I can’t help chortling to myself. I’m just so pleased at my discovery of how to stop this bother-mom-when-she’s-in-the-bathroom dynamic. It took me years to find a solution, but by gummy, I’ve got one.
We all know how it starts. You close the bathroom door. Oh wait, I forgot. You probably don’t remember what doors are for since they long ago ceased to be of use. So, dear parent, let me remind you. Doors are these rectangular objects that are suspended on hinges and swing to a shut position to separate you from the rest of the world when you go to the bathroom. NOW you know why you don’t remember them. They don’t separate you from anything. You can close the door and count to. . .what. . .maybe eight. . .before someone comes running in saying “He took the last Pop Tart!” “Would you zip up my dress?” “Joey’s got the paint gun again,” and before you know it, you have an audience for what should be a private moment.
It’s time to take a stand. (metaphorically of course. I won’t even go into the ramifications of a literal interpretation here). I’m not saying moms should take up a hobby that takes you away from your family for weeks at a time. This isn’t about the oft ridiculed ME time. This is about decency! Privacy! And the American ideal of being permitted a 10 minute window of time to be uninterrupted. (Unhurl the flag and insert patriotic tune of your choice).
You can, if you like, try to instruct, beg, cajole or threaten. But it doesn’t last. You can even *gasp* LOCK the door. But it won’t matter. They will still come, put their little urchin mouths at the base of the door, and try to have a conversation sounding as though their face is pinched between the almost closed doors of an elevator. Or they’ll begin to shoot little paper missiles under the door which land pathetically at your feet.
But all is not lost.
I have the solution. (cue brass horn fanfare) And its simplicity will astound you.
Are you ready?
Keep a small whiteboard by the toilet. And when they come to visit, you say, “Well, if you’re going to bother me, have a seat. We’re doing fractions.” Then whip out that white board and make ‘em stay till their little denominators match.
I’m telling ya, they won’t bother you any more after that. In fact, you’ll hear them accosting each other out in the hallway.
“Don’t bother mom! She’s got the white board! I don’t know my times tables through twelves yet. We could be there for HOURS!”
THIS is what I love about social media and blogging. Practical ideas on practical matters delivered in time to be of practical use. Grab hold of the power of the whiteboard. I promise next time to write about something with a bit more decorum. But whether or not it will be as practical, I cannot promise.
Carol Barnier is a fresh, fun and popular conference speaker unlike any you’ve heard before. Her objective is to have the wit of Erma Bombeck crossed with the depth of C.S. Lewis, but admits that most days, she only achieves a solid Lucy Ricardo with a bit of Bob the Tomato. She is a frequent guest commentator on Focus on the Family’s Weekend Magazine broadcast, has been a guest on many radio programs and is a speaker to conferences nationwide. She’s the author of three books about dealing with (or possessing) a non-linear mind in a linear world: How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On To Learning, If I’m Diapering a Watermelon, Then Where’d I Leave the Baby?, and The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles. Her main websites are CarolBarnier.com and SizzleBop.com. You can also find Carol at her blog for moms with distractible kids at SizzleBop. And for fun, see her church humor blog at CarolBarnier.