Monday, February 7, 2011

How To Use The Restroom

You must begin by understanding that no parent in the history of parents has ever relieved themselves without their children knowing exactly how and when and with what amount of force it's happening, so your mission will not remain secret for long.  However, there are steps you can take to ensure a successful restroom visit. 

First, you had better be supremely confident that you actually need to relieve yourself, or this venture is doomed to failure.  In order to be supremely confident, it's best to wait until the last possible moment, not allowing any room for the possibility of a false-alarm. 

Once you've made the decision, chart your path.  Eyeball the shortest route from your position to the restroom, and then avoid that route at all costs.  If your little ones see you embark upon a direct path towards the restroom, you'll be overtaken and sidetracked immediately.  Instead, the best course to take is the least direct one; walk in opposite, conflicting directions as long as possible, first aiming for the kitchen, then the hall closet, then the garage door, then the laundry room, until finally you're within sight of the restroom. 

In the middle of this well-planned evasion, attempts must be made to occupy the children.  You may choose to pile a bowl of push-pins in their laps (these being highly illegal, and therefore highly desirable) or 'accidentally' leave an opened box of Goldfish crackers on the living room floor.  Whatever tactic you choose, you will have allowed yourself a few minutes of privacy. 

Once at the restroom door, check your back: is there a child peeking in your direction?  If so, abort mission until said child can be successfully distracted.  She must not, under any circumstances, discern your desire to pee.  Merely stare into the restroom as if you were looking for a lost object before walking casually onward.  If, on the other hand, there is not a child peeking in your direction, you may choose one of two options:

1 - Dart into the restroom on lithe, silent toes, leaving the door open to deter the child's notion that she is being abandoned.  If she sees that the restroom door is ajar, she may not even realize you've left the room, and you might be allowed a moment of private relief.

2 - Dart into the restroom on the balls of your super-speedy feet, gently -- silently -- latching the door behind you.  This option is only to be undertaken if your business is of the UBERprivate variety.  As soon as your child registers the change in atmospheric pressure that usually accompanies the loss of a parent's immediate touchability, she will undoubtedly race to the closed door and begin wailing without ceasing.  This is where the supreme confidence of your urgency comes in handy: if, while sitting on the pot, your delicacy is accosted by thumps and cries and kicks, you may lose all ability to relieve yourself unless you're in the most dire of needs.  Thankfully, if you've followed the earlier guidance of not attempting a restroom break under less-than-urgent circumstances, you'll be so desperate that no amount of extra-restroom tantruming will threaten to cause stage-fright. 

Once you've done your business, you may choose to take full advantage of your alone-time by remaining behind closed doors for a few more minutes.  You may wash your hands slowly and luxuriously.  You may rearrange the medicine cabinet.  You may even decide to recline in the relative sanctuary of the bathtub with a handily stashed novel for a moment of relaxation. 

However you choose to spend your restroom break, though, beware of the space between the floor and bottom of the door; if you accidentally let your eyes wander to that no-man's-land, the sight there will surely cause you to abandon your rest.  Tiny fingers, wiggling and reaching across the threshold, dimpled and reminiscent of those babyhood days, plump and innocent in their need for their mother's attention, will assail you.

Your use of the restroom will come to an abrupt end as soon as those fingers are spotted.  Your child will have employed the most tricky of weapons in the battle against Momentarily Lost Parents, and you -- most likely -- will not mind in the least; those fingers are like manna from heaven.

Good luck, my friends -- you'll need it on such a mission as this.


  1. Hahaha! You are hilarious! And talented. In both your writing and your evasion tactics.

  2. Oh, I had to laugh!! And am thanking my lucky stars that those days are (mostly) behind me. It is definitely nice to be able to have a little "personal" time every now and again.

  3. Ha ha ha, I love it!! I never thought I'd be able to pee in privacy again! Actually Savannah doesn't even seem to care anymore, maybe that's because I've adopted the habit of never shutting the door-the mystery is no longer there. It can however be quite embarassing when we have company and I forget to shut the door ha ha!

  4. Hilarious! I have to tell a story. One night a bunch of us were at a Bible study at a friends house and one of the women had brought her small son with her. He was maybe 2 and very verbal for his age. As soon as she goes into the restroom, he sticks his face right by the crack in the door and starts having a conversation with her. "Hi, K. Are you in there, K?" Then, suddenly distressed and near tears, he comes running back toward us, yelling, "Mommy! It smells!!"

    Poor K. But the rest of us were on the floor laughing! Yeah, we're sympathetic like that.

  5. Ha! I employ the same tactics when I sneak a piece of chocolate. =>

  6. hahaha! Now those tips? They are something I could really, really use. Especially now that the road trip is over, and G. now thinks he BELONGS in the bathroom with me even at the condo. He doesn't get that the only reason I let him in while on the road was so no one would snatch him not because I'm just dying for the company. :)


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?