Monday, July 21, 2014

If the Bathroom Door Is Closed

Home from points northward. Mounds of laundry and unpacking. Seven-year-old burning up with fever. Here's one from the archives . . . 

A Christmas Story lands somewhere on the list of my top twenty movies. Among its many charms:

1. Ralphie rifles through the mailbox, grabs the one letter of interest to him, and stuffs everything else back in the box. Not that I've ever been tempted to do that.

2. Ralphie takes his secret decoder ring and dashes to the bathroom, "the only room in the house where a boy of nine could sit in privacy and decode."

Paper Airplane bearing message, " Mom, can I have something to eat?"
Yesterday I was in the only room in the house where a mom of four can sit in privacy, and I hear, "Mom, Ainsey's pooping."

The tone implied scandal, so I gathered this was not occurring in the plastic potty designated for this activity.

Today I'm issuing a sweeping new communications plan.  If the bathroom door is closed, I am incommunicado.

There will be no knocking.

There will be no shouting.

No entreaties.

No notes shoved under the door. 

Don' t try my cell phone.

Don't enlist the help of the Morse code tapper.


There are, of course, exceptions to every policy. Let's review a few possibilities:

1. Popcorn? Don't even.

2. Television? Just forget about it.

3. He just (fill in the blank)!  Unless this ends with fell off the roof, it can wait.

4. Mom! Vague.

5. Can I (fill in the blank)? The answer will be an unswerving no unless the blank is filled in with something like put out the fire? in which case you forget about manners and focus on getting out the door pronto! or, heaven forbid, doing the Stop, Drop, and Roll thing we all learned in Boy Scouts and if it sounds like I'm being glib, I can assure you I am not. My brother and sister set fire to our house when I was a baby, and I'm glad someone got me (and the pyromaniacs) out the door in a timely manner.

6. Vomit. Depends. There is vomited - past tense (too late to do much about that), and then there's vomiting - present progressive (I just might hurry).

7. Blood. Please interrupt, regardless of tense involved -- past, present, or present progressive.

8. Fire! See number 3. And don't forget your baby sister.

Any questions?

1 comment:

Kate said...

Hey, I was all of three years old when the fire occurred. My role was that of an observer only!