Tell me if this sounds familiar. For the last few weeks my day has started this way, I wobble into the bathroom and grab the mouthwash. After I stub my toe on the small plastic stool Bailey uses to reach the sink, I sweep the 48 hair bands, clips, and bands over to the side of the counter and dig out of that pile my contacts case. I start the morning routine, brush teeth, clean contacts, shave. The difference, which has only recently become apparent to me, is that I’m no longer doing this alone. I have company.
Each one of the girls is in and out of the bathroom brushing their teeth, brushing their hair, draining their bladders – all with me trying to maintain position in front of the sink. It’s not easy. Riley is getting pretty big and she has good balance. She can hold her ground pretty well. Ever shave while trying to move Carlos Boozer off the block, inhibit the morning pee smells and avoid Bailey’s wildly off target spent toothpaste spits into the sink?
I have. And I do it everyday.
I know you’re thinking, dude, there is an easy solution to this – just use the bathroom that is strategically situated just off your own bedroom. Mom and I tried that when we first bought the house 11 and a-half years ago. It’s too small for two of us to get ready in the morning. So I moved out. Started using the other bathroom down the hall.
And listen, I’m used to being outnumbered. I have two sisters. So when the girls started getting bigger and they needed some bathroom space, it wasn’t a big deal.
However, I must have not been paying attention because it’s like they suddenly morphed into, well, girls. Even Bailey and she’s only 5. Now we have this loosely choreographed routine where the four of us rotate back and forth, side to side so we all have sink access. And after seeing High School Musical 3 on Sunday, I’m all about choreography. More on that in a minute.
I’m getting nudged out of the way by a 6 year old who must be training to be a doctor judging by the care and length of time it takes her to wash her hands, by a 5 year old who thinks jumping and singing are essential to the teeth brushing process and an almost 9 nine year old who takes up more space brushing her hair than Jabba on his Slave Barge. I mean geez, she has to get a certain amount of water into her hair, and by certain I mean I think she measures it down to the ounce, as she brushes it. And she leans way back and sort of flings it around as she brushes it. Yesterday she clipped Bails and knocked her right off her feet. Today she left a nice water spray silhouette of her head on the wall.
What makes it worse is that Mom has recently decided that since my showers are too hot and steam up the bathroom she needs to fix her hair in my bathroom too. So all FIVE of us are sometimes in that bathroom. Well, actually, that’s not true. There are four chicks in the bathroom and I’m in the hallway attempting to shave by memory instead of by mirror.
Last night I’m flipping between the Ohio and Buffalo football game, hey its was Tuesday night and you don’t just turn off college football when its Tuesday night, and Fox News while I fold the girls clothes. This, by the way, is one of the things nobody tells you about parenting. You hear all the normal stuff about diapers and then potty training and then starting school and then all the activities. But nobody tells you that once you have kids one of the major parts of your day is folding clothes and putting them away. You wake up, fight for the bathroom, work all day, race home to pick up the kids and take the to dance and gymnastics and whatever else they are doing and then you get home eat some dinner only to park yourself in front of the TV as a way to keep you awake while you fold clothes. Three girls go through alot of clothes. It is astounding.
If McCain had simply said he’s going to cut income taxes so families would have enough money so one spouse could stay at home or work part-time to avoid the nightly clothes folding drudgery, he be up close to ten points. Easy.
Anyway, I’m folding clothes when Kinsey runs up the stairs to tell me that a big brown bug is near Mommy and I have to come get it. I tell her I’ll be right down.
“No Dad. You need to come now.”
“Okay, I’ll be right down.”
“NO! NOW! IT IS BIG!”
So I come down the stairs to find the girls all perched on the tops of various pieces of furniture. It’s like that game you used to play when you were a kid and said, hey, the carpet is hot lava, you can’t touch it. That’s what it looked like. Mom had barricaded herself behind some blankets and pillows and is pointing.
I look and there is this bug. It’s long. Kinda hairy. Brown. And it has lots of legs. So it’s fast.
Anyway, I attempted to find it. And I failed. Moved the couch and everything. Found lots of other stuff. Apple Jacks. Pens. Polly Pocket’s hair. Barbie’s shoe.
Finally, on Sunday I accompanied Mom and the girls to High School Musical 3 or HSM 3 as all the cool kids are saying. I even had to miss the end of the Steelers-Giants game to go. When I left we were up 14-9. Lost 21-14. I’m blaming Troy Bolton.
Anyway, as far as movies that you’d take your young daughters to see, this isn’t so bad. No swearing, no sex, pretty wholesome. And it needs to be. Because, whether you realize it or not, this movie is teaching them how to be teenagers. I picked a lot of stuff up from watching John Hughes movies. But I was already a teenager then so I was just looking to be cool. John Bender – kinda cool. Wyatt and Gary – not so cool. Anyway, the girls watch the High School Musical movies and Camp Rock and all that stuff and this is their impression of high school. Probably junior high too.
Anyway, HSM 3 is exactly what you’d expect. It’s dumb. But Mom and girls loved it. It’s just like you remember high school. Your parents just didn’t understand how tough it was to decide between a full-ride basketball scholarship to your hometown university, a scholarship to Julliard or following your hot girlfriend into the honors program at Stanford. And how many times, when things were getting tough and the future was closing in on you during your senior year did you and friends bust a move or two and break out into song. Man, if I had nickel for every time Mike, Nick, Pete and I sang out our frustrations…