Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bathroom Science 911

I have discovered another unalterable rule of the universe, and it can be filed alongside the Law of Gravity and E=MC2. I call it Bathroom Science 911.

This is how it works. Every time I enter the bathroom for a moment of privacy, my children experience "emergencies." I, like many a parent, have defined emergency to my children as follows: any incident involving blood, loss of consciousness, and/or a house flood or fire. For whatever reason that definition does not work for my children. Allow me to demonstrate.

Just this past Monday I was taking a shower. Feeling especially empowered in my moment of privacy I shut and locked the door, because otherwise my children come in periodically to gawk at their naked mother and complain about their siblings. It's not fun for me.

I hadn't even washed my hair before one of my children began pounding on the door. "MOO-ooom! I need your help!"

I tried to be all calm and serene. "You'll have to wait until I'm out of the shower."

"WHAT?" the child screamed. "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

"I'll help you when I'm done."

"THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!" was the distressed reply. I ignored this child for a few more moments, determined to lather, rinse and repeat before leaving the shower, during which there was much door pounding and incoherent screaming.

Finally I opened the bathroom door, clutching a towel to my chest. Kaleb and Leah stood there looking at me, Kaleb's head cocked to the side as if viewing a new zoo exhibit.

"I can't pour the milk for my cereal," Leah said. Apparently that is a 911-worthy situation. I looked at her brother who has the strength, coordination, and brainpower to poor milk for cereal. Yet there I stood, dripping wet, hair unconditioned.

For whatever reason, my children do not believe in a mother's privacy. Mothers, it seems, hover somewhere outside the human realm, a unique species designed to meet their children's needs without nary a potty break.

However, anytime I walk into a bathroom in which one of them is otherwise "occupied" they yell, "MOM, I need my privacy!" Privacy, I believe, is earned by shutting the door and flushing when you're finished. Both of which I do with exactness. My children? Not so much.

Regardless, you can't argue with the universe. Which is why I'm lobbying to have the law of Bathroom Science 911 added somewhere between Einstein's and Newton's laws. Because, really, where else should they go?

Now excuse me while I run to the loo with my entourage…


Kristi O said...

I can relate BUT I will admit that its our dogs that won't keep the door shut. its a scene from Seinfeld were Kramer enters with a grand opening of the door, our dogs do that and then stare, all three of them, its like they think there is a magic escape route somewhere you haven't told them about. Our door inevitably remains open for all to see you.... such a wonderful life we live

Gustogirl said...

SO true!!! My mom used to joke that even though she would lock the bathroom door, we would slip her notes under the door. My kids usually let me shower in peace, but using the toilet in another story!

Erin said...

Oh! I can relate! Most times I stay stinky until naptime, but on the off chance I attempt showering while all are conscious, there is no peace and even less shaving. And if I ignore them, they just thrash my room. I can't win!

shawn said...

Oh, I wish I could say it is different for the male parent ... or that it changes as they age ... (my three are 14, 11 & 9) ... "emergencies" ALWAYS arise when the bathroom door is closed and locked ... I think there is a wire somewhere that is hooked up to a signal that tells them - "Engage in Emergency NOW!!"

Alas, my three usual end up shrieking with each other and fighting as the water begins to run ... I've taken to singing in the shower to drown them out ... by the time I step out and am dried and dressed, it will either be resolved, or it will have developed into a REAL emergency involving blood !!

Either way, it's a common parental experience ... though few of us can recount it with such skill.

as always - thanks Shauna!

Thelissa said...

Ah so true, and so annoying! :)

Anonymous said...

I get no privacy here. The girls act like I'm not in the room and proceed to come in chat, do their hair and make up (with my stuff)...and they all have their own bathrooms. Then the cat, literally bangs on the door, like "how dare you shut me out of a room?" My bathroom has those stupid pocket doors that don't lock, but I need to get that changed.

Truth be told, there is no place for peace for us moms. Unless, I am in a car, driving alone. Even at that point, the cell phone starts ringing.


Nancy said...

No one tells us that we give up the right to privacy when we enter motherhood...must be in the VERY fine print.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Mine are still pulling that act at 12 & 14! HATE it!

LikeAstaR said...

HOw nice to be NEEDED so. I have quickly found that NO TIME is sacred in motherhood. Last night my child who is newly empowered in his big bed freedom sat on my head at 2:00 am and said Hi mom.

jen said...

That is awesome! I can't relate with you on this topic but I have to say that you explained it so well, I can totally picture Kaleb and Leah doing this? But where was Zach in all this? I bet he was enjoying the time of being unsupervised and trying something a little mischievious.

Tola said...

when Mau was about 3, i *needed* a bath (no shower in that house) and i proceeded to fill the tub. i got in, and she came in to see what was going on. i asked her to please go out of the bathroom because i needed my privacy. she trotted right out, and i was amazed that my simply-put request worked! until 2 minutes later when she came back in and said "Mommy, i cant find your privacy." now she's 14, and still does it. but what's worse is the VIP does it too! he will even wake me up to perform a task that he can do himself. last night i had to extricate the cheese from the drawer in the fridge because it was stuck. no, im not lying!

Melodrama Mama said...

I remember when little fingers got shoved under the locked door when I was using the bathroom. It was like they just needed a portion of their flesh to be in the same space that I was occupying!

Dianne said...

I once told my two boys I needed privacy in the bathroom. The older, around6 or 7 at the time, looks at me and says, "Privacies? What's that?"