If you missed Episode 1: the store - click HERE.
Before having kids, the bathroom was just an ordinary place to do your business, get clean, and get out. There was no lingering going on back then, unless you were soaking in a hot bath (which you could take any time you pleased.) You never had to announce to anyone you were going to go use the restroom, and you most certainly didn't announce that you had to "go potty."
The bathroom is the perfect sanctuary because the door locks, and you can kill two birds with one stone. Plus, the only things that can fit underneath the door are little fingers grasping for their mother's toes, scrawled out notes, small toys, insects, and pet snakes. Let's pray a pet snake has never been sent under the bathroom door to find you. But I wouldn't put it past a child who is lost without his mother to try and squeeze ol' Slither under the door to assess the situation.
I have seven children, three of whom are far past the age where they absolutely need mom during the two minutes I'm away. But do they still? You betcha. (To borrow a term from a famous fellow Arctic mom.) One day, I counted five separate knocks from five separate kids. It started like this...
First knock: "Yes?"
Second knock: "What do you need?"
Third knock: "WHAT??!!"
Fourth knock: "This had better be an emergency. Is someone dead or bleeding? If not, you have no reason to be knocking while I'm in the bathroom."
Fifth knock: __________________________
That fifth knock is greeted with silence. You know you've done it. If you pretend you aren't in there, they will give up and go back to whatever they were doing before, right? Well, sometimes.
Usually I slip off quietly to the restroom unnoticed, though sometimes I announce my departure on a particularly trying day by calling everyone's attention and saying something like this:
"Mom's going to the bathroom. Nobody follow me."
You'd think I was a mobster heading down to the docks for a midnight meeting with a guy named Sonny. Who talks to their kids like that? Well, sometimes I do. And I'd imagine sometimes you do too.
Taking a shower has new meaning too. If your spouse is home, and has your back, you can take more leisurely showers. And, boy, do those kind of showers feel luxurious. Shaving your legs feels like a rare spa treatment. But if you're home alone with the kids, most showers are quick and business-like. Much like the freezing cold camp showers I'm sure most of us have been subjected to sometime in our lives. It's in and out.
I heard of a great solution for bathroom visitors that are grade school age and up, and I honestly can't remember where I heard it. But I'd imagine that sliding some math fractions under the door for the interrupter to solve would be enough to teach the older "they should know better" crowd to not interrupt your short break.
For the youngers? Well, I haven't figured that one out just yet. All these years, they still come a knockin'. But I know they love me. I know they need me. And I can deal with that. I treasure that.
I just hope the stories my kids tell their spouses about me when they're older are accurate. I've never met mobsters named Sonny down at the docks at midnight. Ever.