Dear Dad's the bathroom is not the Man Cave
I would like to point out an often overlooked issue of inequality in parenting...the bathroom. A few weeks ago I posted the following comment on Facebook.
“I call my children endlessly...they don't come...I threaten punishment...they don't come.... Now I’m trying a new system. When I want to call a family meeting, I just walk into the bathroom, sit down and shut the door very quietly...suddenly all three of my children magically appear.”
Many people agreed with me. I wasn't surprised. It's just one of those universally known facts: when you give birth, you are automatically forfeiting your right to privacy in the bathroom for the next 18 years. What I was genuinely taken aback by was the men who said they could relate to this. I mean, sorry fellows, I love ya, but really? Perhaps I should clarify what I consider to be a gender inequality gap in the mom vs the dad trip to the bathroom.
Mom's necessary trip to the bathroom
The mom trip is viewed like an invitation to her offspring. It reads something like...Mom has gone to the bathroom; please come in, all are welcome. Please air your grievances all at the same time as long as you are louder than the kid next to you. Feel free to bring toys or food or even your pillow. Ask Mom anything you want, preferably something urgent, more urgent than whatever she is came in here to do.
Feel free to watch, give hugs, pull on the end of the toilet paper roll and run from the room. Perhaps even help mom out by flushing the toilet a few times while she sits there. If, by chance, mom makes the mistake of locking the door, feel free to:
A. bang on it as loud as you possibly can making a harmonious rhythm with your siblings, or
B. Find a sturdy toy to use as a battering ram.
And whatever you do, be sure Mom does not get too comfortable in there. After all, she needs to get out as soon as possible to meet your needs. If all else fails and the door is still locked, make sure and get into an emergency situation and wail at the top of your lungs so that Mom must immediately cease and desist and come to your rescue.
Dad's "vacation" to the bathroom
Incontrast, when Dad enters the bathroom, there is an aura of understanding between father and offspring that takes place--this is sacred ground. They will enter it on penalty of death. This is MAN time and under the guise of going #2, Dad is entitled to large uninterrupted blocks of peace and rest. The bathroom is transformed into a home theater where dad has a virtual cornucopia of media at his fingertips. He can daydream, relax, and get away from the pressures of the world for a while...without the sound of small voices he lets his thoughts wander...he wonders if they make ottomans for the bathroom because that would make the relaxation experience complete...he thinks they probably don't make them but perhaps they should...hey, maybe he could market those. Maybe he could leave his job and sell ottomans for the bathroom. Okay...okay, he comes back to reality...maybe not, but must remember to jot that down for the future. Dad's personal retreat to the bathroom has not only relaxed and rejuvenated him, it has also left him thinking deeply about his future career and questions like...in a head-to-head showdown, would Ironman take down Captain America? Or should the zombie apocalypse happen, how could the family survive in the wild? Yes, Dad feels good and is refreshed; he could practically solve world peace.
If you need proof of this, check out this photo of where my children happen to place Dad in the dollhouse. It is clear that kids are just born with the instinct to leave Dad alone in there. Another bit of evidence is to flip through the Netflix history. If you find entire seasons of the Walking Dead or Marvel movies that were not feature presentations on your prime-time kids-in-bed evenings, chances are that they were part of an exclusive screening for Dad in the can.
I’m really not trying to make fun of you Dads; only to say, you REALLY can't relate to this. Dads do plenty of awesome things Moms can't, but being asked for string cheese and apple juice while you are trying to take care of nature’s calling is not one of them. Because while you enter the home theater to do your business, we Moms are holding court, settling disputes, and doling out punishments while sitting on the throne.
PPS. if you can relate to this perhaps you Dad needs this on his Christmas list.