9: The Knock

9: The Knock

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide

The Knock

How long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.

~Zall’s Second Law

As a homeschooling mom of two active boys, I’m on duty 24/7. And even with my showers down to six minutes, I’m always nervous when I close the bathroom door. Who knows what’s going to happen in those six minutes, right? Exactly.

On one particularly humbling occasion, I started my shower time with the usual threats and warnings. It somehow makes me feel a little better about being out of earshot.

“Hey, boys!” I shouted from my bedroom. “I’ll be in the shower for a few minutes. Get along. Don’t fight. Don’t use the stove. No weapons in the house. Don’t throw a rope over the banister and try to shimmy down like Batman. And don’t knock on the door and start tattling on each other or ask if you can have cookies.”

My showers always start with the appropriate warnings and reminders. But I can never seem to remember everything to warn them about. And since I never know what creative version of a crisis or urgent argument will erupt, I’m usually stressed the moment I turn on the water.

“Did you hear me? I’ll be out in a few minutes, okay?” I said a little louder.

“Okay, Mom,” they said in unison.

Yeah, right. Who am I kidding?

One minute later, I hadn’t even lathered my hair when I heard knock, knock, knock.

Oh, seriously! I just got in! What the heck could have happened so quickly?

“Leave. Me. Aloooone,” I said in my stern mommy voice. Lather.

Knock, knock, knock.

“STOP! KNOCKING! ON! THE! DOOR!” I yelled with clear enunciation.

Knock, knock, knock.

“That’s it! Someone better be BLEEDING!” I shouted as I rinsed my hair and decided I didn’t have time to shave my legs.

I heard running footsteps and raised voices at my door.

I squeegeed the shower doors in a full mommy-fit. My mind raced. You’d think I could get just six minutes to myself. But, noooo. They were probably arguing over that darn video game again. This was ridiculous. No more electronics. They needed to learn how to respect my time!

As I reached for the towel, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a very large bird clinging to the side of the house just outside the bathroom window. To my surprise, it started pecking on the exterior wall.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Oh, my gosh. It was the bird knocking!

As I quickly got dressed, I heard urgent footsteps coming up the stairs. I opened my bedroom door and saw my boys with worried expressions.

“Mom! Are you okay? You said you were bleeding! We’re sorry to knock on the door, but we were so worried about you!”

They were worried about me and had no idea how mad I was at them. I had misunderstood the entire situation.

“I’m okay, guys,” I said as I hugged them. I didn’t have the heart to explain.

Oh, the humbling experience of mommyhood.

~Lori Lara

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