Occasionally, I call my wife in the toilet….just to see how she’s doing. In our house, Toilet Time is quite rare.
I wish this was an exaggeration, but it isn’t.
My wife used to go in there to actually use the toilet. Then it became a place to check her phone in the morning before developing into a tiny space where she could play the odd game of Pet Rescue, chat to friends on Whatsapp and, eventually, conduct some of her business transactions.
I don’t begrudge her the toilet time, but what I do find increasingly irritating is the way she looks up in surprise when I check on her after, say, twenty minutes….as if I’ve walked in an important meeting. Sometimes, she even goes: ‘Yes? Can I help you?’
That’s why I call her, instead.
I should point out that she started going into the toilet because of the children. Chi and I worship our smurfs, but they are, I have to admit, two of the most intense little monsters you’re ever likely to encounter. The bigger male one talks constantly: even when you lose your temper and shout at him, he simply waits for you to stop shouting and then carries on his conversation as if you never interrupted. The little one, in order to establish her voice against this torrent of verbal diarrhoea, screams randomly over the top of him. The resulting noise is like having a really loud radio that keeps spewing out static and deafening alarms between announcements.
Don’t get me wrong: during the day, they develop into a pair of beautifully well-rounded children and we regularly get compliments when we’re in public with them, but for some reason mornings and breakfast times are….
….pure and complete chaos.
Letting them watch TV doesn’t work: they fight over which channel they’re going to put on. The Wii Fit causes even more trouble, as they both wrestle on the board until one is thrown off and goes crying to mummy….
….but mummy is in the toilet, working. So they go to daddy, instead.
Daddy is making the breakfast, feeding the fish, emptying cans of dog food into a pet bowl and trying to find the cough medicine, but this makes no difference. Off they go, telling tales, fighting, screaming, grabbing daddy’s leg, running up and down, throwing balls at each other and knocking over random pieces of furniture in remote rooms that I then have to run to in order to check that they haven’t killed each other: I end up taking ten minutes to make a single bowl of Weetabix.
Then, one day, I snap.
I put down all the breakfast stuff, and decide to retire to the toilet. I actually need to go, and the thought of relaxing into a half decent bowel movement makes me quite excited (I used to get excited by women, but now toilet time does it for me: ageing sucks).
Now, I have a choice of toilets. There are four toilets in our house. As we don’t live in a country mansion, I can only assume that the architect who designed the place had IBS, because the poor bastard couldn’t lay out a room without sticking a toilet next to it: working with him must have been a complete nightmare.
‘Should we put in another toilet over there, do you think?’
‘There’s one here, Ted.’
‘Yeah, but even so….I was actually wondering if we could get one between those two walls over THERE.’
I decide to head to the one toilet I know will definitely be unoccupied: the one that sits directly between the kids’ rooms. It has two doors, but I can lock them both. If I do this, the kids will naturally go moaning to mummy and I can just sit, relax and drop my other kids off at the pool.
I even decide to take Paul McKenna in with me, as he’s on my iPod. Paul has tried to lift my depression and change my life several times, but thusfar he’s only succeeded in changing me into a man who is ten quid poorer. To be fair to Paul, I haven’t really given him the chance…as I never get to actually finish one of his self-help courses.
This time, he’s talking through a guided trance. Have you ever tried following a guided trance while going to the toilet? It’s a bit counter productive, but I’m making the effort.
I’m halfway through my toilet time when I hear a distant noise that is slowly but steadily coming closer. I can even hear it over Paul, who saying things like ‘Just relax’ and ‘You’re now drifting away.’
Both locks on the toilet door go at the same time: both of them. They move so fast that it’s like one of those paranormal films where the ghost has control of the house: they spin around and the kids enter through their respective doors. They’re carrying bowls of Weetabix.
I sit there with my mouth hanging open and they walk into the toilet RIGHT in front of me and starting talking to each other as if I’m not there.
Instead of shouting, screaming or reacting in any other way to this horrible intrusion, I simply close my eyes and concentrate on Paul’s melodic voice as he’s counting down from one hundred, but I can hear them OVER the top of the audio and they’re now talking about me.
‘What daddy doing?’
‘Shhh! Don’t disturb him: he’s doing a poo.’
‘Is he doing poos?’
‘Is he doing poos now?’
‘Don’t know! Do you want to see?’
‘See daddy big poos?’
Do you want to see?
I open my eyes and peer round in frank astonishment as they move around to look in the bowl while I’m still sitting on it.
I leap up, press the flush and run to another toilet. Behind me, I can hear:
‘There they go forever! Wave to them!’
‘Bye daddy big poos!’
In the other toilet, I have to sit with both feet propped against the door because they can open that lock, too.
I want to lose my temper, I want to scream, I want to shout at the world for not giving me any privacy.
Instead, I call my wife to complain.
I get her answer message.
Toilet Time was originally written by Davey Stone in 2014.