I Got 99 Problems, and Number Two is #1

This is a post about bodily functions. One bodily function, actually. It’s fitting, considering this blog basically got started talking about boobs.

And let’s face it.  This is the material I have to work with. I can’t advise you on fashion, home decor or gardening. I’m woefully uninformed in important matters like politics and new music. Travel is now mostly a pipe dream. I like cooking, but even that has gone the way of the vegan chicken nugget.

Unlike fashion or travel or any of those other things, bodily functions play a pretty major role in my new life staying home with two small boys. If we’re friends, you’ve heard about their bathtub submarines and peeing in my boss’s front yard. But you may be surprised that this isn’t as much about them as it is about me.

So.

I miss the way pooping used to be.

Not the physical act. I’m pleased to say there’s nothing wrong in that department. Not like in that first postpartum week after Rory. Holy hell. I had a c-section delivery with both kids, but I would like to think that during that week, I got a pretty good sense of what a vaginal delivery is like. Thankfully, that long bathroom nightmare is behind me (no pun intended; though, ha! I do love a good pun).

Side note:
I did not have that problem with Noah, thanks to nurses who kept me on a steady diet of Colace. (For those of you not familiar with that drug, I guess you could say that what a spoonful of sugar does to help the medicine go down, Colace does for the other end. In the most delightful way.)

Funny story on that side note:

I was still in the hospital, using the bathroom, when a nurse stopped by. Since I was indisposed, she talked to Pat.

Upon emerging, I asked Pat, “What was the nurse here for?”

“She asked if you needed any Kool-aid.”

Bwahahaha. Kool-aid.

Maybe you had to be there.

Anyway. I’m flying footloose and Kool-aid free these days. What I’m talking about, what I miss, is the experience. I miss when pooping meant going into the bathroom and shutting the door. Sitting in peace; maybe paging through the latest People magazine, catching up on Jennifer Aniston’s new hairstyle.

No more. Pooping is now a 3-ring-circus. And I am the ringmaster.

Peeing, no problem. I can distract the kids (look, a garbage truck!), disappear and return before they realize I’m gone.

But if I need more than 15 seconds, it’s all over. If I try to shut the door, and through it make a rational speech about how some things we share with our friends and others we keep to ourselves, Noah bangs on the door, ignoring all well-reasoned arguments, yelling “We won’t give you privacy!!!”

But usually it doesn’t even get to that point, because I don’t feel safe shutting the door if Rory is awake and roaming. As if from my porcelain perch I could prevent him from falling down the stairs or eating drain cleaner or provoking the mercurial dog.

This marauding gang of bathroom thugs must have thought I was still inside.

When the door is ajar, it’s an open invitation: both kids squeeze into the space around me. Rory reaches for the garbage can on one side of me and attempts to unfurl the toilet paper roll on the other, while Noah crawls onto my lap, often with his fleet of Matchbox cars in tow. Then Rory starts squealing because Noah is on my lap instead of him. WHILE I AM SITTING ON THE TOILET.

The rare instance I’m able to bribe them to stay outside the door is hardly better. They hover right there.  Sitting at my feet like I’m the latest incarnation of the Buddha. Watching. Waiting. Interrogating. Surely they would pack a picnic lunch for the occasion if they were allowed to use the knives required to make the peanut butter sandwiches.

I now understand why my dad would always retreat to the bathroom immediately upon returning home from work. Sure, for practical reasons. But I also imagine that for him the bathroom was the last bastion of peace in an all-female home, with two daughters crying over boys and curling iron burns and yelling about borrowed shoes and who’s hogging the phone. Similarly, I look forward to the day when the bathroom will be my oasis from football and fart jokes. But for now, I guess it’s a bodily function free-for-all.