Last night Callan and I braved the icy roads to do a little Christmas shopping for Melissa. We decided this year that Callan ought to make gifts for everyone, rather than spend a lot of money, and I've been trying to help him come up with something for Melissa on his own. I thought a walk through the store might stimulate some ideas. I primed Callan with a few questions as we drove to the store, asking him what he thought mommy might WANT for Christmas. He couldn't think of anything. "Okay, What does mommy NEED?" I asked him. He thought for a long time and then said,
"Her own Potty," an answer that attests to Callan's listening skills. Melissa has on a number of occasions (usually when she has just used the bathroom after Callan) lamented the fact that she has to share a bathroom with " little boys" (I'm still not sure why she pluralizes 'little boys,' since Nolan doesn't use the bathroom yet). She dreams of the day when she no longer has to compete for counter space or toilet, sink, medicine cabinet, and mirror time with me, or Callan or anybody else and on more than one occasion she has hinted that when we do have two bathrooms, I might be relegated to sharing with boys so she can have her space.
The truth, however must be told. The bathroom is already Melissa's. Anyone who spends any time there, as I have recently, can tell almost immediately, by the reading material alone, that this is no man's bathroom. Family Fun, Mothering, Good Housekeeping? That's the reading selection currently on the shelf. Whose bathroom?
Not that I don't appreciate a good article on public breastfeeding or on how to make Christmas ornaments out of popcorn and pipe cleaners, because I do, and not that I don't appreciate Faith Hill's "Inspiring advice--and funniest-ever story," in the "Giant Holiday Issue," with the "Bonuse Ultimate Holiday Planner," and the "Perfect Party Dresses (Under $100!)," but while being "commodious" a guy might want to read an article in Time, or maybe something from Outdoors or even the AWP Magazine, something without a lot of billowy fabric, holiday recipes, or advertisements for Coldwater Creek.
When we were kids, my youngest older sister, Misha,--ever outnumbered by her four brothers--was at some point given the hall bathroom to call her own. Central to the entire house, and complete with tub-shower, ceiling fan, and ample cabinet space, the "middle bathroom" as we once called it, (with no intentional Tolkienian reference), was prime real estate for vain teenagers and became the sight of many a battles worthy of a J.R.R. himself. It became known, despite our best efforts, as the "girls' bathroom" (or was that "girl's bathroom," I could never tell, even though there was only one Misha).
The "boys' bathroom" resided in the farthest, coldest, most remote outcropping of the house in the back of the laundry room, behind a weathered pocket door that only halfway worked. The low toilet, industrial sink, and curtain-less fogged window screamed "concentration camp" and it seemed that toilet paper was always in short supply.
We all still used the middle bathroom, but Misha's "ownership" made innocent transgressions like leaving the lid up, or tinkling on the toilet seat, or forgetting to flush, or leaving any variety of hair anywhere was cause for battle royale. However, the only time she could really exercise her eminent domain over the "middle bathroom," was if she had to use it at the same time one of us boys did. The boys were sent to the boys' bathroom.
Who wants a bathroom anyway? There are so many other rooms in a house that it seems almost silly to pine for a private potty. What about the kitchen, or the hallway, or the living room? Yes. When we have a bigger house, I would like my own hallway, one I don't have to share with anyone, one I can walk through in peace. Some day. Some day.