One of The Great Secrets of Surviving Parenting

how i feelI have recently uncovered one of the parenting secrets. Or should I say, secrets-to-not-completely-losing-your-mind (while balancing lunches and hockey games and getting the kids to bed on time and remembering things that they might forget and… well, you get the idea).

And I found this secret in the last place you’d expect.

toiletThe toilet.

I know, who looks there for secrets, right? But let me explain.

Having not been around when the boys were really young, I had no idea that the only safe room would be the bathroom. But in that little room you can find a little quiet, a little piece of mind, a little time to yourself.

I remember my parents taking a long time in the bathroom. I always thought they had stomach issues, but now I suspect they’d brought a book, maybe a glass of wine and just settled in for the evening.

It’s not like I can’t tell the boys to give me some space. I try this while writing. But just as often as not, I’ll have someone come downstairs and want to chat. More so than if I was sitting at the table beside them. More so than if I ask them what was the best thing that happened in school today. It’s something I totally don’t yet, get. Maybe to get them talking, I’ll say, ‘don’t talk to me, ok, all right, we clear?”

Mostly, though, it goes like this…

“So, ah, you’re writing?”

Me: “Yup.”

“Whatcha writing?”

Me: “My blog.”

“Is it about me, again?”

Me: “It will be.”

“What do you mean?”

Me: “I mean I need to get this done, could you please come talk to me in 20 minutes.”

“Twenty minutes starting now?”

Me: “Yup.”

“Not when I reach the top of the stairs?”

Me: “Nope. Now. 20 minutes. Starting. Right. Now.”

“So when you say, like, ‘go’ or something?”

Me: “No. Just turn around and go play Murder the World on your Xbox. It’ll make you a better human being.”


At this point I usually shout for the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world to come rescue me.

occupiedBut in the bathroom, no one bothers me. Maybe it’s fear of the smell. Maybe it’s a sacred place for them as well. Maybe they simply can’t find me cuz I’m very, very quiet and don’t answer to the shouts of “Joe! Joe? Joooooooooooooe?!?”

But no matter. In that room I can catch up on a bit of reading. I can check on my FB friends. I can see what rascally things catz are up to. If I’m real quiet, I can even do up a quick blog post.

I’m sure other parents know this as well. There should be some sort of manual. Parenting Secrets No One Will Tell You. Maybe I’ll write it. On the toilet. With the lights off and the fan on.

Where do you hide?

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