How Do They Know?

Originally in Abilene Families

What sound waves are unique to a home bathroom door? Something about the closing of your own bathroom door cues everyone in your life to the precise moment you shut it. Sound waves must be it! How else would they all know to ring the phone or doorbell? And the kids? They have some kind of inner sensor that alerts them that you have shut the bathroom door. It is the same sensor that tells them to go ballistic as soon as your ear is pressed to a phone, and closely related to the magnetic waves that cause a major appliance to break down or overflow when you are expecting company or out of money (or both).

My kids are old enough to get dressed, cook a meal, and operate a dishwasher or washing machine without me (they have the capability... don’t hear me saying they use it). But STILL, the moment the bathroom door is shut I hear it, "Mom? Where are you?"

My home was one of hundreds in Abilene damaged in the floods in 2002. For a few months we lived out of our home, then returned to a home under construction. For a brief time, we only had one toilet in the home, and for a day or two, there was a hole in that bathroom that led to hall. A little mini-window into the private inner plumbing of my home giving anyone – construction worker or family – a clear view into the bathroom from the hallway.

Finally the cabinetry that would close the hole was installed and I had a private restroom in my home again! So, as soon as I closed the bathroom door to celebrate the return of indoor, private facilities, I could hear my then-4-year-old. He had been outside playing, but of course his sensor let him know that I was in the bathroom, and probably needed company. I could hear him at the front door: “Mom?” And walking through the living room: “Mooooom?” And down the hall: “Mom? Where are you?” Finally, he spotted the closed bathroom door.

I could tell by the sound that his next shout had his precious little lips pressed right into the crack between door and door jamb. “Mom?”

“What, sweetie?”

“Why did the turkey cross the playground?”

Oh, yes, of course. A turkey and playground joke. That is precisely what was missing from this experience. However, the humor of the moment was not lost on me while I washed my hands, and curiosity won out.

“I don’t know... why did the turkey cross the playground?”

“To get to the other SLIDE!” he exclaimed just as I was opening the door.

My reward for FINALLY opening the door was the beaming freckled face of a child so pleased with himself he seemed to have grown a couple of inches. I even had to stop and wonder how I could possibly part with that precious face for the 2.7 minutes I must have had the door closed. I'm still trying to figure out where that sensor is, though.

(A photo of Riley from that approximate time. Thankfully, he wasn't holding a fish when I opened the door, but how could you not be thrilled to see that face?)

1 comment:

dad said...

Your mother is entirely too loving and kind to say it aloud, but I predict her reaction to reading this will be "payback is rough, ain't it?"

Take comfort in the sure knowledge that your grandchildren will do the same to your kids.

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