I quickly and quietly shut the door, sit on the porcelain seat, and gather my wad of white paper. I exhale loudly and shrug my shoulders, trying to relax because a moment of silence is worth more than gold in my house.
But instead of relaxing and doing what I came here to do, I get distracted and start noticing the layers of clumpy blue and pink toothpaste mixed with stray hairs in the sink. Gross. When was the last time I cleaned in here?
“Mommy!” my six-year-old shouts from the other side of the door, jostling me from my thoughts. “Sven poopied in the house again.” Of course he did. He ate whole wheat rotini and alfredo right from the garbage earlier.
Sven is my seventy-five pound gluten-intolerant dog who frequently digs through the garbage for leftovers of any kind. If he even looks at pasta the wrong way, well…poopy happens.
She dramatically bursts through the door. “Can you clean it up? It smells yucky.” She grabs her nose and sticks out her tongue in disgust. I can’t help but laugh at her cuteness.
“Where’s Dad? I’m kind of busy.” AKA trying to pee in peace.
“Momma!” my toddler stumbles in behind her like a drunk pirate with one peg leg. Maybe it’s the missing shoe? “Momma, ode me!” She reaches her pudgy hands up, opening and closing her tiny fists over and over. “Ode me, peese.” I can’t resist pulling her short frame into my lap.
“What happened to your other shoe?” I ask as she burrows her head into my neck.
“She put it in the trashcan!” My oldest laughs. I know if I had a mere thirty seconds, this would all be over. I could go back to mothering with my yoga pants securely in place.
“You guys, seriously,” I say, leaning over to shut the door. “I really need to pee.” My oldest starts rummaging wildly for something under the sink.
“What are you looking for under there?” I ask her.
“Air freshener. For the poopy smell.” She pulls out some apple cinnamon spray and smiles victoriously.
My husband knocks only once before swinging the door wide open. Sven and Roxy (the other dog) are both with him. Now the whole damn family is hanging out in the first-floor half-bath.
“I gotta go, babe. I’m running late for work.” He leans over to kiss me and the girls.
“Do you realize the whole family is in the bathroom right now?” I ask him. He turns to observe and slowly nods his head yes.
“That’s life with kids, Danielle.”
“Okay,” I say. I finally accept the fact that we’re having a full blown family meeting in the bathroom. “But what about Sven’s poop?”
“Taken care of,” he responds, dragging both dogs out of the bathroom. “Come on guys. Let Mommy go potty.”
“Love you babe,” I say, returning my youngest to the floor in front of me.
“Love you, too.” he says, shutting the door. Finally I can pee. The door opens and my husband reappears. “One more thing,” he says. “I found a shoe in the trashcan.”
“Choo!” my youngest shouts. “Choo on!”
Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could have two minutes of silence to go to the bathroom without being bothered, or to sit and simply collect my thoughts ALONE. Who doesn’t want that? But I also accept the fact that it won’t happen. At least for a long, long, long time. And I’m okay with that. There are too many active gears turning in our family machine and if I lock the door there’s always the chance that the house will burn to the ground with me on the loo. Plus, it’s nice knowing that I’m needed so incredibly much that I can barely walk out of the room without shit hitting something. And it’s also nice to know I can count on my husband for the dirty work (literally).
So for now I’ll just continue going with an open door policy, looking forward to the day I will finally be able to pee in peace, but knowing that even without my two minutes of silence, things are still pretty great.
Photo Courtesy of David Cohen