Friday, December 18, 2009

Paradise Lost ... Or Not?

For 34 years, the bathroom has been a place of peace and quiet where I retreated to engage typically in relaxing activities. Brushing teeth? Therapeutic. Flossing? Orgasmic. Shaving/renegade brow plucking/miscellaneous manicuring? Satisfying. Exfoliating? Give me a break – have you seen my pores? Pooping while scouring the almanac for world capitals? Nirvana.

The other office has always been a refuge, or even a sanctuary, if you will. Unless, of course, my 83 Westland Ave. roommates and I devoured Cheung Kee grub on Mass. Ave. at 4 a.m. before calling it a night, in which case the next morning’s activities were generally violent.

Probably the least mentioned lifestyle change that veteran fathers warned me about was the extinction of peaceful bathroom use. The days of a crossword puzzle followed by Sudoku, all while on the bowl, are long gone.

On my early morning shift days (the wife and I rotate every other day), G-sizz and I stir mama around 7:30. In the days before February of 2009, wifey required several minutes to make the adjustment from sleep to awake. While she’s come a long way since bringing our daughter into this world, sleeping beauty still doesn’t exactly jump out of bed when beckoned.

To assist with the transitional stage, G and I adjourn to the bathroom where we brush our teeth together. I keep the peanut cradled like a bag of groceries in my right arm so as to prevent her from crawling around near the toilet or trash can. As G arbitrarily decides between chewing on her brush’s bristles or waving it around as she inspects her reflection in the mirror, I fumble left-handed around the upper molars with my brush.

I place G on the bedroom floor so both hands are available to apply the shaving cream. Before touching the blade to my right cheek (always first for some reason), I hear the alternating sound of a toothbrush clicking and a bare hand plopping against the floor as pajamas shuffle along. Next, I feel the tiny fingers first on my heels, then ankles, and up to my calves as the little creature stands, demanding to be restored to her prior perch. Now she wants to eat the lather on my face.

After the shave, I go right for the shower knob. Next, I abandon G-unit back in the bedroom. Maybe 30 seconds later, the shower curtain is pulled back. She flinches from the wet spray hitting her eyes, but the mini-monkey proceeds to grab at every one of the 37 assorted bottles of mama’s shampoos and canisters.

“Hey you!” Yes, the wife has come to save the day! She's my hero. Ahh, a peaceful shower. I love her – but ... wait a minute. Nope, she’s not taking Greta. Just peeing. Great. So now, the entire family of three is within four square feet of each other in our 30 square foot bathroom. Greta’s hair is now dripping and she’s eaten half a travel bottle of No Frizz conditioner.

On second thought, I love my ladies and I love my mornings. My bathroom is still a paradise after all. (Just don’t mess with my almanac, please.)


Tom Kirk said...

michelle only has 37 canisters?

megan cullen said...

It has been a wonderful journey seeing your writing develop and capture the beautiful and comical moments of fatherhood. You have a wonderful ability to translate scenes, keep writing!!! It always brightens my day!

Anonymous said...

Love this post. Every word you write is so true but the way you write it is hysterical.
Our bathroom now has about 25 kid books, countless bath toys and the mini potty to trip over. Fun!

Wes said...

One of my favorite posts to date. I am still trying to convince Wes to use the bathroom at work, so it doesn't interfere with the running list of to-dos I always have for when he walks in the door. (Don't worry- he refuses...)

Patti McC said...

Sorry- that last post was me, not wes...

p.s. Norah was banging on the bathroom door while wes showered this morning asking if there was an armadillo in the bathroom.