We’re lucky enough to live in a house with a bathroom for just our two girls to use. Is lucky the right word when your wife tells you to do something or go sleep in your car? Well lucky or not they have their own bathroom. Saying they use this bathroom would also give a bit of a false impression, mostly they store things in it. Yes they brush their teeth there but they bathe in our bathroom, brush their hair there too, and love making our mirror look like the back windshield of a rusty Oldsmobile at a junk yard. Their bathroom is more like a staging zone for their daily debriefing with each other, an area where they can discuss their missions of the day and the successes.
“Were you able to steal Dad’s spatula?”
“No, he was guarding it like a one eyed monster.”
“How are we going to mess with his head then?”
“Well, I did grab the can opener.”
While this conversation is entirely fictional the detail is not, I once found our kitchen can opener in their bathroom. Why in the world would they have walked out of our kitchen with it? I can’t even fathom a guess. It doesn’t look like a good stand-in for any of their toys and they can actually hurt themselves with it. I just don’t know.
There are other things to find there too because this is where they unload their pockets. I get to see any candy they snuck off and ate during the day and it’s where I pray that the candy was full consumed and not lying in our bedroom closet or in my shoe. I’ll also find bits of this and that that our little borrowers took. In 2010 Disney released the movie Arrietty about mouse size people who only borrowed what us, non-mouse size humans wouldn’t miss. These borrowers would take a clump of sugar, a small piece of thread, or one tissue. My kids are the same with broken things. I’ve found weed trimmer string and binder clips arranged on the bathroom counter like a pagan shrine. When I ask they why they picked up these things they tell me they’re using them.
“You’re going to decorate your school bag with broken weed trimmer string and a deflated balloon?”
“Yes.” they answer cheerfully, like I’m blind to the beauty.
I also find things I asked them to put away. If you want kids to play with something just ask them to put that something away. Instead of putting toys away children will express their incredulity that you didn’t notice they were playing with it, not at that exact moment or any of the other three hours it lay on the floor, but they were.
I also find things there I didn’t know we owned and wonder where they got such a thing. It’s not uncommon for me to find toys that I just assume their grandmother gave them. Maybe though it’s the mice they’re feeding all the candy to, maybe that’s the exchange rate.
One day they’ll move out of our bathroom and dirty their own mirror. My kid’s bathroom will probably always be this entertaining. From love notes to lollipops and pocket trash to pieces of paper, this is where their treasures will be - and my can opener.