Friday, December 11, 2009

All I Want for Hannukah is Privacy

You know, when your kids are little, you expect (well you resign yourself to) having no privacy. Whatsoever. EVER.

(WARNING: The following entry may be charged with TMI. Read at your own risk. And don't look at me funny the next time I see you. You WERE warned!)

No potty breaks, no shower time, no dressing with the door closed. Mom and Dad are on-duty and, apparently, need to be accessible at all times.

How many times have I solved crises while sitting on the toilet? I've tied shoes while in the shower. Applied band-aids while brushing my teeth. The last time I put socks on my children's feet that I wasn't at least partially naked? Nope. Can't remember.

With children ages 8, 6 and almost 4, we're gently moving out of that phase (praise the Lord). We're having discussions about appropriateness and our bodies, with a strong focus on modesty. This, amazingly, lets me turn those personal time/space moments into teaching moments.

We moms live for that stuff.

So imagine my glee when a teaching moment presented itself to me over and over the other morning with my oldest son!

Every time I sought some personal time -- bathroom, shower, other-grooming-that-I-don't-necessarily-want-him-to-see-but-he-always-asks-me-why-my-eyebrows-are-so-red-and-sometimes-my-upper-lip -- knock, knock...Mom?

At least he knocked. We are getting somewhere!

I fed him breakfast, packed his lunch and snack, went over homework with him, picked out his clothes, found his shoes (in various stages of undress) and so on, and there was never a question IN ALL THAT TIME.

The moment I go to the bathroom, BAM.

Apparently there was some confusion and concern on his end because Hannukah was listed on one calendar as beginning the 12th, and on another had a start date of the 11th. And so, he literally followed me around asking about it. He was very upset about it.

No, we're not Jewish.

So, why? I don't know. Well, ok, he's 8, he's curious about religions and traditions and all these new things he's being exposed to. Which is good.

But why did it never occur to him to ask me about it until I was mid-shower?

I think our children crave our attention most when our attentions are elsewhere. Even if they have non-stop attention all day long, they never want it until it's not available. Hence the toilet bowl dispute resolutions, or the half-naked shoe searching.

But one day, they're not going to "need" me for much. One day, they'd die rather than run the risk of seeing me naked EVER for any reason. Right now, honestly, that sounds like heaven. But I know, like everything else about parenthood, it's bittersweet. Still, a girl can dream, right?