Freaking Out

Once upon a time when Boo and Pumpkin Girl were very little and it was just the two of them, Boo was…oh how shall we say it? He was clingy. He needed me a-l-l the time. He wanted me to play with him, interact with him, be with him constantly. I did manage to get him to where he could play on his own, as long as I was in the same room, sitting on the floor and within arms reach. He was three years old and Pumpkin was about one.

Every time I needed to use the bathroom I would announce, “I’m going to the bathroom. I’ll be right back.” I would walk to the bathroom and Boo could see me the whole time. The only time I was out of eyesight was when I actually closed – and locked- the door. Then he would cry, run after me and knock on the door. Pumpkin would toddle after him, since apparently the party had moved over here by the bathroom. She’d pound on the door, too, because this was part of the game. Sometimes she’d even join in on the crying.

I would finish up and open the door and ask them why they were freaking out. Boo would say, “You went away!” I would tell him, “I went to the bathroom. I told you where I was going. I told you I’d be back. Look! Here I am!”

We’d go through the whole routine a couple of times a day.

At some point I changed what I said to be “I’m going to the bathroom. I’ll be right back. Stay here. Don’t. Freak. Out.”

One day I just said, “I’m going to the bathroom. Stay here.”

To which Boo replied, “But what if we freak out?!?”

“Then everything will be the same as always.”

Post Script – Even though many years have passed, my children all seem to have some sort of uncanny sensing ability. The minute I go into my room, close the door, enter the bathroom and close the door and go into the little potty closet and close that door…someone barges into the bedroom. “Mom? Mom? Mom?” they call out. “I’m in the bathroom. GO AWAY!” I say through gritted teeth. And in my head I’m thinking, “And just stop freaking out!”

More Mac and Cheese, please!


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  • In my house, now that my son is grown, it’s the cat who has the uncanny ability to sense the exact second my seat hits the toilet seat. From wherever she is in the house, she makes a beeline to the bathroom, demanding attention. And the dog is usually following her, wanting to get in on the game.

  • So hilarious! One of these days, Lorri, one of these days you’ll have a quiet house and you’ll wonder where they all went. I remember how much I hated to have my sleep interrupted (which it was, nightly, as they came… one by one, to join us in the bed AHHHH!) But now it’s been years since youngest has even had a scary dream. Even when they are sick they don’t come get me now!

    I. for sure, am not getting pets, Becky!! :)

  • I just left the door open, and nobody even looked in. However, if I closed it even a crack I’d hear the foot steps coming! Goofy kiddos.

  • That’s a very cute story. It is hard to believe that someday you’ll miss the clinginess…well, just a little bit.


  • Jani – My days of blissful solitude are so far in the future, another 18 – 20 years. But then the older ones will have started getting married and bringing their little ones around. At least I’ll be able to send the grandchildren home!

  • Funny, Tami! In the house where all the freaking out happened, the downstairs bathroom was right next to the front door, which had a sidelight window. If you left the bathroom door open, then the UPS man or a neighbor might just get more than they bargained for!

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