Smoking in the bathroom

I’ve been meaning to write for weeks. I have needed to write for weeks. Yet the weeks have been dragging on with no tangible documentation of our current events. The truth is that life has happened.

You know, the ‘life’ part of life that leaves you feeling like you’re in a time warp. The series of weeks where you lift up your head and realize a month has passed and you’ve just been plowing through your days trying to keep your head above water. The Groundhog Day season of life where you hear the alarm and can’t remember what day it is because you’ve executed the same pattern for days on end. Shower, get kids ready, pack lunches, get to the bus, work, work, work, make dinner, head to practice, feed everyone again, showers, stories, check backpacks, goodnight kisses, get waters, listen to the final fifteen pleas to use the bathroom yet again, wash face, brush teeth, crash into bed. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

The irony is that often during these frenzied times I’m armed with the best material to document. Consequently, it’s often vital for me to practice some of my writing therapy during this insanity. Unfortunately, it’s a catch 22 as there is usually very limited time to hang out with my keyboard due to this ‘life’ kind of life that has occurred.

I should clarify that this crazy town is where I choose to live and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I’d sure take a round trip ticket to Emily of Indiana University days every now and then. Although those years also had their stress and challenges……

-Deciding which of the main courses (prepared by someone else and laid out for me at 5:30 pm every night) I would enjoy for dinner.

-Trying to make the unbelievably difficult decision of what to wear on Thursday night. Would it be the tank top and black pants or the other tank top and black pants? Times got extra tough when faced with the option of borrowing someone else’s tank top and black pants. Apparently designers were on strike in the late ’90s.

-Wondering whether to get my workout in before or after classes.

Ok, let’s be real, I didn’t work out. As much as my 38 year old heart wishes I had….. I did, however, have the option to do so whenever I darn well pleased.

While I often daydream about those carefree IU days, I love the blessings this stage of life brings. It’s just that I find today’s challenges to be a bit more…, challenging. These days it’s more like:

-Should I wear the business suit that doesn’t really fit or the skirt with mystery baby food stain that needs to have the hem repaired?

-Should I go to the store and get ‘real’ food or can I make ‘breakfast for dinner’ tonight? Yet again.

-Might I possibly be able to get out of the house for a walk or will chasing a one year old away from the dog bowl constitute as cardio?

I loved my college days and still have such fond memories of Indiana University. My degree equipped me with lots of skills but they forgot a few things in the ole Business School. I think it would behoove them to require students to take a course on executing their degree while dealing with added responsibility. So, be it taking care of pets, kids, parents or loved ones, you are not unprepared! An Adult Survival 101, per se! Because, in all honesty, there are days I want to crawl into my closet with a bar of milk chocolate and hide. Ok, ok, there are days I HAVE hidden in my closet with a bar of chocolate. As the now popular meme suggests, I simply don’t want to ‘adult’ at times.

 I was recently standing in my kitchen, surrounded by people asking for, pleading for, screeching for demanding things. I’ve discussed the snowball effect that often occurs in our village but let me explain for anyone who missed out. When one child needs something the other three IMMEDIATELY need something. It is an emergency. The milk request needs to be fulfilled NOW. The pencil sharpening and graham cracker getting are so urgent. As are the diaper changing and hair brushing and meal prepping and sock finding and paper signing and “look at me, look at me, look at me!”


The frenzy is contagious and I frequently view my little ones as rebel fighters in these situations. It is also in these moments I often dredge up a memory from 1990.

I was 13 when I finally convinced my parents to let us get a family pet. I thought their previous denial to do so was cruel and unusual punishment. I will take care of the dog, I said. I will feed the dog, I said. I will walk the dog, I said. Dear Mom and Dad, super sorry for the failure to keep my word on any of that….but I digress…….

A few months after we decided to get a dog, a Dalmatian to be exact, we made a visit to see the newly arrived litter of puppies.  There were eight little cuties and they were so spanking fresh that their spots hadn’t even shown up. The family raising them was keeping them in a bathroom. They were like little, wild bandits yelping and nipping and every last one of them was demanding to nurse. I will never forget the look on the mother’s face.

Total hopelessness. Utter defeat.

I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t tending to the needs of her vulnerable little puppies. What a mean mom, I thought. It is only in hindsight that I can totally relate to her plight. Years later I also realize I watched as she pulled off the most fabulous, evasive mothering maneuver I’ve ever witnessed. As eight tiny puppies climbed and crawled on her, demanding her immediate attention, she slowly climbed onto the toilet lid and slunk into the nearby sink bowl. This full grown dog curled up for what I assume is the canine version of a spa day. Brilliant!

The problem is that I don’t fit in my bathroom sink.

Believe me, I’ve tried.

While I only have half the mouths to feed, I’m confident my litter is much louder, much more demanding and MUCH mouthier. That’s on a good day. Suffice it to say, the last few days have NOT been good days. In the last week we have enjoyed the benefits of strep throat, a horrendous stomach bug and some fun respiratory issues. I’ve washed more sheets and cleaned more carpet than I ever care to remember. To use one of my positive pessimisms, everyone was sick but at least they threw up a lot.

My latest post was also delayed because our youngest daughter started smoking. I know, I know…you might be thinking three years of age is too young for tobacco use and I heartily agree. However, our wispy girl somehow confused the term vomiting for smoking. So when she became ill upon entering her daycare classroom, she looked at my husband and sobbed, “I’m sooooo sorry.  I did not meeeeeeeaaaaaaan to smoke in the classroom. I ‘meaned’ to smoke in the baaaaaaaathroooooom!” It’s tough not to laugh at a toe-headed, three year old girl confessing that she is now smoking. (Although I did have to do some fancy footwork when we ended up at the doctor and she confessed her new past time to him, as well.) Our only consolation is that she might always associate smoking with such horror that she’ll never for one second consider picking up the habit.

Those of you who’ve read my previous posts know that August isn’t my favorite month and fall is my least favorite season. We are trying to get into our rhythm with school and football and daycare and work, work, work. Now we’ll have to add a smoking cessation class for preschoolers to the list. It just never ends!

So, as we purge the germs from our hot zone, I will forge ahead. My desire is to have a chance to write more often. This, of course, hinges on two things:

Getting the computer power cord to reach me in the bathroom sink and keeping tiny smokers clear of my new work space!

I would love, love, love to hear how each of you deal with the pressures that come with ‘adulting!’ Please share your tips so we can all forge ahead together!


**Click ‘FOLLOW’ and enter your info. You’ll get emails delivered directly from my sink. You’ll also be among the first to know if my daughter kicks her habit.**

14 thoughts on “Smoking in the bathroom

  1. I laughed so hard, I cried! Words are your friend and humor is yours. This time in our lives is like a hamster wheel so many days. It is those moments when our kids lighten the mood and start smoking at the ripe age, of what 3 or 4, that make us laugh until we cry. That, my friend, will keep you rinsing and repeating for at least another 48 hours!

  2. So very sorry to hear Lou Lou has taken up smoking! It’s a tough habit to break, especially for a 3 yr. old. Your life is so blessed even with all of the chaos involved. You have to laugh to keep your sanity! :^) Thanks for another great story!

  3. I do know how you feel about fall and especially Halloween. Feel free to come raid the dress up box! I still have many of your favorites with some fun new additions. Love to laugh and I am so glad you are sharing?

  4. Ahhhhh…a spa in the gloriously large bathroom of yours! I’m in. Parenting with 4…let’s see…it’s like Jim Gaffigan says…it’s like your drowning and someone throws you another child. Lol. Yes, we love crazy town too 😉

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