doing, like plucking my eyebrows, relieving my bladder, squeezing a zit, crying about something, or trying to stuff cookies down my throat, they are there.
They shake the door and yell in panicky voices, like I found a window and jumped out, or dived into the toilet and flushed. It’s even worse when I CAN’T open the door in a timely manner because I am in agonizing pain and stuck on the toilet.
For instance, if I ate something loaded with cheese and oil for lunch, and my stomach, 10 minutes later, says, “OH NO YOU DIDN’T!” I can understand their distress, as one second I am at the table hearing their latest “knock knock” joke, and the next I am up the stairs and out of site with no explanation.
I have flown upstairs. I am clutching my gurgling stomach, as gaseous, digested globs of waste push on every intestinal curve, threatening to blast out before I can get my pants down.
Now on the toilet, writhing in pain because my body has decided to add constipation to this cheese-induced Irritable Bowel Encounter, I hear this:
Kids: “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! OPEN THE DOOR!”
Me: [sweating and panting like I am about to birth a category 5 twister] “I…can’t…now…”
Kids: “We can’t get the…”
Me: “FIGURE IT OUT YOURRRRRRRRRR [about to faint] SELF!”
Me: “LEAVE ME ALONE!” [groaning now, pretty sure I am about to die.]
Kids: “We’re hungry!”
Me: [uncontrollably shaking, not sure which hole the toxins will shoot out first] “YOU CAN WWW…WWW…WAIT A MINUTE!”
Kids: “MOOOOOOM! Open the door now!”
Me: [ready to leave the planet at this point] “Would you both just go DO SOMETHING??”
Kids: “We can’t get the movie to start!”
Me: “FOR THE LOVE! LEAVE ME ALONE!” [now promising God I will be a better mom should I survive this.]
Suddenly my body cooperates, and sounds resembling a terrible and fatal car wreck ring out. I am relieved (and horrified) literally and figuratively.
Knocking has not stopped.
All this time, my kids could have been tearing apart the kitchen, eating Styrofoam, sliding head-first down the stairs in their sleeping bags, writing on each other with permanent markers, playing with fire, doing anything they wanted. But, instead, they are glued to the bathroom door, waiting to enter.
I flush the toilet, praying it doesn’t stop-up from the carnage that just took place. I wash my hands and finally, to stop the pounding, open the door.
The kids fly in, and, you guessed it, they fly right back out.
Kids: “MOM! [retching ensues] WHAT IS THAT SMELL??”
Me: “Kids, that is the smell of what mommy likes to call, ‘alone time’.”
Yeah. I need some better alone time.