Room with a view of no privacy

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I usually avoid bathroom humor. This is the column for highbrow conversation, like the time we drove into our own porch, the time the roof collapsed (more than once), or the time the dogs ate the swimming pool.

Honestly, it’s appalling how many times we have dealt with destruction. What is wrong with my life? I don’t normally stoop to bathroom humor, but today it is inevitable.

Blame the door

I’ve always suspected that bathroom doors could be planed to within a hair’s width of the bathroom floor. I’m pretty sure the gap between the floor and the door is left there simply to accommodate toddlers and cats who want to stick their fingers and paws under the door.  As a parent, I sometimes find the need for a little “alone time.” When the children were little, privacy was a thing of the past.

I don’t care how prudish and used to privacy you are, once you have children, you get used to doing almost everything with an audience. Then comes a happy day when you can leave them unattended for a whole 10 seconds or more. Sometimes you can even hit a minute. This doesn’t mean they won’t go right for the butter knives, the permanent markers and the time to dismantle your house.

It just means that you’ve upped your speed. As long as you can get in and out quicker than it takes them to slide a kitchen chair over to the knife rack, you’re good.

Then one day, you enjoy that blissful moment when they are no longer crouched outside the door crying for you as if once again you’ve abandoned them and you’ve left them for life. Plaintive cries of “mama” are no more.

No, there is a time when they no longer need you to be with them every second and wouldn’t join you in the bathroom on a dare.

Time to share

Now maybe you live in one of those fancy houses with like six and a half bathrooms for a four-bedroom house. In that case, good for you. Living in an old house, we have two bathrooms. This is actually two more bathrooms than we should really expect to have. Our home was built at a time when you were very fortunate to have the money to put in actual running water and indoor plumbing, rather than a well-paved path to a little wooden shack outback.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t have a little wooden shack outback. It’s actually quite fancy. Our home came with a double holer, two separate doors and a concrete foundation. It’s swanky. If you had any doubt about how country I really am, the fact that I just bragged about the state of my outhouse should clear up any questions.

Meanwhile, back here in the house of old times and much fun, we are currently attempting to have four people — one of them a teenage female — all share two bathrooms and leave at the same time every morning. This, as anyone knows, is impossible.

This leads to three of us standing on top of each other brushing, flossing and checking for stray hairs (OK, that’s just me), while one of us creates a whirlwind of hairspray, lip gloss and fresh scrubbed freckles. We’ve gotten used to using the facilities like planes stacked up on a runway.

Alone? Not likely. Of course, sometimes when the house is quiet and I am home alone, I dream of taking a long, hot bubble bath, or maybe just hanging out in the pristine, white marble and tile cleanliness of one of our bathroom cocoons. But I’m convinced there is still some kind of homing device planted in the faucets.

They no longer crouch outside the door and shove their fingers under the door, but I’ve often said that in case of emergency, if I ever want to gather my family quickly, I need only to go to into a bathroom and shut the door. Mr. Wonderful and the Small Wonders will immediately appear from wherever they are — including other states and possibly countries — to say “Where’s Mom?” and “Hey, I need in there.”

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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