“Conor, close the bathroom door, will you?” “How did you know I was in there?” I wasn’t in the mood to explain acoustics to a six and a half year old so I told him a whopper: I am your mother. (No. That wasn’t the whopper!) I told him, when a mammy has babies, she is given special powers. (That was the whopper. And it continues.) When a mammy has her babies, from then on The Mammy knows everything. Even when The Boy says he didn’t do it, The Mammy knows that he did. The Mammy even knows when The Boy is only thinking about doing something. So don’t even think about it. The Mammy is on to you! He gave me his half and half look – will I believe her or will I laugh coz she’s only messin’? And to prove my point I told him I knew he was thinking I’m only messing but I’m not. How else did I know it was you in the bathroom, I asked him. How else do I know which one of you is coming down the hall? I almost had him then. “But you keep getting Brendan and Liam mixed up, Mammy.” Seems he was the one who had me at that moment. I’d love to know what their fascination with the bathroom is. Or rather, what their fascination with the place is when I am in there. What is it they think they will miss if I manage to spend time in there alone? Depending on the weather, i.e. if it is nice and sunny outside and there is digging and messing with water to be getting on with, my little followership to the bathroom is smaller. It will be missing one or two members. Original members I might add. But I have gained a new follower. The dog. I’ve shaken off a Screecher Creature or two on visiting the latrine but Juno likes to keep me company. Where once I heard the slap slap of little hands on the floor, or the clomp clomp of ill-fitting welly boots and their owner coming to find me, now it’s the click click click of dog nails. The door will be nudged open, a silky little black head peeps round and Juno will come right in, park herself on the floor, then without shame and with absolute pleasure, in front of me, begin to groom herself. The word groom is used in its broadest terms here. Let’s just say she won’t be licking me or any of my kids afterwards. Filthy beast. Kids have a sixth sense for stuff. They do. We’ve all done the going out thing where the clothes are left in the bathroom with the make-up and the high heels. Doing our best not to leave a clue that we are “up to something” namely a rare night out. Handbag on the stairs, even the perfume for crying out loud, will only be sprayed going out the door. There’s nothing like smelling differently for raising the dial on their “she’s going out and we must stop her” radar. Mine, all four of them, as babies, were intrinsically and telepathically connected to the kettle. Even when we lived in a carpeted, two story and some of them were asleep upstairs, they still heard that little “click” all the way through the ceiling and insulation. I have tiptoed out of the room in an effort to get to the bathroom in peace. I have seen one of them on occasion scratch the back of his neck as I do this so I reckon the hairs are beginning to stand up, to alert him, just as I am making good on my escape. I can’t even lock the door after me anymore. It’s one of those locks that can be twisted open from the outside in the event that a child locks himself in. And of course, allowing a Screecher Creature handy access when I am in there and one or three of them need to follow. We thought of everything, didn’t we? In our house no-one needs to use the loo when we’re about to get in the car, but once I go in there, it’s a free for all. I should bring food and we could have a picnic. A regular little get together. The following are normal questions and demands in our house. But guess where I am when they were being asked? Go on. Guess. Not only am I in the bathroom, I am in the shower. The bloody shower. I suppose I am a captive audience but still! “Mammy, I need to do a wee.” “Mammy, can I have a sandwich?” “Mammy, where’s my kite?” “Mammy, will you wipe my bum?” “Mammy, will you put on Netflix?” “Mammy, get me my shovel!” “Mammy, do you want to see my new pet slug?” (No!!!!!) “Mammy, my willy is itchy. Fix it.” (No!!!!!!!) “Mammy, were dinosaurs ‘stinct when you were little?” Do you want your sandwich soggy? Never mind that the bread and jam live in the kitchen and not the bathroom but for the love of shower gel, how do you think I am going to make you a sandwich in the shower? Can you not see that I am busy? The bathroom is also no place for slugs, itchy willies, kites, shovels or otherwise. The mind boggles, it really does. I have often said that I could be strung up from the ceiling, clearly unable to help anybody, in the same room as Mister Husband who could be sitting on the couch, legs crossed and reading the paper. The boys would bypass him and come straight to me dangling from the roof, to request something. In fact, this might have happened. Oh wait, I was at the sink. Same diff if you ask me.