“If I have some inside, it will be hardy coming out,” sings the 3 year old from the bathroom. It’s her latest poop song. She often sings to herself when sitting on the toilet, mostly because her mother will not let her walk into the bathroom with reading material. I have a photo of her, sitting on the toilet, reading a book. It’s as close to “old grandpa man” as I ever want to see her get. And after I snapped the shot, we had a long discussion about hemorrhoids, disgusting practices and things that are not allowed in my house. We have very nice chairs with reading lamps and no one has to use the toilet as a library, thank you very much. Point is, the child has to entertain herself somehow while she’s in there, so singing it is.
Hal thinks he’s sneaky, though. I don’t think he was a toilet-reader when we first got married. At least, on his best newlywed behavior, he never tried to take anything into the bathroom that could be classified “library matter.” However, I’ve noticed bad practices creeping up. And the older he gets, and the more confident in our marriage, the more he tries to get away with. Little things about the bathroom, like the left-open toilet lid, have magically started looking more like a bachelor’s pad than my haven on earth. And today, horror of horrors, he actually tried to walk into the bathroom carrying my copy of Picture of Dorian Gray.
I find there are several ways to diffuse hostage situations. There’s the best-friend method, which often requires hours of bonding and trust building, and which doesn’t work when someone is currently on the way to the toilet. This method needs advance preparation. Then, there’s the jesting method. Something along the lines of “Oh, I bought toilet paper, so you won’t need the book,” or “Hey, if you hate it that much, just burn it, but don’t torture the poor book.” Occasionally this works, but if your spouse is feeling too manly, his brain may refuse to let the message through. It’s risky is all I’m saying. Today, upon seeing my beloved book headed for sure destruction, I opted for the direct method. “Don’t you dare take my book into that room!” No, there was no smile in my voice, no loving-wife evident. I was all military commando, ready to retrieve a fallen comrade regardless of the risk (substantial) to myself.
The result? He audibly plopped the book onto the desk and continued his journey, alone, as every bathroom trip should be.
Unless, of course, you’re a mother, in which case you never get to potty alone. But, at least I have a 3 year old to sing to me.