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Friday, January 22, 2016

Trying to shower when you have a toddler

It is both a happy and a sad day when your kid first learns how to work a door handle. Happy because it means you'll no longer have to rescue them when they shut themselves in the pantry and can't get out ... but sad because now you cannot escape them no matter where you go to hide.

This especially includes the shower, which used to be a 'safe space' for me to relax.



Now, obviously there are things I could do to improve the situation for myself. I could lock the door, or only shower when she's asleep, or give her some special toy that she only gets to play with while I'm showering so she has extra incentive to leave me alone. But the fact is, I love her and she makes me laugh, so she can bother me in the shower if she wants.

And bother me she does.

It starts with the announcement of the intention to shower. "I am going to take a shower!" She responds to this by confirming it at least six times. "You're going to take a shower? You're going to take a shower Mom? Are you going to take a shower?" and on and on until she is satisfied that I am, in fact, going to take a shower.

I take my clothes off and shut the bathroom door, wondering how long the defenses will hold this time. And sure enough, within a minute or less of the water being on, I hear the doorknob start jiggling and then a little voice asking for the seventh confirmation: "Mommy are you taking a shower?"

Then begins the Great Handing of the Things. Audrey loves to be helpful. Nothing gives her greater pleasure than to assist me, whether it be by dragging a bag of bottles across the driveway of Trevor's daycare ("I'm carrying these bottles Mommy don't take them away"), or putting away her dirty bowl in the clean dishwasher I'm unloading, or taking groceries out of the bag and putting them in Trevor's car seat for some reason ("I'm putting the groceries away!" But why would they be stored in Trevor's car seat, Audrey? Why??).

This misguided helpfulness applies to my showers as well. She will yank the curtain open three feet and stick her head in, asking me "Mommy do you need something?" I tell her no, I have everything I need, and then I shut the curtain and go back to applying shampoo.

Moments later, the curtain is again yanked open and Audrey's head appears. "Do you need ... some toilet paper?" she asks me, shoving a big wad of toilet paper under the water where it promptly starts to disintegrate.

"No! Audrey no! Mommy does not need toilet paper please get that out of the shower and put it in the garbage."

"It's all wet!" she complains, like this is somehow my fault.

I shut the curtain again and resume my shower, only to be interrupted again ten seconds later. "Mommy, do you need ... this?" she asks, shoving the dirty end of the toilet cleaning brush towards my leg.

"GOOD GOD NO! Audrey that is dirty! Please put it away!"

Again she disappears, and again I close the curtain. And again she yanks it open, this time to offer me a comb that I do not need.

Over the course of my 5-6 minute shower, she yanks the curtain open no fewer than ten times, offering me a towel, a bottle of Tilex, a toothbrush, a second giant wad of toilet paper, a plunger, Jesse's razor, one of Trevor's toys, etc. I have to readjust the angle of the shower head so that her constant interruptions don't flood the entire bathroom. And when I finally turn the water off and open the curtain completely, I find that she has taken the floor towel out of the bathroom and hidden it god knows where.

And then she reappears in the bathroom to confirm for the eighth time: "Mommy, are you taking a shower?"

And then there's the running commentary as I dry off. She points at my front and asks "Mommy, is that ... your bum?" I tell her that no, that is Mommy's vagina, because I want her to learn the real words for things so she doesn't turn into one of those weird adults who could let loose a string of curses fit to make a longshoreman blush, but still refers to her genitals as "my bajingo" and calls her 20-years-husband's penis his "pee-pee."

She struggles with this word a bit, as it is not something she hears often. "It's Mommy's ... gina?"

"Yes. Mommy's va-gi-na."

"Where is MY vagina?" she asks, and I point at her crotch. "And where is DADDY'S vagina?" she asks, and I start laughing really hard because I should have seen this coming but I didn't so it's hilarious.

In addition to loving to help people, Audrey also loves to make people laugh. 

Exhibit A: She walked around with this thing on her head for like 15 minutes because we were laughing.

Exhibit B

And through my laughter, she has just learned that asking about Daddy's vagina is COMEDY GOLD. She doesn't understand why; all she knows is that Mommy is busting a gut over here and she wants it to continue.

"Daddy!" she calls. "Daddy! You have a vagina?"

Jesse appears holding Trevor, looking confused and telling her that he does not.

"DADDY WHERE IS YOUR VAGINA?" she demands like an angry cop interrogating a suspect.

Now everyone is laughing. Which is just positive reinforcement for Audrey to continue this. Dear God what have we done.

Also, now the entire family is in the bathroom with me as I try to dry off after my nice relaxing shower. Arguing about vaginas and who has them and who does not have them. I realize I really need to start locking the door.

And finally, as the cherry on top after this very relaxing shower experience, Audrey grabs a tube of chapstick, comes up behind me while I'm toweling off my hair, and rubs it on my buttcheek.

"Here Mommy! I put this on your butt."

Thank you, Audrey. As usual, you have been an enormous help.

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