Once you have children, using the restroom becomes a spectator sport. Sure, you could lock the door in a futile attempt to get a little bit of alone time, but then, you risk either:
1. Your child shrieking, “MOMMY COME BACK MOMMY WHERE ARE YOU MOMMY OPEN THE DOOR MOMMY MOMMY MOOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY” over and over again – making it virtually impossible to concentrate on doing your business
2. Your child being so unnaturally quiet that all you can imagine is that they must have somehow learned to operate the oven and stuck their whole body in there – making it virtually impossible to concentrate on doing your business.
So…open door policy it is.
Well, one morning a few months back, I noticed that the house was eerily quiet- a sure sign that something was amiss in the house of Reichert. A search for Katie found her in front of my bathroom cabinet with a virtual rainbow of tampons splayed out before her: the green super absorbent, the yellow mediums, and the purple lites. Kind of Mardi Gras-ish, if you think about it. She gleefully announced, “Mama- Katie has pi-vacy too! I like pi-vacy! More pi-vacy!” as she continued to dump box after box of tampons onto the floor. Rather than correct her faulty vocabulary (I mean, do you really want to introduce the word “tampon” to a toddler?), I scooped her up and restocked my hoard.
Since then, Katie and I have been sporadically toying with potty training. Sometimes she’s cooperative, sometimes she’s not. One afternoon, I could tell she really needed to poop. She’s farting like a dog who ate a casserole of baked beans and then chased it with a big head of cabbage. I place her on her little potty and wait. And wait. And wait. She sits there and chatters on and on. Once in a while, she gets up to check and see if any progress has been made (no). Finally, I think, well, perhaps she’s uncomfortable with me as an audience? She was in a pretty vulnerable position: naked from the waist down with me towering over her with a frenzied look in my eye, chanting over and over again, “Just try to do a poopy. You can do it, Katie. ” I mean, some people can’t perform under pressure, right? So I ask her, “Katie, do you need some privacy?”
A big smile comes on her face and her eyes light up. She yells, “YES! I NEED PI-VACY!” and begins to sprint bare bottomed to my bathroom. Perplexed at first, it finally dawns on me- she’s after my stash. I chase after her and do a full body tackle to keep her from wreaking havoc on my feminine hygiene products. I pick her up and she starts thrashing and kicking me over and over again. With the fury and despair of a young Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire, she bellows, “PI-VACY!!! PI-VACY!!!!!! JUST…..ONE……PI-VACY!!!!!!”
I am so ready for menopause.