‘Skip, Skip, Skip to My Lou’ is a popular children’s song. Back in the 1840s, it was a famous American partner-stealing dance. The ‘lou’ in the title comes from the word ‘loo’, a Scottish word for ‘love’.
Now, why am I telling you’ll all this? What connection does it have to parenting? Well, here goes…
Any mother will agree that after becoming a mum, trips to the loo are not sacrosanct any more. There is zero privacy, irrespective of whether you want to pee, poop or shower! So ‘skipping’ to the loo (while baby’s in the highchair or toddler’s fixated on the telly) kinda becomes an anthem of sorts for mums. Just as the Americans stole a partner on the dance floor, we mums ‘steal’ those precious few moments to use the loo without a face peeking at us. Or a baby sitting on our laps. While we’re on the pot!
What is it with babies and loos anyways? I mean, can’t we mums get any privacy? We had none during childbirth, not much after the littles were born and now, when the dust has finally settled, your just-learning-to-crawl baby wants to hold onto your leg. Yes, even while you pee!
I understand separation anxiety and all that, but is it essential to sit right there? You could wait for mummy outside. She’s not going to get flushed down the toilet. But no, the littles want to see you. Damn privacy!
When Little Man was a crawler, and would crawl his way into the bathroom from whichever corner of the house he was in (of course, only when I was in), I invented this little game. Ok, not so much an invention as much as a copy of master and dog playing Fetch; you know, where master throws a stick or a ball and dog runs to fetch it? So while I was sat on the loo, I used to throw whatever I could get my hands on (cream bottles, deodorants, hairbrush) as far into the room as I could, and gleefully watch as Little Man used to crawl his fastest to go fetch. Then diligently crawl back and give it to me. Repeat action. The considerable amount of time it took for him to crawl to the object, search for it and then return it to me used to give me some form of quiet while on the loo! (No, I’m not warped. It’s called survival).
Soon the separation anxiety turns to curiosity. ‘Mummy, what is that?’ Errrrm. ‘Let’s see what’s going on on TV now, shall we, honey?’ Whew, that was close!
Then when toddler turns to threenager, there is the constant stream of demands. At the exact moment you steal a trip to the loo.
‘Mummy, I’m hungry’ . Really? Like weren’t you hungry 15 seconds before? When I was sitting next to you on the sofa?
‘Mummy, my lego broke again. Come fix it’ Couldn’t you have broken it at any other time during the day?
‘Mummy, do this’
‘Mummy, come see that’
‘Mummy, I want this’
Then there are the questions. ‘What you doin’ mummy?’ Or the announcements. In public. ‘Mummy’s doin’ a wee-wee’. Thanks for that, love. The entire restaurant knows that now!
I don’t know what to expect post this stage, but I’ve got a gut feeling it’s not going to involve a) a locked door, b) privacy or c) peace. At least not in the near future. Till then, I guess I’ll have to continue skipping to the loo my darling…
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