Last night, I reached an important milestone in my life as a mom. It’s a milestone all mothers dream of, the holy grail of milestones… the moment when you finally decide, “I’ll take this dump in private.”
At what point does it become acceptable to defecate in front of an audience of small children, anyway (says the woman who once pooped and breastfed at the same time)? I feel like most moms do it, though. It starts innocently enough – maybe you showered while your newborn slept up in his carseat on the bathroom floor. Maybe you peed with the door open so you could hear your 2 year old in the next room. But eventually, it comes to a point when your children are 4 years old and barging in on your potty time, running the taps, demanding cereal and serenading you with the entire score from the movie, Frozen.
That’s what happened to me last night. My kindergartner danced into the bathroom, asking for a snack and pleading to use the very toilet I was sitting on. “I’ll pee my pants!” she moaned. “I need to go!” she whined. I repeatedly suggested that she walk a few feet to our 2nd bathroom, but she wasn’t having any of it. I was yelling “You have two choices: You can go upstairs and use the bathroom, or you can pee your pants. I don’t care which one you choose, but you are NOT getting on this frigging toilet!” when it dawned on me – I had two choices, too. I could continue to pee, poop and parent at the same time, OR I could lock the bathroom door.
We have a new rule in our house now. Mommy uses the bathroom with the door locked, and children are expected to wait patiently and quietly on the other side of that door until it opens. And should they choose to disobey, I choose to ignore them for an extra five minutes while I relax in blessed solitude.
It’s a small victory in the battle to regain my pre-baby autonomy and independence, but it’s one I savor.