Can you repeat that?

Dear Readers:  Every once in a while, life grabs ahold of you and you just have to go with the flow.  The last week or so has been like that for me and, as a result, my blog didn’t get written today.  But never fear, I’ve gone back through the archives to bring you one of my favorites from days gone by.  The following is a story I ran in my very first week of blogging.  Enjoy!

Just Five Minutes of Privacy, Please…


As any mom knows, moments of privacy are few and far between.  For most moms, there’s just no such thing as being able to go to the bathroom by yourself, or take a relaxing shower without interruption.  Mom is always needed most urgently when she’s taking that “me time.”

In my case, I’d love to blame this completely on my children for refusing to observe boundaries, but I think it’s my own fault as their mother.   When my children were babies, I learned to leave the door open so that I could watch their every move.  This not only ensured their safety, but kept me from losing my sanity when they’d take advantage of my absence to, say, spread flour all over the kitchen floor or free the bird just to watch the cat chase him.  Okay…so we never had a bird or a cat, but you get the idea.

As my children got older, I’d spent so much time with the door open that – at some point – I had forgotten that the bathroom door was there because one was supposed to close it.  And then, once I finally got to the point of closing the door, it never occurred to me to lock it.  After all, a closed door means “In Use” or “Stay Out” or “Do Not Disturb.”  Not in my house, I guess.  In my house, a door is simply a suggestion…at least when Mom is in the bathroom.

Finally one day I thought I was getting smart and I began locking the door.  “Finally I’m going to get some time to myself!” I thought.  But that brief thought was quickly crowded out by the real commotion that was just beginning.

“Mom!  Mom!  Whatcha doing in there?” my youngest would ask.

“Mom!  Where are you?  Why’d you lock the door?  Can you open the door so I can get my brush?” my daughter would call out, all the while jiggling the door handle.

Just when I thought I finally got them settled down and had them completely assured that I’d be out in only a moment, a piece of paper would come sailing under the door.  “Honey,” my husband would say, “could you please sign this check so I can cash it?”

Seriously?  Five minutes, People!  Just five short minutes of privacy…that’s all I need.  I promise I’ll come out if you just let me be!

These days, I’ve learned to give the kids (and the husband!) fair warning.  “Okay, people!  I’m going into the bathroom!  I’ll be closing and locking the door!  If you need anything, ask me right the second so that I can have a few moments to myself!”  This doesn’t always work, but it does tend to help a little bit since they’re no longer taken off guard by my absence.

Yesterday afternoon was one of those days when I just needed a few minutes to myself.  My 16-year old daughter was planning to have a house-full of people over as the kids prepared to leave for the high school’s sweetheart dance.  I’d awakened at 8:00 in the morning and been power cleaning for a straight five hours, with errands in between.  It was finally time for my shower.  I was exhausted and just needed the time to myself.

“Okay, people!  I’m going upstairs to my bathroom for a shower!  I’ll be locking my bedroom door and will expect no interruptions.  Please don’t come knocking on the door or asking for anything.  Just give me fifteen minutes to take a shower and, when I’m out, I can address any needs you might have.  Okay?” I said.  They all assured me that they didn’t need anything and I felt optimistic that the coast was clear.

Wow!  What a great shower that was!  Those fifteen minutes probably became thirty, and not a single voice or knock on the door disturbed me!  It was wonderful!  I was so happy that I was mentally ticking off all the wonderful things I was going to say to them to let them know how much I appreciated their giving me that time to myself.  I grabbed a towel and began to dry off, while walking from my bathroom into the bedroom.  A movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention and I almost had a stroke!  Sitting in the middle of my bed was my 7-year old son, looking so proud of himself for having succeeded in some mission known only to himself.

“AAAAACCCKKKK!” I screamed!  “What are you doing in here??”

“Hey Mom!” Braden responded.  “I sneaked into your bedroom and hid under the covers until you got in the shower.  You said you wanted some privacy, but I knew you wouldn’t mind me bothering you.”

Okay, then…

Published by C.H. Armstrong

C.H. (Cathie) Armstrong is 1992 graduate of the University of Oklahoma and is the author of THE EDGE OF NOWHERE (Penner, 2016), ROAM (Central Avenue, Feb. 5, 2019) and co-author of DÉJÀ YOU: STORIES OF SECOND CHANCES. She is represented by Tina P. Schwartz at The Purcell Agency, LLC.

13 thoughts on “Can you repeat that?

  1. Ah I remember those days! LOL! 15 minutes of time alone . . . who knew it would be so precious! Great post and I’m glad you ran it again! Otherwise I might have missed it! 🙂


    1. Hahah! Thanks! I figured I might be “safe” running it again. I don’t have a ton of readers now, but I especially didn’t have many in that first week or two. 🙂


      1. I know what you mean. But your’re not as bad as me. I didn’t know about the like button until ten months after I started my blog. I didn’t even know you could read other people’s blogs. I have a huge dumb streak! LOL!


      2. Interesting Cathie. A little techy and funny! I think that’s kind of a rare combination! And you volunteer and you read. Well, that’s what I’ve gleaned so far reading your hilarious blog and I have a feeeling they’ll be a lot more layers to come! 😀


      3. Hahaha! You pay attention! I’m not so convinced about the funny part, though I try…but definitely techy, a lot geeky, and I read and volunteer. Too many irons in the fire most days, but it keeps me busy! 🙂


  2. Lol! Braden is a crack up! When you said you were taking a shower and locking the door he simply saw that as a challenge!!!! Lol! You probably would have been better off inviting him in — then he would have steered clear! Ha!


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