Last night I was lying in bed with Anna waiting for her to fall asleep. I’d promised Cade I’d lay with him as soon as Anna was snoozing. I told him to turn out the light and get under the covers and I’d be there in a minute. A few minutes passed and his light was still on. “Cade,” I called. “Turn out the light and get in bed.”
“Mom,” he said, his voice coming from the hallway, “I have to go potty…bad.”
“Okay, just close the door please.”
Anna and I lay there silently in the dark. We heard Cade say something in the bathroom but couldn’t make it out. He wasn’t calling to me, just talking…to himself…in the bathroom.
The toilet flushed. Good. He’ll go to bed now. But the door didn’t open and he didn’t come out.
Then he started singing a song I couldn’t make out.
The toilet flushed again.
I heard a cabinet door close. Surely he doesn’t need more toilet paper, I just replaced the roll.
More talking to himself, then a thud.
The toilet flushed again.
It’s going on 5-6 minutes now. Then I heard, “whoooooo.” Cade was howling. (He’d just read a book about a wolf.) I stifled a giggle.
I heard a bump against the wall, but he didn’t call out to say he was hurt or needed me, surprisingly.
More talking to himself.
The toilet flushed yet again, for the fourth time.
Anna was asleep by then so I got up to go check on him. The door was locked. I knocked and he opened it, naked from the waist down and holding his pajama bottoms and underwear in his hand. (Cade kind of has a George Costanza issue with the bathroom and clothes – his pants and underwear have to be completely off, sometimes his shirt too.)
“Are you okay?” I asked. “Why were you in here so long?”
“I was just wiping and flushing,” he said. I noticed that the full roll of toilet paper I had put on the holder was now down to a quarter inch thickness at best. I was suddenly extremely grateful for his four flushes.
“Cade, I heard banging in there, what happened?” I asked.
“I hit my knee on the toilet seat and it really hurt. Then I ran into the wall.”
“How did you run into the wall?”
“Oh, I did that on purpose. It was fun.”
I didn’t even know what to say in response to that. I can’t find any meaning to what happened in the bathroom last night or any sliver of a moral to this story. It’s just that sometimes life with kids is completely ridiculous and funny and entertaining. And thankfully it didn’t involve a call to a plumber.
Sara Ellington is the author of The Mommy Chronicles: Conversations Sharing the Comedy and Drama of Pregnancy and New Motherhood (Hay House, 2005) and The Must-Have Mom Manual (Ballantine/Random House, April 2009) Now available at Target!