In the past 4.5 years, I have managed to go to the loo, by myself, about 20 times. I am counting within that the time in hospital with ds and dd, post birth, when they were too little to move and a midwife sat with them while I staggered off and did a painful wee, the few times i've been out without the children, and my hen night and wedding days. Aside from that, I am always joined by two small people who seem to enjoy disrupting my attempt at a peace evacuation, and this had led me to patent my "Waiting Till the Last Minute Then Placating Them With Sweets" method, which at least allows me to do it in silence, if not alone, as they chew. If they haven't got a sweet to chew on, I can place a good bet on one of the following happening:
- A fight. As soon as I am mid-movement, one of them will hit the other, safe in the knowledge that I can't get them.
- One of them will suddenly say "I need a poo" and say this, increasing in pitch until I have finished. It's really relaxing.
- They will ask questions about anatomy that I am really not ready to answer yet.
- They will want to look at my final result and discuss whether it will get down the pan or not (charming, I know, but an obsession since an unfortunate episode onboard a Calais Ferry, where a large lady left behind a deposit we tried, and failed, to flush away, resulting in flooding that my son has never, ever, forgotten. )
- One of them will insist on spraying deoderant and comment on stinkiness. Weirdly, they don't do this with their father, possibly because they can't get up the stairs without a mask when he's on board.
All of this was having an effect on me in terms of lack of privacy. I don't want to have to Derren Brown with the tampons. I don't want to have a 4 year old saying "don't strain, mummy" in my ear. I want to sit on the loo and read my way through Second World War books, like husband. Some of you may be sneering, and saying, shut the door, you fool. Be strict. I have tried this. I have locked the door. I have explained about privacy. Son and daughter now get privacy. I am ordered to leave the room, and am summoned back by a stately "I've been!" to do the job. I , on the other hand, do not get the same rights. If the doors are locked, it's no holds barred fighting, shouting, screaming, yelling, weeping, in much the same way that being on the telephone transforms them into little beasts of a high decibel level. It's even harder to poo when it sounds like a massacre outside the locked door, and you hear one of them shouting "Please, Mummy, he's really hurting me".
So I was astonished yesterday morning to find an empty bathroom confronting me. No-one followed me upstairs. No-one stood outside the door. They just waved me off. In retrospect, I should have realised. Because now the ante is upped. Now it's not all about how they can annoy me for 5 minutes as I poo, it's about what they can do in the five minutes while I poo. Here (see picture) is the result of the first private poo I have had in this house. Yes, five minutes to get the chair, open the cupboard, get the paints out and give the toy cars a very interesting paint job. It's a one off, I thought. This morning, again, alone, I descended the stairs to find an entire packet of Shreddies inside my children (well, about 2/3 of a pack. 1/3 was trodden into the rug). This afternoon, I came downstairs to find them frozen, mid opening of the Cupboard of Joy, full of forbidden treats that MIL brings over and I confiscate, to ration out over the next Millenium.
Frankly, i'll have to be at work to get a peaceful poo.