There are three things on the very top of my list of things I like to do alone. One is eat. One is sleep. One is go to the bathroom.
I have eaten a lot over the past 4 years. A ton, really. Some of the best foods I have ever seen have crossed the threshold of my front door. When we had our firstborn and then our twins, our friends SHOWERED US with food. Dinner after dinner, drop off after drop off. (These days, with no newborn in site, guess what? I have to cook. I’ve considered having one more baby just for the meals.) All this to say, I have seen a lot of good food, but whether or not I have tasted it – as in really tasted it – is another story. Eating with my sweet kiddos present is about as fun as trying to get a pedicure while juggling. As in, you are completely incapable of indulging in the foot massage the sweet person is trying to give you because you must focus on keeping the balls in the air OR THEY WILL ATTACK YOU. That’s why I like to eat alone now. I mean, I do most of my eating around my kids, but I want to eat alone. I want to taste the food. I want my sleeve to stay clean.
Second, sleep. My husband is the only person I want in my bed. I like sleep and need it too much to consider the co-sleeping arrangements some of my friends have going. Absolutely love it for them, but for me, I just need that space. But, you see, I have a little sugar in my life who likes to show up on the side of our bed one, two, sometimes five times a night and/or week to snuggle in. SIGH. Sometimes I let the little sugar in, but I really do want to sleep alone.
And finally, go to the bathroom. Listen, if you don’t have three kids around, then this one may simply gross you out. But when I accidentally lose my mind for a moment and go to the bathroom without locking the door, it’s like a slow-motion progression of a shark sneaking up to attack a boat … they’re coming for me. I hear them. Sometimes two feet. Sometimes four. Sometimes six. And if I have the strength and clearance I will risk my life to lock the door – up to the very last moment – before I see that handle turn. Anything to have those 38 seconds to myself.
So yesterday was Sunday. “The day of rest.” And for me, “day of rest” means Daddy takes care of the kids while I lay in my bed and stare into space. And I got to rest . . . until one of my munchkins showed up. With a plastic hairbrush. And a huge hankerin’ to do my hair. So she did. And I let her.
So in all the buzzin’ around that goes on in this house day in and day out as a family of five with three small kids, I’ve decided I want a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign around my plate when I’m eating, around my bed when I’m sleeping and around the door knob when i’m peeing.
But the ironic twist of wearing a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign around the ones whom you most wish would comply:
IS THEY CAN’T READ.
So, in the meantime, I will choose to embrace it all: the hurried, messy meals; the middle of the night cuddles; and the interrupted potty breaks (no, actually, I’ll be sure to lock the doors more); instead of wanting them to end.
Because if I’ve learned one thing from all the grandparents in all the world around me it is this – it all goes by too fast.
So, for now, DO DISTURB, me, my precious kiddos. I love ya, too much.
Besides, who would want this to end?