Not Just a Boob

As a responsible young woman, there isn't much I wouldn't do for my children to show them I love them and cherish them.

I keep fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge, mostly to rot and mold; I shuttle their whiney little arses all over hell's half acre so they can socialize with other demon spawn on a regular basis; I sit through hours of endless teen movies with my kids by my side, hogging the popcorn and spilling their drinks on my sofa all the while Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus suck out what's left of my brains with a straw poked through my eyeball.

If that doesn't scream parental love and devotion then I don't know what the hell else to do. Maybe try backflips on the trampoline while naked.

(Oh wait. I did try that. Every time I bounced my bladder would explode and soon the trampoline was a puddle of urine and my children wouldn't come near me for days except to remind me to buy adult diapers. Ingrates.)

Still, there has to be a line drawn in the sand so that I don't slip into the mindless role of caregiver and forget that before children I was actually an articulate and interesting woman. Not just a pathetic reincarnation of June Cleaver.

The line in the sand happens to be where the tile floor starts and the hardwood ends. Also known as the bathroom.

While I am in the sanctity of my powder room, I am no longer Mom. I am off duty. I am Tanis. My bowels and my bladder are my own and I choose not to wipe my ass with anyone watching other than my dog.

When they were little they'd follow me in or pound on the door and there would be no escape from them. But they are on the cusp of teenagedom. They are at the age where they want a little restroom privacy themselves. For the most part I've trained them to leave me the hell alone.

Or enter at your own risk. I can't guarantee you won't see something traumatic and life changing. I can't guarantee you will like the answer when you see my diva cup and ask what it is and what it's used for. Heh.

So when my daughter ran through the house this weekend, calling my name, I yelled the same warning I've been yelling for years in hopes of finding a moment of damn peace while I sit on the throne.

"I'm in the washroom. Leave me alone."

"Mom! Mom!" I could tell from her voice that she was getting closer to the washroom.

"I'm in the bathroom. I'll be right out." As in, 'listen here you punk ass kid. That hamburger that you convinced me to buy when you saw a pair of golden arches is not agreeing with my sensitive digestive system. Because of your baby blue eyes and unique skill of twisting yourself around my little pinky, my bowels are about to erupt and take the entire remains of the lower half of my body with them. I can't guarantee I will survive this abdominal uprising. But I guarantee if you come in here, you won't.'

Apparently I need to work on my scary mommy voice because before I could draw in my next breath, the bathroom door swung open and my daughter rushed into the bathroom.


"I'm a little busy here, kiddo. Get out." As I hugged my body for dear life and prayed to the porcelain Gods for mercy.

"You stink." Her nose crinkled and she grimaced.

"Thanks for the olfactory update. Can this wait?" I growled.

"I just want to tell you something." If she could have smiled any bigger I'm sure her face would have cracked in two. Figuring at this point it was just easier to listen to her than to shoo her out, I just bowed my head and reminded myself that there will once again come a time when I can potty in peace. When I'm like 80 or something.

"What?" I figured her news had to be the equivalent that her brother is on fire or she won the damn lottery.

"I've got BOOBS!" She grinned excitedly.

"That's what you came in here to tell me. Even though my bathoom door was shut and I told you to go away?" I growled. "OUT. NOW."

"No Mom! I've got boobs! LOOK!" Said as she whipped up her shirt so I could look at her invisible rack.

(Because this is what my life has become: stuck on a toilet while preteens ignore my wishes and flash me. I know it's symbolic for something. I just don't want to know what.)

Maybe it was the light, maybe it was the fact that I was slowly losing my mind and my children take great delight in helping suck any remnants of intelligence out of me, but I looked at her beautiful face, glowing with hope and excitement and then I looked at her prepubescent chest, and I nodded my agreement.

"Yep. Those are boobs. Great big buds of boobs. Look out Dolly Parton. Here comes Fric," I rolled my eyes as she examined her flat chast in my mirror.

"I'm almost an adult now, Mom. You said once I got boobs I was halfway to womanhood." She smiled.

"Ya, but I also said when I'm in the bathroom to stay the hell out. Since when do you listen?"

She pulled her shirt down, looked at me with that preteen distain and rolled her eyes. "Whatever Mom." And with that, she was gone.

Just in time for me to notice I didn't have any toilet paper. Damn.

"Fric get back here! I need some teepee!"


"Fric!" Nothing. She had turned up her music and was immune to my pleas for help.

Which is the sum of my life these days. Can't find peace in the bathroom when I need it. Of any sort. Toilet paper or privacy.

Welcome to parenthood. And my blog. It doesn't get any better than this.


As a special treat and favour to my dearest friend Catherine, I've written an ode for her and women everywhere over at her blog.

Check it out if you like. And use this as a shining example why you should never hand me the keys to your castle. Heh.