September 1, 2008

Loneliness and Uninterrupted Bowel Movements

I guess you could say I take my 'me time' where I can get it.

I lock the bathroom door every chance I get. If I'm consumed by a novel or a game on my cell phone, I'll take it with me. Otherwise, I'm happy to just go alone. If even just to pee. I sometimes even lock my bedroom door to cut the children off so they can't knock directly on my bathroom door.


Wow. That used to sound like a bad word when I was younger. From the time I was five and wished I had an escort to walk me down what seemed like the longest, darkest hallway ever to get to my room to years later when I was a single mom sitting in my tiny, low income apartment watching reruns of 'Nash Bridges' on a Saturday night while my then two-year-old daughter slept...waiting for my life to 'start.'

I'm learning that some of the things that we fear most when we are younger are the things we often crave when we're older. I'm also learning that my children have some sort of built-in radar that tells them when I'm trying to crap in peace.

Just yesterday, I was minding my own business (okay, I was doing my business) when my 5YO started pounding on my bedroom door. She just repeated over and over that she had something to tell me. Over and over, no matter how many times I acknowledge her request and tell her that she just needs to 'hold on a minute.' Over and over.

Just where did my children learn that persistence pays off?

I finish what I'm doing, wash my hands, and open my bedroom door. The thing that she had to 'tell' me was actually something she wanted to ask me. She wanted to ask me if she could have a Capri Sun. The funny part is that she probably had to physically step over her father, who was sprawled out in the living room floor in his usual 'watching television on the weekend' position to walk down the hall and ask me this question. The very man who, like it or not, has the same authority as I do when it comes to these sort of questions.

I just tell her that I refuse to answer such a question and that she can go back to the living room and ask her father, who was awake and breathing the last time I checked. I guess it's because I'm here with them all day while he's at work. They are not used to asking him questions like that. Daddy is the one they wrestle with in the floor or follow around outside as he takes care of the yard. Daddy is the fun, adventurous one. Mommy takes care of the food and beverages.

That would probably also explain why my idea of the perfect day is standing in Target all by myself, Starbucks cup in hand and nowhere to rush off to. I take every opportunity I can to run errands by myself, though I don't always enjoy it. There are some days when I don't want to be alone, or I don't need to. My tiny Saturn Wagon feels so big and empty without children arguing in the backseat or Miley Cyrus blaring out of the speakers. I actually sometimes miss the feeling of being mildly annoyed. Whoodathunkit?

Things are getting easier on the homefront. I only have one kid at home with me while the others are in school. On her own, she's actually pretty easy. Even pleasant, though she's still very much TWO YEARS OLD. I have three years of this until she's in school, too. What then? Do I sign my life away to their school and end up staying there all day making copies of things for teachers and collating and stapling homework packets? Do I get a job? Do I go back to school?

Whatever path I choose, I'm sure I'll still question myself and wonder if I should have chosen something different. And I'm sure I'll start to hate being alone again.

Although, maybe a few weeks of loneliness at the beginning wouldn't kill me, right? It's a risk I guess I'm willing to take, at least for a little while!


Jennie C. said...

I have never EVER let on that I can actually hear them while I'm in the bathroom. :)

That Crazy Squirrel Lady from Multiply said...

Leann, honey, I hate to tell you this ... there's NEVER alone in the potty time. I jokingly refer to the bathroom as the Conference Room. I never get peace and quiet! Not even with adult kids!!

wildtomato said...

I love my alone time. However, since we only have 1 bathroom, staying in it forever just isn't logistically possible! Anyway, I've never been one to hang out in bathrooms. I don't even like reading in them.