There are lots of questions we ask ourselves when we're wondering if we're ready to become parents. Am I financially stable? Am I the right age? Do I have a supportive partner? Am I ready to settle down?
Those are all valid questions, of course. But there's another equally important thing to ask: am I good at doing things from the toilet?
I don't mean simply reading a book or playing with your phone. Ohhhh, no - anybody can do that. But when you're a parent, there's barely a limit to the things you'll find yourself having to do while you're trying to ... well, doodoo.
See, little kids do not grasp the concept of privacy for a very long time. (And even when they do, they seem to think that it somehow does not apply to Mom and Dad.) This means that things like taking a dump become public domain. From the time they realize they can reach their chubby little fingers under the door, you can bet that it'll be years before you enjoy a solo trip to the crapper.
What's more, there seems to be some unwritten kid-rule that everything occurring while a parent is on the toilet is urgent and therefore MUST BE ADDRESSED IMMEDIATELY.* Your brother stole your toy? You want some fruit snacks? Your shoe is untied? Just barge into the bathroom and demand a quick resolution to the dilemma.
*Ironically, things that are actually important - such as the baby drawing on the wall with a Sharpie - typically go unmentioned until you flush.
Eventually, as a parent, you realize that unless you want to spend huge chunks of your life yelling, "Just give me a minute!!" you have to just go with the flow and learn to address situations directly from the porcelain throne. Because often, that's your only chance to have at least one or two minutes of peace while you're there.
So for those who may be asking themselves the question, here's a sampling of the actual things I have found myself doing from the toilet since having kids:
- Opening various food packages
- Buttoning/zipping/tying (or dressing the child altogether)
- Nursing a baby
- Mediating arguments
- Burping a baby
- Fixing broken toys
- Removing splinters
- Singing songs
- Helping with homework
- Making a snowman out of play-dough
Oh, and also? You can add "eating my breakfast" and "brushing/flossing my teeth" to the list of toilet-bound activities, because parenthood also brings the occasional time crunch which makes such things necessary.
So if you know someone who's wondering if they're ready to have kids, tell them to just sit on the toilet and try to do a million and one random things while still "handling their business."
Because if their idea of multitasking is talking on the phone while they jog or balancing their Starbucks without spilling it all over their tablet, they're in for it.