For the last decade or so, I’ve rarely had a few peaceful moments alone in the bathroom. I realize this is a sensitive and, ah, personal subject, but any mother with young children will tell you that your bathroom time is not your own.
In the beginning, Baby must follow you into the bathroom because, well, unless your are fortunate to space bathroom breaks during naps, you may not have an option when baby is awake. Before you know it, you have an active two or three year old who is REALLY interested in what “Mommy is doing in there.”
YES! The moment has arrived–the child shows interest. Now it is time to begin the joyful process of toilet training (I think this is no longer the politically correct term, but let’s face it, I’m not very politically correct). Now you MUST use the toilet in front of your child and what’s more, you must be happy and excited about it. I use my sing-song, happy-time voice (to the tune of Frère Jacques if you’d like to sing along):
Mommy’s peeing, mommy’s peeing–
Look at her, look at her–
She’s a bi-ig girl, who doesn’t wear a diaper,
Pee, Pee, Pee; Pee, Pee, Pee
I’ll spare you my pooping song, but it might explain why my son cried every time he heard the “Bingo” music. I didn’t say my lyrics were great, just massively engaging to the under four set.
Once the actual task of toilet training your children is completed, they have no ability to LEAVE YOU ALONE when you go into the bathroom. Why should they–they’ve been with you in there for as long as they can remember. If they weren’t watching you go, you were watching them go (and rewarding them with M&Ms, stickers or trips to Disney World if they would JUST PEE-PEE on the potty.) Heck, they want to see what treats you get when YOU go in there. The concept of “alone” wouldn’t ever occur to them. Even though they are well-versed in using the bathroom by themselves, it will be many more months (years?) before you stop hearing, “WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE COME WIPE ME?!?!” And after the words finally do stop, you will begin to wish you would hear them again when you are doing the laundry.
On the rare occasion I actually do escape for a few private moments in the loo, I am usually quickly pulled out by the screams of my children attempting to kill each other (not necessarily a deal breaker–I would get more private time). Then there is my husband who sometimes (but granted, not often–probably because I scream so much) accidentally opens the door on me. Come on! Our house isn’t that big–how can you not notice that I’m missing from action. Can’t you hear the children trying to kill each other? Or maybe he’s trying to escape them too. Even apologetic, he didn’t quite seem to understand, “What’s the big deal? I saw you give birth three times.” I point out that in fact, he was only present for two. The third child arrived when he momentarily stepped out of the room to check on our other children. “It doesn’t matter–I just want a few seconds alone without someone WATCHING me.”
I live for the rare moment that came the other day–the children were gone with my husband, the baby was sleeping. I slipped into the bathroom, not worrying about latching the door–I was alone. Sweet, sweet solitude. Suddenly, the door slowly began to swing open–I called out–ready to kill the kids who’d returned too soon–but there was no response. Maybe a breeze?
The door continued to open. In the doorway, sat the cat. And she was watching me.