Last night I stepped out of the shower to see my 9-year old son standing in the bathroom, looking at me. I jumped at first because I was shocked to see anyone there, but a second or two later I realized I needed to cover up. I grabbed a towel and tried to cover myself as I asked, "What are you doing in here?" He proceeded to tell me all about a video game he was playing.
I looked down and noticed that my boobs were partially exposed.
"Turn around!" I barked at him, desperately rearranging the towel. He complied, of course, but when I looked up again I saw that he was still looking at me - in the mirror on the opposite wall. *sigh*
The tension I released during my relaxing shower (and I do mean relaxing....I'd had a special moment with my big purple waterproof vibe) started coming back immediately. My son, though, was oblivious to the whole thing. He just kept talking, sharing the news that apparently couldn't wait five more minutes.
From the moment I had my first child, all privacy and privacy-related boundaries in my life disappeared. It started in the delivery room. I had my feet in the stirrups and my legs spread wide open waiting to deliver. We were waiting for the doctor who was apparently taking his time. Nurses came in and out chatting with each other. Every now and then one would tell me not to push. At one point, there were three nurses standing there chit chatting about the potluck coming up later in the week.
And then the janitor walked in. He walked passed me, took a look at my woohoo and then continued to get the trashcan in the corner. There were six people in the room at the time, all of them monitoring the activity between my legs. That hadn't happened since that time in college when I played with that group of drunken fraternity guys, but at least they were all participants. In this case, those in the room were spectators, voyeurs, witnessing the happiest day of my life and the day all boundaries related to my "princess zone" became blurred.
From that day forward, there was no such thing as private time in the bathroom, for any purpose, for me. If my husband wanted to have a deep conversation, he'd wait until I was in the bathroom to start talking. If one of the boys needed a field trip permission slip signed, he wouldn't catch me at any point during the 4 hours of the evening I was in the living room or kitchen. No, he'd wait for bathroom time.
There were many times when all of them would gather in the bathroom and we'd end up having a family discussion. I'd try to push them out to postpone it for a minute, but one of them would say, "No, no, this'll just take a minute." It always took more than a minute. On the most reason occasion, the dog joined us, too. Why should he be left out?
Once I reached under the bathroom sink for a tampon and my oldest actually said, "Mom! That's gross. You're going to do that here in public??!!" I exploded. "I wasn't in public when I came into the bathroom and closed and locked the door!!" He replied, "That lock is broken, Mom." No shit.
Interestingly, the boys have drawn very strict boundaries for themselves regarding the bathroom. If I even speak to them through the door, I'm met with a torrent of pleas and screams. "Mom!!!! Don't come in here! Get away! I mean it....don't come in!" Sheesh. I wiped their butts and bathed them for years. Now they are terrified I'll see anything I shouldn't, yet they may walk out of the house with their jeans pulled down around their ass.
Maybe they're protecting me from seeing too much. God forbid I see a dick that doesn't belong to their father. ;-)
Last night definitely shocked me, but it's not a big deal. I sometimes wonder how it will go over when they just walk into the bathroom and start talking to their girlfriends, but that's not my problem, is it?
I put up with the lack of bathroom boundaries because, after 21 years (the age of my oldest) I've finally discovered where I can get some uninterrupted peace in the house - the kitchen after dinner and the laundry room. They all stay away from those places like the plague, afraid that they'll be forced to work.
Except for the dog. He stays to keep me company, and as long as he doesn't start talking, I'm ok with that.