I turned 31 a few weeks ago. Though I received awesome pampering (waking up to a candle in a glazed Boston cream doughnut along side a coffee was heaven), I still dealt with the typical trials a stay-at-home-parent must face on a regular day.
The children were less than appreciative that it was my birthday. There was fighting. Loren’s potty training broke stride. Both kids decided against napping for the day.
But we returned home from Loren’s preschool in good spirits. The trip from car to apartment was smooth as can be. We made our way upstairs and I told the children that I needed to go “potty” before I could make lunch. As I walked down the hallway I heard Loren exclaim that he, too, needed to pee. This isn’t unusual. As any stay-at-home-parent can tell you, trips to the bathroom are almost always a group effort. But I decided this one would be different.
“OK, buddy, I’m going to get started first, ” I said to him, “then you can join and we can have a ‘swordfight’!”
So we did. And just like that I was a kid again, re-living this scene from my childhood:
There we were, my cousin Danny and I, standing at the toilet, concurring that this spot was in fact “too small for the both of us” just as we’d heard in every classic western movie ever written. A short brainstorming session concluded that we would be better off doing battle over a larger territory.
So we pivoted to the bathtub and commenced our swordfight. He parried to my joust and we laughed till we were out of breath. No doubt we battled as epically as our elementary bladders could fuel us.
Which was all fun and games until my Mom rounded the corner and found the two of us peeing in her bathtub. The last of it I remember was being grabbed by the scruff of my neck and hoisted into the air and out of the bathroom in one fell swoop. I guess that means our contest was a draw.
“Have you lost your minds?!” was all she could muster, over and over again. The truth is we hadn’t. This was a perfectly logical solution to our imaginary problem. And even if it was a bad idea (I’m willing to entertain anything these days), neither Danny nor I lost our mind that afternoon. We simply had a tendency to share a brain whenever we got together, or so we were told a lot by our family members over the years. “So which one of you has it today?” they’d ask after we’d found ourselves in trouble again. And again, and again.
Natalie wasn’t home to drag me and Loren out of the bathroom mid-duel. Also, I’m a grown-up now, so I was mature enough to keep this fight in the toilet where it belonged. She did shake her head in disbelief when I told her about it later though. The swordfight is a part of childhood that doesn’t translate all that well for moms.
I’m still confident that our first literal pissing match ranks as a top-ten parenting moment for me. At the very least it seems likely to out-rank the many figurative pissing matches yet to transpire with my growing-up-too-quickly three-year-old son.by