And I Don't Even Say "House" Once!

Last night we went out to dinner. For no other reason than that it was 6:00 and Chris and Savannah had materialized at the end of my bed where I sat at my laptop (typing words! all day! worrds!) looking all helpless and miserable and inquiring about dinner.

This is normally where I play a little game I like to call "Oh, I Hadn't Noticed the Time!". (I had.) But, instead I suggested we go out to dinner because "we're out of water" and as everyone knows, a quality meal requires water.

So, I got a night off from the kitchen and a night on at Chili's. And the most fantastic thing happened: I got carded! Like a real carding. Not just a "sympathy card", which I often get when I'm out with my 12-year-old best friend.

And let me tell you, nothing tastes as good as a margarita that required ID. Except maybe the second one.

Anyway, I was feeling especially resourceful last night and at one point while Savannah and I were in the restaurant's bathroom I was getting antsy waiting for her to wash her hands.

Because the washing of the hands takes about 900 years.

She has to smile at herself in the mirror while she runs water over her hands. Then she has to get three full pumps of soap. Then she has to smell the soap. Then she has to make me smell the soap. Then she has to stare at herself a little more in the mirror while she rubs her hands until the soap gets sudsy. Then the thorough rinsing. And then the paper towel dance where she dries her hands with one and turns off the faucet with another.

It's like she's a public restroom sommelier.

You can imagine how I'm normally reacting:

"Hurry up!"

"I smelled my own soap!"

"You're done now!"

"I'll turn the faucet off!"

"They're dry enough! Use your pants!".

(Having me for a mom is eff-you-en!)

But, last night I watched her sweet little face chattering away as she washed and washed and washed and I literally said under my breath "Don't say a word". For just a moment I pretended I was one of those patient, encouraging moms.

And I swear twenty minutes went by. And I started to become nauseas with restraint. But, I kept chatting with her all the way through. ("Yes, the water does splash when you clap your hands!" "Yep, that soap smells like strawberries alright!")

And the most lovely thing happened. She finished washing her hands, grabbed my hand in hers, and skipped alongside me out of the bathroom, chipper and happy.

And I thought "Now, how hard was that?"

Honestly? Pretty. Damn. Hard.

And yet, I know I need to do more of this. I need to step back, take a breath, and relax. And just let her be. Because then everything else falls into place.


Tracy said...

Oh tell me about it. My son takes fifteen minutes at least when he does anything in the bathroom.

Glad you exercised restraint though. I need to do more of that.

jen from boston said...


And also, that is some self-restraint.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Aren't you going to tell us what you wrote on the bathroom wall?

Anonymous said...

You are a strong strong woman. I'da been ripping the hair outta my head...

Y said...

You stood there for 20 minutes? Oh man, I think my kidneys would have shut down.

(it will never stop being funny. EVER.)

Denise said...

You have no idea how hard it is for me with three kids to let them do their thing. I do a lot of yelling. Then when they're all sleeping I feel guilty.

Thanks for telling me I'm not alone.

By the way, your Club Mom blog is a daily read around here and now I just found this one!

Kristie said...

Somtimes, I am not even kidding, I pretend that I am the nanny and that my employers have a nanny-cam and that I'm being videotaped {with my very own children ... yes, I am insane} because it makes me act more patient and fun.

That's really pathetic, isn't it?

Amie said...

My daughter, Aislinn, is the same way when it comes to washing her hands. Especially in public restrooms. I'm standing behind her, tap-dancing, huffing, puffing, and waiting for what feels like years, just for her to get them washed. And then the drying? Gah.

Crystal said...

Being carded is the BEST ego stroke EVER!!!

And, I have trouble with restraint in my own bathroom, let alone a public one, WTG Mom!!!!

Butrfly4404 said...


Totally feeling sorry for myself. I didn't even get carded on my 21st birthday! Here, now the law is "If they look under 40, you have to card them" so, NOW I get carded. Although, not the last time we had margaritas. I'm crying now, but still happy for you.

Hahaha...try exercising patience when EVERY EFFIN STORY is "My mom..." Like, "My mom can do this." "My mom has that." "My mom knows how to do that." I'm sure she talks about me just as much, but every once in a while I just want to blow up and yell "I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR MOM DOES!!" Or, when it's "My mom has this, my mom bought that," it's even harder because, Hello! Thanks for the child support!

Sorry, wow. I'm totally losing it today.

Karen A. said...

I'm with Kristie! I pretend that my kids are someone else's sometimes because then I know I'll be nicer!

Too funny!

blog Portland said...

You're already a step ahead of me by letting her wash her hands. I'm usually on them with "Hey let's go! My beer's getting warm." Besides, their Mom always makes them Purrell up after the bathroom, no matter how long they washed their hands, so I figure what's the point, right?


nila said...

Those are the moments I live for. Especially when I realize how patient I really can be. Which doesn't happen often enough.

Stef said...

Those patient moms? Are on Vicodin. :)

Jennifer said...

Do you think they know when we use that excuse..."I didn't realize the time"? I use it all the time!

Good job on the patience. Patience is a bitch.

Butrfly4404 said...

Hahaha...yesterday I 'held it' thru WalkAmerica because I didn't want to use a porta-potty. When we finally stopped at a convenience store on the way home, I had to wait outside the bathroom as a lady (VERY patiently) got TWO kids thru using the potty, then washing their hands. I so badly just wanted to BANG ON THE DOOR and say "Enough! Teach them at home!" hahahaha...but, no, really, patience IS good.

Anonymous said...

Okay seriously, this is the funniest thing I've read all day (it may or may not be the wine).

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