Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Luxury of Solitude (in the bathroom)

In case you were wondering, this picture was not taken in the bathroom.  I was at the zoo, outside, and fully clothed.
When we were little my brother used to think it was really funny to get the primary children's song book for church and read the titles out loud and then add "in the bathroom" to the end of each title.  I especially remember hearing, "The Prophet Said To Plant A Garden... in the bathroom."  

Confession: it still makes me giggle.

Last week when Olivia and I went to play in the toddler area at the museum with our friends, I asked my friend if she'd mind watching Olivia for a minute while I went to the bathroom.  She said yes, so I went off by myself to use the restroom and when I came back about three minutes later and thanked my friend, I mentioned what a luxury it is to be able to go to the bathroom by myself.

Ever since Olivia was a baby I've had an audience when I go to the bathroom.  When you have a kid that's just what you do.  It's definitely one of those things that nobody ever warned me about* before Olivia was born, but, well, there it is.  Hello child, goodbye privacy.

*I read that back when she actually posted it in 2009 and I have thought about it and laughed about it so many times since then.  Especially the 5th paragraph.

Anyway, the point is, going to the bathroom by yourself is a luxury.  And here's why:

When you go to the bathroom by yourself you...
...don't have anyone sitting there staring at you while you do your business
...don't have to answer awkward questions like, "You go pee pees, Mommy?"
...don't have to answer the even more awkward question of, "Oh, you going poo poos?"
...have at least three minutes to tune out everything else going on
...have a few minutes to read a magazine
...have a few minutes to pretend you can't hear your child on the other side of the door
...don't have to go in the extra-big handicapped stalls because you don't need the extra room for maneuvering with a child
...don't have to whisper desperate commands like, "Don't touch that lock!" and "Stop looking under there!"
...can wash your hands in peace afterward
...can feel like a normal human being for a short little while

On the flip side, there is also luxury in the solitude of when Olivia goes to the bathroom... with Daddy.  Then it's at least five whole minutes of peace and quiet and reading a magazine and eating bonbons and checking e-mails and doing whatever I want to do without my own personal commentator following me around updating me on everything I'm doing and asking if she can do it too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy about my sweet, funny girl, but every now and then I am in serious need of a little break.  A moment of calm.  A quiet interlude.  A moment of personal me time.

When I came back from my trip to the bathroom by myself at the museum the other day I came back feeling so much more patient and calm than three minutes before.  (And not just because I used the restroom.  Har har.)  So all I can say is, thank goodness we have to go to the bathroom so many times a day.

And thank goodness for the times that we have the luxury of going alone!


Sarah said...

Confession: Sometimes I hold it until nap time so I can go it peace.

Kathy Haynie said...

Hahahaha....so true! I have to admit that I do enjoy my privacy now that all my children are grown! But I remember those days of "company."

Patty Walsh said...

When my daughter started potty training she started wanting privacy in the bathroom. Now I will always say "mommy wants privacy" and usually it works. I also provide family daycare and look after a bunch of littles who don't understand the need for privacy yet. Some days it is like a zoo let loose while I'm trying to do my business. On the positive I prefer no privacy to banging and screaming outside the bathroom door : )

Kristie said...

This is the truth. And so funny! Usually my 3 year old wants to flush for me before I am done. Or the dog that thinks she needs to come in as well. But I have to agree with another comment, I prefer no privacy to banging and screaming children.

alee said...

Word up on this post...for reals.

I remember that one summer when I was in college I babysat this family's kids for a couple days- they had 5 kids ranging in ages from 12 - a few months old. I remember my mom dying laughing when I told her I was paranoid about taking a minute to go to the bathroom because I was worried about the kids...you know, what if they needed me or something. My mom thought it was so funny she told the lady that I was babysitting for and I will always remember that she laughed and said something to the effect of "that is why I go to the bathroom- to get a break". Never did I understand until I had a child of my own how true those words were. The worst is when Leo wants to sit on my lap! Agh!

And Nick can't believe it when he comes home for the day at dinner time and I tell him to play with Leo because I am taking a minute since I haven't gone yet that day...seriously, when does a mom have time? Unless it is an emergency it is just a luxury that doesn't always make the cut! :)

(who knew I'd have so many feelings about this topic? I obviously was unprepared as well!)