On Parenting and Peeing

Since I began parenting, I have operated under the delusion that I would one day be able to pee without interruption. I figured it would happen around the time all of my kids were in the double-digits.

Did you get the word “delusion”? Delusion!

Wanting our kids to clearly understand that there are so very few times when we demand uninterrupted privacy, we only close our bedroom door for three reasons: 1. to change clothes, 2. to make mad, passionate parent-love (meaning exhausted, super quiet, fast sex), and 3. to PEE and POOP!

Three reasons. That is it.

Wait. No. Four reasons: 4. to make the children think we are engaged in either 1, 2, or 3, especially 3, so that we might have a few minutes of peace and quiet, free from the rapid progression of questions, comments, and non-sequiturs they fling at us regularly.

So, four reasons we have for closing the bedroom door. That is not a lot. By double-digits, they should be able to connect the dots between a closed door and one of four (although they only know of three) reasons.

Nevertheless, it never ever fails that we have complete and total privacy in all things wardrobe and parent-sex, but never ever ever when our delusional heinys land squarely on the porcelain throne.

Usually the interruptions begin with a child knocking on the bedroom door fiercely, “Mom! Mom!! Mom, are you in there (Of course, I’m in here — you know that because the door upon which you are furiously knocking to such extreme that my pee has frozen inside me — is CLOSED?)? Mom, I just have a quick question.”

My response, my response for the past double-digit years of parenting, is always, “I’m in the bathroom. I’ll be out in a bit.”

“Okay,” comes the voice of the so sad, broken-hearted child, bereft at the very thought of her mother withholding attention, especially when that attention is going to such an unnecessary time-waster of a deed, “It’s just that I was wondering if you could explain the Mayan calendar to me again and how the world was supposed to have ended by now.”

“I’m in the bathroom. I’ll be out in a bit.” My jaws and everything else on me are now beginning to clench.

“Okay. That’s cool. It’s just that I’m trying to figure out why anyone would even believe that the world was ending just because someone’s calendar ended.”


“Oh, okay. Sorry.” She ambles away, mumbling, but not really mumbling because I can clearly hear her through the closed bedroom and closed bathroom doors, “It’s just a simple question. You could have answered it in the same amount of time it took to say, ‘I’m in the bathroom.'”

Then there is is this glorious moment of silence, the likes of which fools me into complacency ever single time. Double-digits of parenting and it fools me every time.

Just as my flow begins to relax a bit, I hear my name being called through my bedroom window from the front deck. This time it’s my son. He kindly realizes that I don’t really want to be bothered by knocks on the door, so he ever-so-gently calls to me from the window. In his double-digit head, that’s not really an interruption.

“Mamma? Hey, Mamma. Would you mind if I came in and got your ipad? I wanted to look up the Mayan calendar? Blueberry (the blog name for his little sister) was curious about it and we thought maybe instead of interrupting you, we could just look it up ourselves.”

“I’m in the bathroom. I’ll be out in a bit.”

At this point, not only have I failed to pee or poo and am in a bit of physical pain and also fully comprehending how parenthood makes you anal-retentive, but there is a small tear close to falling from my eye.

The son, and I know this about him and exploit that knowledge here, is far more patient than the youngest daughter, and says, “Oh, okay, Mamma. I didn’t know (because I’ve kept that information so cryptically hidden BEHIND THAT CLOSED DOOR AND MY PREVIOUS EXCHANGE WITH HIS SISTER!). I’ll wait.”

Then there is silence and I settle into the business at hand, daring even to pick up my phone to read a bit of news while I have some peace and quiet (What? Like you don’t bring your smart phone or tablet into the bathroom. How is it any different than when we pounded on our parents’ doors while they were reading the newspaper?).

And then I hear it, the sound that tauntingly reminds me that I have once again been lulled into the fantasy of an uninterrupted bowel movement: the familiar chimes that indicate a text has come in from my eldest daughter, the only child in the house with a phone.

It reads, “Mamma, sorry. I know you are going to the bathroom. Real quick. Can you explain the Mayan calendar thing to me, please? Blueberry and I are having a disagreement on some of it.”

Every single time. Sure, the topics change and sometimes there is the house phone thrown into the mix (that they have answered and, despite nobody in the world I would want to talk to while on the toilet knowing the house phone number — because we have it for emergencies only — think I might want to know who it is calling so that I can decide whether or not to just chat a bit).

But the gist of it remains constant:

Double-digits of parenting do not amount to a pile of the stuff I am routinely interrupted from expelling when it comes to quiet time on the toilet and double-closed doors.

I guess I’ll pee alone and finally have a complete bowel movement when they are in college.