Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Privacy Goeth Before the Fall

I have finally given up on the idea of ever again being able to pee by myself.  Luxuries like privacy while pooping are for people who have neither children nor animals.  I don’t even bother closing the door anymore.  Seriously, what’s the point?

My daughter, Iris, regards the entire house as her domain and anything that happens in it is her business.  Even in the bathroom. 

“Moooooom? What are you dooooing?” she hollers as she runs down the hall towards where I am sitting, indisposed and vulnerable.

“What do you think I’m doing?” I respond.  For the record, sarcasm is completely lost on a three-year-old. 

Iris strides in, unabashed, and stands in front of me, her hands on her hips, “Are you peeing or are you pooping?”

What I want to do at this point is bang my head against the nearest wall.  But, as I am currently taking care of business and cannot reach the nearest wall with my head, the best I can do is cover my face with my hands and start laughing, a little hysterically.

“Mommy? Why are you laughing?” Iris starts laughing, too.  “Is this funny?”

“No, sweetie,” I answer, still laughing, “It isn’t funny at all.”

It’s even better when she wants give me a hug while I am on the toilet. 

Or, when she turns around, hides her eyes like she has seen the head ripped off her favorite My Little Pony toy and screeches, “I DON’T WANT TO SEE IT!  I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR PEE!”  (For the record, the proper response to this last one is to say, “Well, good, I don’t want you looking.”  This will have no effect.)

So, I thought I had finally let go of the last shred of my former, privacy-guarding, non-mom identity on the day I had to jump up off the commode and scuttle down the hall with my pants still around my ankles because our puppy, Penny, had grabbed Iris’s most beloved Pink Bunny stuffed toy.  I had to waddle-chase Penny around the family room, trying not to trip over my pants, but unable to get them off because I was in motion, while Iris wailed like the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse had just knocked on our front door and asked for a cup of brimstone.  This was followed by 30 minutes of sitting on the floor comforting a snotty, crying child who was heartbroken because, basically, her stuffed toy had been slobbered on a little.  And then I finally pulled up my pants.

But no.  No.  Even at that all-time-low, I hadn’t truly given up my affection for solitude.

Because, I still had the shower.

The delightful shower.  The magnificent stall where hot water could cascade over me like my own, private waterfall.  My own, private, quiet, kid-free zone of awesomeness.  Sure, sometimes I only had six minutes and I had to wash just those parts of me that were likely to smell, never mind being able to treat myself to extravagances like shaving my legs or washing my hair, but they were MY six minutes all by myself without an audience and I relished them.  I relished them like a person whose been shipwrecked on a tropical, deserted island must relish air conditioning and human company.

And then I went and ruined it. 

Oh yeah, it was me who ruined it.  I really have no one to blame but myself.  See, there was this one day when Iris and I were both just scuddy, covered in sunblock and bug spray and sweat and sand from playing in the sandbox in the backyard.  And I had to get myself clean.  And I had to give Iris a bath.  And, when I looked at the clock, I realized that I could either give Iris a bath or give me a shower, but not both.  So – brilliant solution! – I decided to let Iris get in the shower with me.

In the past, Iris has hated the shower.  There have been times when we were on vacation and didn’t have access to a bathtub, and washing Iris in the shower resulted in tears and recriminations from a very, very unhappy three year old.  That day I decided I could just power through the unpleasantness if it meant that we could both get clean.  I geared myself up; I loaded for bear; and…..

Iris loved it.

Like loved it loved it. 

Like a-dog-discovering-the-joy-of-rolling-in-goose-poop loved it

Like she wanted to stay in the shower and play in the water after we were done.

Like she wouldn’t get out before I had dried off, gotten dressed, and dried my hair,  And, even then, I had to beg.

Now, every time I say I need to get cleaned up, this is what happens:

“Mommy!  Can I get in the shower with you?!!?!?!??!??!????” and Iris jumps up with a big grin on her face and starts running for my bathroom before I even answer.  “I’m getting a fresh, clean towel for meeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

It has now been two and a half weeks since I’ve been in any part of my bathroom alone.  Which, all by itself, would be bad enough.  But, what makes it worse is that, well, three-year-olds don’t have much of a filter between what they think and what they say. 

Yesterday, while I was rinsing the shampoo out of my hair (the upside to having company in the shower is getting to do things like, you know, washing my hair), I felt a small finger poking into the admittedly ample flesh of my butt cheek.  Startled, I turned around, hastily, “Iris!  What are you doing?!?”

She looked up at me, thoughtful, “You sure do have a big butt, Mommy.”

“Ummmm…” caught off-guard, I struggled to find actual words with which to respond.

Still deep in thought, Iris continued, “My butt is little.  Your butt is very, VERY big.”   

“Well,” I fought to swallow my mortally wounded pride, “when you grow up big like me, your butt will be bigger, too.”

Iris wrinkled her nose, “No, Mommy.  My butt will never be as big as yours.”

Oh, well.  I probably didn't need all that self-esteem, anyway.

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