Hey, Diddle Diddle

Privacy. It’s a precious commodity once you become a parent. Back when I spent my days working and living my life in blissful silence, I had no idea how good I had it. I was clueless to the fact at any given moment; millions of parents throughout the world are taking showers while tiny humans stand inches away watching like creepy little voyeurs. I have a peeper. She stands on the other side of the glass door while I shower and presses her face to glass to gawk. Her peeping is often peppered with a running commentary on the parts being washed. “Oh….boobies, Mama?” or “Feet! Feet!” The problem with these pint-sized peeping toms is that they aren’t at all secretive in their observation of your most intimate moments.

Window Peeping

Once upon a time, I was able to utilize the bathroom without an audience. Now, it seems, there is a constant flow of traffic through the master bath. They like to be kept abreast of current events and feel entirely comfortable sharing your bathroom secrets with complete strangers. Why, just last week a lovely man was here cleaning our boiler and stupidly, I used the bathroom at the top of the basement stairs. Like a moth to a flame, it took only moments for Kate to begin pounding on the door. The clincher was her demanding and piercingly loud line of questioning. “You Poop, Mama?” No Kate, but thanks for planting that gem in the brain of Mr. Boiler Repairman. I tried to pretend it never happened as I handed him a check.

What’s the draw? Do they have radar? Is there some sort of universal beacon that alerts them when parents are indisposed? Seriously, they play alone for hours without showing their little faces, but the moment they hear that barely perceptible click as you close the bathroom door, they are overcome with the undying need to join you. The thing is, they don’t just join you – they observe. They soak it all in and at some point, they begin asking questions.

Gwen is simply dying to know why I occasionally wear diapers. Just last week, David overheard her take on panty liners.

“Joe… once I saw that mommy peed in her pants and now she needs to wear diapers.”


“I’m serious. She peed her pants.”

The worst part is when they sneak up on you. One day last week, I was fresh out of the shower and enjoying that the hairdryer was effectively drowning out kid-noise. My towel had dropped to the floor, but I was alone so it was A-Okay… until I suddenly I felt tiny fingers crawling dangerously close to…well, use your imagination. After I was done screaming in surprise, I looked down to see Kate who was enthralled with ‘the situation.’ There’s nothing quite as disconcerting as a surprise hand in your nether-region. Hey, Diddle Diddle… remind me to buy some locks for the bathroom doors.

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As I stood at the counter waiting for my change, my toddler’s hand repeatedly snaked down the front of my blouse. “I see boobies!” she yelled. I patiently extricated her hand only to have her plunge it right back into the depths of my bra. “Boobies, Mama, BOOBIES!” she shouted and threw her head back with laughter.

The cashier in Toys R Us was a 20-something man-boy sporting a low ponytail. He pretended not to notice but I could see the flush rising in his face as he tried to change the cash register tape and get me and my boobie-grabbing girl out of his sight. “Sorry about this” he mumbled and maintained strict eye contact as Kate fondled my left boob. He was trying very hard to pretend that she wasn’t there and that he wasn’t embarassed. Mostly, I think he was under the impression that I was embarassed. I wasn’t. I’ve built up my immunity.

As Kate let a rapid-fire string of “boobies” fly, he got flustered and dropped the roll of tape. Kate began occupying herself with the padding in my bra. Her little finger repeatedly poked at my bra through my shirt while she pulled the neckline foward to investigate what was happening behind the scenes. I’m sure that, as the door slid shut behind us, he laughed. 
Four years ago, Joe and I were in the women’s locker room at the Oak Square YMCA in Brighton, Massachusetts. We went there often. I’d run while Joe stayed in the childcare room, then I’d pick him up for a swim in the YMCA pool. It was in the changing room where Joe found his voice. I was changing out of my bathing suit when he loudly exclaimed, “Mommy, you’re pee-pee is Cuh-RAZY!” I wanted to die. I quickly shushed him and pretended that Joe hadn’t shared the condition of my ‘pee-pee’ with the current occupants of the locker room. No matter how hard I tried to gracefully move on from that moment, the kid wouldn’t drop it. “Why is your pee-pee all hairy?” I had nothing. I was mortified and just wanted him to stop. For so many reasons, I wanted him to stop. Mostly, I was reminded that it had been ages since my last bikini wax. My pathetic attempts at self-grooming were hindered by the gigantic belly holding our newest bundle of joy.

Suddenly the gravity of my situation came crashing down upon me. All at once, I felt very much like a mother. I looked around me and saw throngs of childless, twenty-something women snickering about my pee-pee. I wanted to slap those smug little freshly waxed bitches and say, “Just you wait! Someday you’ll have a kid and a hairy pee-pee too!”

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