Fine, so, I rarely get to go to the bathroom alone.
My two-year-old daughter Natalie usually follows me in. My son at least stands outside the door now (girl cooties, you see) but he shouts questions at me as I’m trying to go.
I don’t think it’s fair that my husband gets PIPs. (Poops in peace.) He gets to stroll into the bathroom, close the door and take his time. I’ve been known to shriek, “When do I get MY PIP, Tom? When do I get my PIP?” He says that I just have to be firmer with the children. I’ve tried that. I’ve told Natalie that I’d like my privacy and she just tells me, “Nope.”
I’m going to remember this when she’s a teenager. When she’s going through her “my parents suck and don’t get me” phase and tries to shut herself in her room, I’m totally walking in there. When she snaps at me for not giving her privacy I’ll go, “Hey, you never gave me privacy when I took a crap so you can kiss yours goodbye.”
Yesterday I headed for the bathroom and was a little confused when Natalie didn’t follow me in. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. I did my business and was so elated over the privacy that it took a few seconds for me to comprehend that there would be repercussions. I was in the middle of washing my hands and then it hit me:
Natalie wasn’t in here with me.
So it meant she was up to no good.
I quickly dried my hands and zoomed out of the bathroom. My foot got tangled up on Natalie’s doll that was tossed on the floor and I went careening into the wall.
“Natalie?” I called out, my voice laced with trepidation. My cheek was against the wall and I peeled myself off of it and gazed around the living room.
Oh no. This is NOT good....
The last time Natalie went silent she had pulled some of my books out of the shelf and had COLORED in them.
I nearly cried.
“Natalie!” I had chastised. “We don’t scribble on Meg Cabot and Nicolas Sparks.”
“Pretty,” she had told me and dropped a defaced Jane Green novel in my lap.
Needless to say she was put in time out.
My eyes swiveled to the bookcase. Natalie wasn’t there.
What if she walked out the front door and is wandering the streets?
I practically jumped out the door and startled my neighbor who was planting some flowers. Her hand flew to her heart as I leaped over the two stairs that lead up to the front door. I felt like Spiderman as I soared through the air. Okay, so I totally twisted my ankle but at least I didn’t fall on my face. I stumbled a few steps but I didn’t fall. That’s always a plus.
My neighbor sort of tossed me a bewildered look as I searched the front yard.
So I rushed back in the house.
“Natalie?” I shouted.
Then I heard a clinking sound.
It came from the kitchen.
I walked into the kitchen and there she was. She had pushed the stool over to the sink and she was messing with the dishes.
Before I went to the bathroom I had put a bowl that was half full of oatmeal in there. See, Natalie had said she wanted oatmeal for breakfast and I had made it for her and she had taken all of two bites before she had proclaimed she was done.
I seriously don’t know how she stays alive from eating so little.
Anyhow, Natalie had taken that bowl of oatmeal and had decided to dump it on the counter. She was rubbing it into the counter and mistaking the oatmeal for a sponge.
“Natalie Elizabeth!” I shrieked.
She jumped but she continued to scrub with the oatmeal.
"No, Natalie," I told her firmly. "We don't make messes."
"Pretty!" Natalie said, waving her palms in the air that were covered in oatmeal.
Okay, our views on what is pretty is obviously very different.
I washed her off and told her to go play while I cleaned up.
After I cleaned up, I found Natalie sitting in the living room surrounded by Q-tips.
She had gone into the bathroom and pulled them out.
There was a trail of Q-tips around my house:
I really can't win.
I sometimes wish I could put Natalie in a crate so I could clean in peace and not have to worry about her making another mess.
I think she'd have fun in a crate.
So long as it was pink.