One of the advantages of being a Mom is that you are rarely forced to spend time in the bathroom alone. Not that the bathroom is such a lonely place, mind you, but I seem to have lots of company there lately. I tried locking the door, but that resulted in endless doorknob jiggling and knocking, and I ended up throwing back the shower curtain and walking, all sodden and drippy, across the bathroom floor to open the door. There is something about deliberately locking my child out that doesn’t work for me. I just can’t do it.
Such a scene played itself out just the other day. I returned, shivering, to my shower. My daughter and her best buddy, Floppy Dog, put the toilet seat cover down and took up their positions on their throne. Then the questions started.
“Mama, are you finished yet?”
“Does it sound like I’m finished?” I immediately regretted my sarcasm, and promised myself to be kinder in my next reply.
“Are you using soap?”
I turned off the water and opened the shower curtain.
“Did you rinse all of the soap off? Your hair looks funny. Your shoulders are wet. You have water on your belly button. You have a belly button just like me. Your legs are wet. You need to dry your legs.”
“I know; that’s why I have this towel.”
As I dressed and styled my hair, my daughter and her Floppy Dog peppered me with questions.
“Mama, are you a chair?”
“Well you do spend a lot of time sitting in my lap, so yes, I guess I am a chair.”
“Mama, are you a clock?”
“Well, it seems like I spend most of my day telling you and daddy when it is wake time, sleep time, story time, play time, dinner time, school time, nap time and tickle time. So, yes, I guess I am a clock.”
“Mama, are you a broom?”
“Well, I swept this one guy off his feet almost a decade ago…”
“What?” The diva cocked her head to the side in confusion, then went on to the next question. “Mama, are you a washing machine?”
“Well, actually I am one of the world’s worst housekeepers. Even so, I spend a lot of time washing your chocolate-covered face, ice-cream stained clothes and dishes. So, in spite of my best efforts to the contrary, yes, I may be a washing machine.”
“Mama, are you a book?”
“Hopefully, not an ‘open’ one, but I do have lots of stories to tell, and you can come to me for information.”
“Mama, are you a mirror?”
“Sometimes you will look at me a cringe when you see things about me that you see in yourself. And sometimes you will smile. And when you are a teenager, people will say ‘you look just like your mom’, and you will want to run and hide. And when you are older you will look into the mirror and sigh ‘I am like my mother’. And if you have a daughter, she will say something, and you will be amazed that she sounds so much like me. Then you will realize why. So, yes, I am a mom, and moms are mirrors. I only hope that, someday, you think it is a good thing.”
“Mama, are you a meatball?” she giggled
“Meatball!? Do you think I’m a meatball?”
“No, I’m not a meatball; I’m a tickle monster. And, I’m going to get you!”
© 2010 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.