We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’ve all found ourselves sitting on the floor of our bathrooms counting to ten at some point, right? Please tell me I’m not alone in the parental failure department. Tell me I’m not the only one who has hidden in the bathroom after getting completely OWNED by my kids…anyone? Bueller?
Regardless of whether I’m alone or not, I have no shame in admitting that I have ventured to the powder room and frantically locked the door behind me on more than just a few occasions, none of which were to actually pee.
Reason 1: It’s (mostly) clean in there. The bathroom is the one room for which my toddler has little interest. To him the toilet is still a foreign concept and the sink is still, for the most part, out of his thieving reach. The floor isn’t hidden by books or stuffed bears; and as far as I can tell, it is still free of the remnants of Goldfish and fruit snacks. Our bathroom is small- too small to harvest any large amount of chaos; and during this particular time in my life, I’m completely okay with spending a few solitary moments in that cozy nook that houses our toilet.
Reason 2: It’s my safe place. No, literally- it is the only place I feel safe from the weaponized Hot Wheels being pelted at my unsuspecting face. My son is going through a bit of a throwing phase. While his accuracy is impressive, it is also lethal. So lethal that I have actually considered wearing a helmet, and/or a face mask while we ride this phase out. Until he learns how to pick a lock or harness his feelings, the bathroom will continue to be my place of refuge.
Reason 3: I can hear myself think there. Trying to teach a toddler how to reason is similar to what I would imagine trying to teach Kanye West about humility is like- he just isn’t going to get it. When faced with the daily turmoils of sharing toys and eating vegetables, my son sometimes crumbles beneath the pressure of being a 22 month old. Navigating through these sporadic tantrums takes a bit of thought and creativity on my part. The bathroom is my quiet place- a place where I can briefly wrangle my thoughts so that I am mentally equipped to avert all future catastrophes.
Reason 4: It’s too early to start drinking. There are days when coffee is not enough to get me through the colorful display of emotions that my son evokes. Sometimes, while pouring that cup of Jo, I eye-ball the Bailey’s and think to myself, “Hmm, no one would even notice.” However, given the amount of focus it takes to keep small children from ingesting poison and playing with knives, I refrain from drinking before 9 am, and opt for a little retreat to the bathroom – where I practice deep breathing, temporal massage and whisper cursing.
Reason 5: Cartoon theme songs. I appreciate the educational element and emphasis on kindness of children’s programming today; but if I have to listen to Sofia the First sing one more fucking goody two shoes song about her “struggles” I’m going to go at my ear with a dremel. Since the aforementioned isn’t a realistic option (or is it?), I head to the bathroom and listen to the 90’s hip hop station on Pandora. There’s nothing quite like a little Dr. Dre to make you reminisce about being a 16-year-old lanky, Caucasian girl who truly believed she could both spit rhymes and do the Tootsie Roll.
Reason 6: I’m too young for gray hair. I’ve been told that extreme stress can cause gray hair. Though I believe that I handle my stress quite well, the silvery stripes rapidly emerging in my hair seem to disagree. If I were to stop highlighting my hair now, it’s possible that I’d resemble a direct family member of Willie Nelson. Since I don’t want my locks to rival that of an 80-year-old hippy, I head to the bathroom seeking solitude when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.
Reason 7: It’s for the kids. In my opinion, the three minutes it takes for me to rid myself of anxiety while banging my head against the wall in the bathroom, is better than the life time of permanent emotional damage my kids would suffer if I didn’t take a breather every now and then. No one wants a crazy mom; and I certainly don’t want to BE a crazy mom. I want to love on my babies. I want to sing and dance and make messes with them. I want them to grown up and look back on their childhood fondly- preferably not from a leather chaise lounge while rationalizing their feelings to their therapist.
I would love to give my kids every second of my time, but they can’t have it. I need two minutes. Two minutes every day to relocate my rational, even keeled self so that I can be the mother I’m supposed to be.
I know what you’re thinking- this woman selfishly locks herself in the bathroom to escape from her precious angel babies and leaves them alone to brave the elements all by their tiny, defenseless, little selves.
Yes. Yes, I do. But first, I remove all the bear traps, shards of glass, heroine needles, flame-throwers, assault rifles, Pit Bulls, rat poison, rusty nails and carnivorous plants from within their reach.
And they’re fine. So please, spare me the lecture and don’t get your monogrammed panties all in a wad.