Then I had children. And my quiet moments began diminishing. However, nap time usually provided me ample opportunity to recharge and get ready for the rest of the day.
Then? I had two children. The youngest was happiest when velcroed to my body and the oldest stopped napping. To cope, I learned the time-tested method of hiding in the bathroom for a few moments of quiet when I got overwhelmed. Well, sort of quiet. The kids would often sit outside the door and yell at me or push their fingers under the crack. I figured, if I could hear them or see their tiny digits, they weren't getting into mischief.
Then I had three kids... then four. I love all of my kids, but sometimes, when they're testing my patience, it's safer to retreat somewhere to count to 10 so I don't end up yelling at everyone like a banshee.
So, I've continued my bathroom coping techniques. However, at this point, the oldest has learned to unlock the bathroom door from the outside, and she's been instructed not to enter if it's locked unless there's an emergency.
Unfortunately, we have very different definitions of "Emergency"
I'm in the shower and suddenly a rush of cold air enters the bathroom as my oldest barrels through the door. (I hate that rush of cold air).
"MOOOOOOOOOOOOM! There's a bee in the living room! A BIG BEE!"
(It's January, there's no bee, I can guarantee it). I question, "Are you sure there's a bee?"
"Well, it COULD be a bee. I mean, we didn't SEE the bee. We just heard a buzz. Maybe it was your phone?"
"Lex, go out and please shut the door and wait. I'll be out in a second."
She does as I request. But I neglect to request that she lock the door. Seconds later, the third walks in and starts chatting,
"Mama? So, I saw a crayon on the table and so I put it on the floor and so, Zoen ate it." (He likes the word so). I panic a bit before I remember that Z is not in fact on the floor and realize that Sayer is regaling me with a tale from yesterday. (My kids like to eat crayons, what can I say). Before I can ask him to join his siblings in the living room, I hear a peculiar thunk and realize that in the name of being "helpful," my dear oldest has removed the wee one from his exersaucer and is herding him towards the bathroom. He has just pushed open the door with his head.
"Mom? Zoen wanted you." Lex is standing at the entry of the bathroom with the door wide open. I'm cold. Zoen crawls to the tub and resumes his favorite pastime of throwing back the shower curtain and tossing random objects into the tub. Caly enters the bathroom and declares she needs to take care of some... business. Sayer pops his head behind the curtain and asks over and over, "Whatchu doing Mama?! Whatchu doing?"
I give up the notion of a relaxing shower and exit. The kids perch onto the edge of the bathtub and provide lively commentary on my getting ready process.
I look over at the four little people hanging out near the bathtub and begin to formulate a plan to retreat to the tool shed to uh, "fix" something. Like my sanity.
(This is a fairly accurate portrayal of my view any time I enter the bathroom. For anything.)
Then again, they're pretty good company. And they give me a great reason to narrate my treks through the grocery store. You should see the looks I get when I go by myself and end up talking to thin air.
See? Even when they're not actually with you, they're still there.
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't change a thing. But if someone offered me a chance to shower in complete silence with no rogue gusts of icy air? I wouldn't say no.
Motherhood. Where you're never, ever truly alone.