Peeing With An Audience.
No really. That’s what I’m calling it.
There used to be a time when I would find refuge in the cool tile surroundings of the bathroom. I could pee in complete privacy, enjoying the simple pleasures of my exit stream echoing into the cavernous calm…don’t scoff. You might not want to admit it but we all know the solace of bodily noise, percussive or otherwise.
Then of course, I became a parent.
It started fairly innocently. One kid, in her highchair, staring at me with drool trickling down her chin while I tried to trick my bladder out of stage fright.
Then came the phase of tiny fingers poking out from under the locked door, the rhythmic pounding of her unrelenting efforts to break said door down while screaming ‘MAMA’ at the top of her lungs.
Of course as soon as toilet training entered into the picture, I couldn’t exactly lock the door when we only had one bathroom in the first place. We made a deal that she wouldn’t come in unless there was an emergency (potty or otherwise).
“MAMA. MAMAAAAAAAAA!!!!! It’s a ‘mergency!!!” My then 3 year old burst through the door.
“What is it honey? Do you need to go? I’m almost done.”
“Lemon1 and Lemon 2 need their hair braided and I don’t know how to do it!!!!”
“Baby, is this a potty emergency?”
“Yes, like, you have to go potty?”
“No…you’re on the potty, and I have an emergency with my ponies.”
The defeat I felt with my pants around my ankles and my daughter staring intently at me while thrusting a pink plastic equine a mere few inches away from my face, was acute.
“Mom can Lemon flush for you?”
I give up.
Enter Kid 2 – the 3 week old in his bouncy chair which I have positioned across from the toilet because there is no other place to put him.
Every time I start to pee he starts to scream. Every time I stop, he stops. My body is a mess of maternal instincts. Pee. Stop baby from crying. Pee. Comfort baby. OH GOD THERE GO MY BOOBS.
Cue my 4 year old—
“Moooooooom, I don’t WANT to wear any pants today.”
And you know, I get it. It’s part of parenthood. I understand. You have to give up certain things at times, like for example, your dignity.
But oh the sweet surge of relief when you finally get to go uninterrupted. The crushingly awesome empty bladder afterglow, as you sit there enjoying the floating moment of post-evacuation Zen. (Yes. It’s a thing.)
Today my oldest walked into the bathroom with my phone.
“Mom I know your unlock number and I pressed it all by myself and here’s your camera! Look I am taking some pictures! All by myself! Let’s take one together!”
And there you have it. Bathroom selfie. With Mom pulling up her pants.
“I’m so good at this!” Says my kid, undeterred.
There’s a harsh rolling noise and my 10 month old appears in the open door pushing his Batmobile toward his sister. The dog trails in after him.
At some point I will have a second bathroom. Or at least I will have the ability to bolt this one’s door, and that will be great. And I know that this is normal and that I’m not alone. This too shall pass, and soon I will be trying to get into the bathroom while my tweens and teens preen behind locked doors.
Until then there is only one thing I can do.