This is not so much to ask. This is one of those rights that should be written into the Constitution. It is fundamental.
Here’s what I think: You deserve to take a shower all by yourself in all your naked splendor without little eyes staring up at you through the glass. And you deserve to take a peaceful shower without your kids pulling out the tampons from the cabinet and whipping them at each other, so that when you get out of the shower, there is a blizzard of half-opened tampons and tampon wrappers covering every square foot of the bathroom and your little baby is wearing a maxi pad as a hat.
And you should be able to take a shower without your oldest asking you in a loud grating voice, over and over, each time just a little bit louder, “Do bumblebees have beaks, Mommy?...Do they?...Do bees have beaks…and wings…Do they, Mommy?...I SAID…Do they have beaks…Mommy!...Mommy!...MOMMY! “ until you are forced to open the shower door and inform her that bumble bees do not, in fact, have beaks, but ducks and chickens and pelicans do, which prompts a whole new loud discussion about pelican beaks and somehow elephants get in there and the shampoo is dripping down your back and you’re cold as hell and you wish you didn’t take a shower in the first place.
So, I slipped off for a quick shower yesterday. Two adults were here: The CSFB (Competent but Sexy Finnish Babysitter) and the girls’ Godmother, Bubba. That’s 3 adults and 2 kids. We outnumbered them. Which is surprising since mid-shower I hear wailing and the wailing sounds like it’s in the same room, but I think how could that be? There are two other trusted and beloved a dults here and I’ve only been out of the room for 3 minutes.
So, I keep showering, kind of oblivious, and the shower is very hot and the glass doors are all steamed up and the water is roaring and frankly, I’m as deaf as an 80 year old man and I barely notice that the wailing has gotten louder, kind of in stereo. But I figure the adults are on it and if anyone has set themselves on fire, someone will come and get me. I keep showering. I even shave my legs. It was down right luxurious.
But the wailing persists and it is getting stronger. Like it’s in the same room. Weird. So, I wipe off the shower door with my hand and look down and see two near-hysterical children, tears streaming down their faces, staring up at me. Edie has her arms out desperate for a hug, Lucy has a long stream of snot hanging out of her nose. They are red-faced and freaked out. They look like two sad little orphans lost in the forest without their parents. They look broken and abandoned and my heart sags looking at their pathetic little faces, until I remember what started this whole dramatic affair…I’m taking a SHOWER!
So, I talk them through rinsing the conditioner out of my hair and I do this while propping the door open with one foot, so Edie feels closer to me and then, I throw a towel around me and get down on the floor next to them, dripping wet and hug them both and Edie pops her head down low and sticks her face in under the towel and grabs onto a boob and Lucy sniffles and wipes her nose on my towel and buries her head in my shoulder and we are all recovering from the trauma of Mommmy actually leaving the room and...TAKING A SHOWER!!
I’m sitting her now thinking about taking a shower, but it’s easier to be stinky…