Mom: The Traffic Controller
By Julie Davidson
Many mothers choose to stay home with their children for a few years and then return to working outside the home. The problem is that after staying home for a while, there’s a gap in the resume.
To fill that gap, I suggest moms just need to take a hard look at all they do. The list is endless: launderer, referee, chef, chauffeur, counselor, triage nurse. Where am I going with this? Not sure you even want to know, but since I’m this far into it, I’m adding Traffic Controller to my list of duties and responsibilities. And most often this traffic directing takes place in the bathroom.
Still with me? Great. So six years ago my husband and I bought our current house. We convinced ourselves it was an upgrade from our previous home. First, we no longer have to take a ladder to the outside of the house in spring and fall to change the storm windows. That required more dexterity and physical strength than we signed up for. And there was generally a bit of cussing involved. The second thing we now have is central air. Ahhhhh, cold air right here in our house. We don’t have to sit through awful movies or wander around in circles in department stores to soak up their AC. We’ve got our own.
But what we didn’t think through was the fact that our house is a “one holer.” Yes. A one holer. A house with one bathroom. We probably didn’t give this much thought when we bought the house because our boys weren’t completely potty trained when we moved in. But still, what were we thinking: that they’d stay in diapers into adulthood? I believe it was more. I think we believed on some level that Oh we could totally put a toilet in the basement. No problem.
Here’s the rub. There are 24 hours in a day. We have four toilet-using people in the house. This gives each of each 6 hours of time to use the bathroom. Yet every morning without fail, everyone needs to use the toilet—at the same time!
Here’s how this works.
“I gotta go—bad!”
“Sorry, you should have woke up earlier.”
“You’ve been in there 20 minutes!”
Enter Mom the Traffic Controller.
“Okay. Get up. Let your brother go.”
“Have you actually pooped yet?”
“No, but I’m trying,”
“And you. Do you need to go number one or number two?”
Okay. Get up for 10 seconds and let your brother pee!”
“No it’s not. But get up because there’s a line.”
“That’s okay Mom. Can I just go in the sink?”
“WHAT? For the love of, just go while your brother takes a quick break!”
“Thanks. You can sit back down.”
And just when all should be well…
“He peed on the seat!”
They still sell ice cream in those gallon buckets, right? Hmmm. I think I could use one or two of those. Perfect. I can add Problem Solver to my resume too.