Wife, Interrupted

27 Sep

I’m used to my kids barging into the bathroom when I’m on the toilet or in the shower with a ridiculous question or untimely demand.  
“Mom, I don’t get this one” my oldest son says as he taps his pencil on a math problem in his Summer Bridge workbook.  I smooth my lathered hair off of my face with my hands, trying to rinse the soap from my eyes so I can see Interrupter #1.  My bloodstream is coursing with adrenaline, either from being so startled when the bathroom door burst open, or from my ire at what should be the only 10 minute period of the day without interruption.  

I could never be an elementary school teacher.  I believe that such people are born and not made.  They are blessed with with preternatural patience and a God-given ability to offer a constructive response, even under stress.  

Me?  I am endowed with preternatural irritability and a genetic predisposition to to offer a sarcastic response, even under the best of circumstances.  

“Oh, gosh, let me see… here, hand my your workbook and pencil so I can get a better look…”  from inside the shower stream, I stretch my sopping, soapy hand toward my now dubious son.  “What’s the matter, John? Doesn’t it look like I am in the position to help you with your math homework at the moment?”  I sputter, the taste of shampoo in my mouth from the bubbles still streaming down my face.  Finally recognizing the irony of the situation, he retreats.  Until the next ridiculous opportunity to interrupt my morning routine arises.  

MInutes later I’m standing at my bathroom vanity.  I appreciate the irony of it being named in the context of the word: Vain.  Not because I am indulging my vanity as I stand before a large mirror in this household space designated for primping and preening; but because any effort I expend in an attempt to look more rested and refreshed, let alone mildly attractive… is alas, in vain.  

What are you doing?” the second of my three sons asks loudly over the noise of the hairdryer as it noisily blasts my wet mop of hair into a frizzy fro.  

Knitting” I respond. Dryly.  

I picture my three sons standing in a line in the hallway, each perpetrator exiting my bedroom and tagging the next guy in line to take his turn bugging Mom as she struggles against the clock to get herself ready for the day.  

No you’re not.”  Drat.  At the ripe old age of 8, his grasp of irony is still under construction. 

Then what am I doing?” I ask, perturbed that I not only was I accosted in the shower, but now I am being engaged in an inane dialogue with another son, bent on further cutting down what should be a private morning ritual to a mere minute thirty seconds of private time today, before the Interrupters started in on me.  

Then today they added a new player in the lineup.  From inside the shower I hear the dog go ballistic, in our household, this is a sure sign that someone is at the front door.  Mildly aware of the time, I surmise that it must be the mother of the young boy who just spent the night, coming to pick him up.  My husband, on the other hand, has a different reaction when he hears a knock at the front door.  He comes straight into the bathroom to find me.   

“Is that them?” he asks.  

Seriously?  Does he think I possess in my mind’s eye some kind of bank of surveillance cameras, where I can just dial up a view of the front door and tell him who is standing there…  from my vantage point… inside the shower?   Beep boop beep beep boop boop beep:  “Oh, it’s the exterminator.  Let him in.”  

In such circumstances I am incapable of giving a straight answer.  

     “Is that them?  How am I supposed to know if thats them?  In our culture, when there is a knocking sound on a door, rather than running to find one’s wife in the shower, it’s customary for the otherwise unoccupied inhabitant of the house to approach the door, open it, and greet the party on the other side.  That gives said inhabitant of the house the perfect opportunity to determine:  If. That’s. Them.


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