(insert big heaving sigh)
It was one of those mornings.
The alarm went off at 5:40…because, you know, MIDDLE SCHOOL, and the bus comes at 6:47am so my son inexplicably needs over an hour to get ready. 30 minutes of which is spent playing on his iPod but WHATEVER.
I woke him and tried to catch another 30 minutes or so of sleep. But the dogs. The mother effing dogs just seemed to think it was an hour later than it was and it was time to get up! Have our breakfast! Go outside and take care of business! And if not, we are going to bark and whine and clickety-clack around with our too long nails and jump on the bed and smoosh you.
So far, this is a pretty regular morning. A few minutes after 6, having not really slept another wink at all, I dragged myself out of bed. I chastised myself for staying up too late, AGAIN. (But, The Blacklist!)
Once I washed my face, things felt a little brighter. I even hit a mild high point when I jumped on my Kindle and saw that the newly released Heroes of Olympus book was freshly auto-delivered and ready for me to read. Like a little miracle plunked into my regular life. Thanks, technology!
And then, Emma.
I love this girl. Love her to bits and pieces. She is sweet and kind and funny and kooky and creative and totally rad in the most unique of ways.
She is also a girl of extremes–from delighted giggles to full-blown tears of devastation in .2 seconds. She is easily distracted because that adorable little head of hers is so full of ideas. Emma CREATES.
Today, unfortunately, she CREATED a giant mess in the bathroom. A mess of poop, in case the title didn’t clue you in.
My daughter–my cute little 8-year-old daughter with a singing voice like an angel–poops like a grown-ass man. She has come to consider the toilet as a reading chair. I do not understand this. The toilet is not a comfortable place to rest, in my opinion. Why she would want to sit on it for a half hour (Really. A half hour. This is no joke.) instead of just going in, taking care of business, and then plopping down on the far-more-comfortable couch to read a book is beyond me.
But there it is. She will go in there, shut the door, stink the bathroom to high heaven, and then let it fester while she giggles away at Calvin and Hobbes.
And don’t even get me started on the amount of toilet paper she uses. Since an unfortunate and extremely embarrassing incident at a friends’ house in which a 5 year old Emma clogged their toilet and I stood by, mortified, while my friend had to plunge and plunge, I have given my daughter no less than four and possibly as many as ten active instruction lessons in wiping efficiently and effectively. These lessons are clearly not taking. My husband has accused the females in the house of eating the toilet paper because we go through it so fast, so I have since resorted to taking toilet photographs of the amount she uses to prove my case. (“See? It’s NOT ME using up all the toilet paper!”)
We have talked to her–a girl who walks around turning off lights and attempting to recycle items of questionable recyclability because, save the earth!–about the environmental implications of wasting so much paper. To no avail.
What am I doing wrong? I am obviously failing as a parent if my 8 year old is still having bathroom issues.
This morning there was such a closed-door, half-a-roll-of-toilet-paper, stink-up situation.
But it was far worse than I imagined when I banged on the door and demanded she GET OUT NOW because other people had to get ready and Daddy was going to be late for work and Mommy needed to brush her teeth and she was going to be late for before-school and generally the world was going to end if she didn’t GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM NOW.
I got a response of muffled words and some shuffling sounds through the door. We have had some talks about privacy lately (what with Cooper on the cusp of 13) and agreed that when the bathroom door was closed we would respect the privacy of the person inside and not just barge in.
Today, I broke that promise.
In my defense, I did give her a warning, a pre-barging shout of “I’m coming in now!”
Turns out, I was the one who probably needed to be warned.
The horror, you guys. The crap-covered horror.
I’m sure someday my daughter will thank me (in therapy bills) for putting this story on the Internet.
But the poop. The poop was everywhere.
On the toilet seat. On the floor. Ground into the bathroom rug. On my daughter’s feet–in between her toes, actually–and on the back of her legs. Inexplicably, IMPOSSIBLY, on the edge of the bathtub. (How had it gotten there? Did she throw it? Did she sit on the edge of the tub at some point? Really, HOW DID IT GET ON THE TUB???)
“What the everloving hell happened in here?”
Yep. That’s what I yelled in that moment of shining parental awesomeness.
Emma responded with a deer-in-the-headlights look, her motionless right hand held out clutching a wad of half-used toilet paper the size of a large grapefruit.
I flushed the paper-filled toilet urgently, coiled to spring for the plunger if things went badly. Luckily, it all went down.
I may have neglected to mention that while I was doing that, an epic rant was spewing from my mouth with a definite overuse of the word “seriously” in varied tones and usages.
“I seriously would have had more babies if I wanted to clean up poop again!”
“This much paper? Seriously?”
“Emma, seriously, you are 8 years old. What is going on here?”
“Seriously? Between your TOES?”
“Get in the shower, seriously. Like, right now.”
Forty minutes later, I drove Emma to her not-really-so-before-school-anymore program. Where she would have about 10 minutes to eat whatever passed as breakfast that morning before school actually started. I had apologized to her for my bad parenting behavior but, in true Emma form, she had all but forgotten about PoopGate already.
Since I hadn’t yet forgotten, I treated myself to a de-stressing Starbucks visit (grande bold with cream and a bacon egg and cheese sandwich) and started working almost an hour later than usual.
I’ll try again with the reasonable-amount-of-toilet-paper, wipe-your-butt-more-efficiently lessons another day.
Sometimes, you just have to clean up and hope tomorrow will be less shitty. (See what I did there?)