As a mom, there are all sorts of wonderful benefits to having your baby grow up. You spend less time feeding your little one and more time sleeping, for example. But, there are some unintended—and unexpected—things that can happen when your baby starts to find his independence and learns to stand on his own two feet.
I realized this the other day when I found myself trapped … in the bathroom … by my baby. (I know. Just when you think a situation can’t get any weirder. Boom! Another prepositional phrase follows the ellipses.)
It all started when I was playing in the living room with Jacob and nature called. Since nature doesn’t have an “ignore” button (fortunately for our kidneys), I headed to the bathroom. Because our downstairs bathroom is just steps from the living room and within eyesight, I didn’t think twice about leaving Jacob to play on his own. I figured his toys would keep his attention just long enough.
And, they did—just long enough for me to start doing my business. Jacob looked over at me, dropped his toy and made a beeline for the bathroom. At first, I thought, “Aw, how cute. He wants to be with me wherever I …. go.” (Zing! A little “bathroom humor” for ya.) Then, I realized my little mischief maker had other ideas.
He looked at me with knowing eyes—I’m not making this up folks—and volleyed the door back and forth between his hands until it had enough momentum to close. “At least I have some privacy, for once,” I thought. Quickly, I finished up, washed my hands and proceeded to open the door.
Or, rather I TRIED to open the door. But, as my motherly luck would have it, there was 22 pounds of baby body pressed up against the other side. Not only had Jacob closed the door but he had proceeded to climb it, trapping me inside. I know this because I have X-ray vision. And, also because I could crack the door just enough to see his face peering up at me from a standing position.
I had two options: Try to lure him back to the ground with some sort of distraction or try to open the door and squeeze through, possibly forcing him to fall backwards into a sad heap onto the hardwood floor. Not a tough decision. I opened the door. Kidding! Of course I didn’t. Instead, I put my inner MacGyver to work.
I needed something small enough to fit through a crack in the door but long enough that I could wave it around and attract his attention. A hand towel? No, too thick. “Ah-hah!” The top of our soap pump. I opened the pump, rinsed it clean and stood for a moment wondering what to do next (and also wondering if MacGyver ever felt this ridiculous while working his way out of predicaments).
I had my long object, now I just needed something to wrap around it to catch his attention. Yep, you guessed it: some good ‘ol two-ply. I wrapped it around the end, leaving a tail to trail back and forth. If you’re a visual type, think makeshift cat toy. (Also, if you’re the visual type, try not to imagine what an idiot I looked during this next scene.)
I opened the door a smidgeon. He was still standing there, beating on the door with his palm and squealing, which I imagine in baby body language signifies gloating. I got down on my hands and knees and poked the tissued-up pump through the crack at the bottom of the door, wiggled it back and forth and hoped for the best. My baby bait caught his eye and within seconds, freedom. Make that, “freedom,” capital letters, exclamation point, Mel Gibson style: FREEEEDOOOOM!
As I slipped out the door, I couldn’t help but chuckle. As I said, there are all sorts of benefits to having your baby learn to stand on his own two feet, figuratively and literally. Getting cornered in a tiny room probably isn’t one for most people, but, in my case, I had a chance to discover my inner MacGyver and, if nothing else, will always have a weird story to tell about the time I got trapped … in the bathroom … by my baby.